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The default questions clients use in job posts and how they ruin efficiency for both sides

andrew_nikulin
Active Member
Andrew N Member Since: Jan 1, 2018
1 of 8

Cheers, folks,

 

I beleive every freelancer, set aside agency business manager, who bids actively face one and the same default questions many clients use in the job posts. Here's this set and the reality behind each question asked:

 

  1. Do you have suggestions to make this project run successfully?

- Well, around 7 job posts out of 10 with such questions don't provide enough info to answer this. Most clients use this questions just because they are available.

 

  1. What questions do you have about the project?

- Where're all the project's details and why the desciption is so poor?

 

  1. Have you taken any Upwork tests and done well on them that you think are relevant to this job?

- Really? The available tests could be taken by someone else from freelancer's side to gain better scors. There're dozens of tricks to pass tests perfectly. In fact, they can't proove anything objectively. 

 

  1. What part of this project most appeals to you?

- Isn't it too early to ask this before anything has beens discussed or at least described in the job post?

 

  1. Why do you think you are a good fit for this particular project?

- That's my favourite one. Won't even comment on this. Most cover letters have answers to this questions in fact, so this is basically a duplication.

 

Eventually, I could say the whole option to choose ready made generalistic questions without giving a thought to them simply leads to enourmous frustration with those bidding. This means lower amount of applicant's for clients. Those proffesionals who value their time won't even think of applying to a job with the default questions. In the best case client would simply receive answers general enough to support nothing. 

 

I guess it's time for the UpWork product managers to rethink the way clients compose job posts and how they could add additional questions. Those willing to ask questions which really matter to them would do this, and they don't need a preset template for this.  

 

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
2 of 8

Obviously, Upwork has provided those canned questions so clients who have no clue what they are looking for can feel like they've made a great post looking for their first freelancer.

 

The more of those canned questions I see with a new job posting, the more I assume the posting client has less experience in life, in business and on Upwork. My responses to these questions are usually canned, as well. There is no use trying to answer the same questions differently each time they are asked.

 

I would like to see Upwork impose a minimum word count for job postings, so we freelancers can actually have a clue what the client actually needs. But that might deter some potential clients, so it's not a feature we should expect any time soon. And the fact is, at least in my area of specialty, a fair few potential clients really have no idea what they specifically need or how much a qualty result will cost them.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 8

My approach to submitting a proposal is to tell the client how I will work on their project in a way that conveys my understanding of the task and causes the client to realize that I'm the right person to hire

 

If the client asks questions, I answer the questions, but I don't spend too much time on the questions.

 

I don't worry that a client may have used default questions, and I don't judge the quality of the questions. I don't take default questions TOO seriously, because neither do clients.

melaniekhenson
Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
4 of 8

Yes, they're very generic and cliche. I'm with Preston - I know how I want to present myself; when it comes to the canned questions I'm short but sweet. It does kind of give me a heads-up that the client isn't sure how to take the bull by the horns, but that isn't always such a terrible thing. I'm glad to lead if need be and if it seems like the job will be worth it.

 

But I do sometimes have naughty moments where I'd love to come up with something snarky like the OP describes, just to have a little fun. The canned questions always remind me of a story my mom told me long ago. She was interviewing for a secretarial (yes, that used to be a job description) position. She was a little tired and cranky and was over having the same dumb questions asked over and over again on interviews. So when the interviewer asked, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" she deadpanned, "In your chair."

 

 She was certain she'd be right out on her ear. Instead, she got the job.

siberian_bearcub
Ace Contributor
Alexander O Member Since: Apr 26, 2016
5 of 8

Andrew, I'm agree - that generic questions are just dumb (s0rry)

All my favourites are in your list.

 

Of course it's better to rework that stupid (s0rry-2) questions.

 

My absolutely champ is situation:

Full description of a task: "I need mobile application like tinder with nice design"

And combo x4:

  1. Do you have suggestions to make this project run successfully?
  2. What questions do you have about the project?
  3. What part of this project most appeals to you?
  4. Why do you think you are a good fit for this particular project?

(stack of crazy emojies is here)

martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
6 of 8

I don't know why clients put in the generic questions, but I don't see it very often in translation. Maybe they want to root out freelancers who don't even make this little effort, much like the people who complain endlessly that they are not winning any jobs, but have a 3-line-profile, no tests taken, no portfolio, in short, don't make a minimum effort to appear serious on this platform. 

trooks
Ace Contributor
Tom R Member Since: Mar 15, 2013
7 of 8

Upwork:

 

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

Please Kill the Canned Job Questions!

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
8 of 8

I don't know, Tom.

 

The more canned job questions a potential client includes in their job posting, the more certain I am that I am dealing with a person who knows less than I do about what they're asking me to do.

 

That's important information.

 

And I have canned responses to each question, so it's not really a big deal to respond, though I'm still not totally happy with my answer to, "What part of this project most appeals to you?" I usually say, "All of it," but I am tempted to say something like, "Well, if you don't mind, I'll just do the easiest part of the project for full pay and you can get some other freelancer to do the hard stuff."

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