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How to Turn a Job Invitation into an Interview

Upwork Staff
Melanie F Upwork Staff Member Since: May 5, 2015
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Many clients on Upwork invite freelancers to apply for private job listings, rather than post their projects publicly. When this happens to a freelancer, half the battle is won! These clients are seeking a professional with your skills and already think you fit the bill.

Most of the time, however, you won’t be the only one with an invitation, so how do you turn that job invite into an interview? By convincing them that you are the best one to handle their project, of course!

And how do you do that? We asked our Facebook community for some advice, and this is what they had to share.

“Address what the client needs in the invite. Don’t reply with a generic letter. If you can do what the client needs, tell them along with an estimated time. Also, ask the client questions. It’s best to state your level of expertise with the job as well as inquire about the job’s more specific details. Being knowledgeable and genuinely inquisitive can help make the work relationship a success and can help get you the job or at least turn an invite into an interview.”
 Gemma Mujitsu

“Accept the invitation quickly and send them a non-generic message. For me, one of the things I do to capture client attention is to suggest solutions for the goal/problem that they want achieved/solved (this is sometimes indicated in their posting already). For first time social media clients, for example, I send over a social media calendar template, or a social media questionnaire, so when we get to the Skype interview we’ve narrowed down the topics and— hopefully—I’ve already directed the conversation toward the goal/solutions that they want met.”
— Onesimus Art Miciano

“Show the client a glimpse of what you have to offer without being overly excited. Ask relevant questions, and be sure to read the invitation at least twice before proceeding to answer any questions. Most importantly, though, always be available to respond immediately. Get the [Upwork] app on your phone, set desktop notifications, and check regularly to ensure that you set the proper tone for your prospective client. Prompt is always a good first impression.”
 Kojo Osei-Ghansah

“Although speed matters, I believe that wise clients go deep into each application and scrutinise to hire only the best talent. So, while applying to any job, one must try to understand the client’s problem and try to provide a perfect solution. Afterall, this is the first step to build trust.”
 Vijay Sood

“Be unique! What makes you interesting? What makes you stand out? Others might have the same skills and expertise (or may be even better). Be more interesting. Let them crave more of what you can offer.”
 Kristopher Andrew Robles Esmaya


Editor’s note: Responses edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity. The statements above are those of their authors and do not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork.