Is there a protocol or guidelines for giving phone interviews?
I am an Upwork newbie currently interviewing for a job. The potential client and I have exchanged messages and documents through Upwork. He now wants a phone call. It is for a complex job, so it is a legit preference. However, the client is also new to Upwork (unverified) and I'm wondering if there are any red flags or pros/cons re: phone interviews.
Solved! Go to Solution.
It's fine to to chat with a potential client. However, if the conversation feels like the client is trying to get as much "free" information from you as possible, politely inform them that at this point you're willing to discuss the project further, once the job is awarded to you and payment is verified. An awarded job will show up under "my jobs".
If the client starts talking to you about working off the platform, end the conversation and report the client to Upwork.
If it's a flat rate job, do not start any work until the first milestone is funded.
Tell the client:
"Jeremy, I'm looking forward to the interview. I can talk to you for about twenty minutes so you can ask any questions you'd like about me in order to make sure I'm a good fit for the project. If you would like me to begin consulting on the project, you can start an hourly Upwork contract that can be used to track our time. Anything details or ideas we discuss will automatically belong to you because they are covered by Upwork's default contracting agreement."
You don't necessarily HAVE to explain the consulting part of it before you do a phone interview.
But what you DO NOT WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN is the client just starts working with you on the project, via the phone or otherwise, without a contract in place.
A phone INTERVIEW is intended to let the client make certain that you're a good fit for the job. An INTERVIEW is a time to plan out the details of the project and give a client all the information and expertise that he is supposed to hire you to provide.
If the phone interview turns into consultation, ask the client:
"I'd really like to discuss the project with you further. I think we're now into consultation rather than interview territory. Would you like to set up an Upwork hourly contract so that we can log the time and make sure that everything we talk about belongs to you and your company?"