I have Just started up work for a few weeks now and I have been getting invites for jobs, but I have a few questions maybe someone can help me.
Is it normal to get interviews through google hangout?
Do companies always send checks through emails for equipment?
Is it normal for a client to send a list of instructions and tells you to buy stuff and then send a receipt once the purchase is done?
No, no, no. Big Scam. Accepting or offering any kind of payment off platform, including checks, is agains ToS and can get you ban. Also you should never have to pay any money to start a project.
It's a serious violation of Upwork ToS to offer payments outside of Upwork (including in a form of a check) and is usually a sign of scam. Always make sure the client makes you an official offer on Upwork and pays you on the platform. Please, check out the resources in this post and especially "Safety First!" section for more information.
These are not clients. These are just scammers.
And you are simply wasting your time talking to them.
For now, ALL of the invitations you receive from out of the blue are from scammers. So ignore them all.
ONLY focus on searching for jobs that absolutely fit your skills and interests, writing great proposals for those jobs, and responding if any of those clients contact you. Many of those clients will turn out to be scammers as well, but some of them will be legitimate and eventually you will get hired if you persevere.