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Re: How to handle invitation to interview when more information is needed?

Active Member
Jeffrey S Member Since: Feb 24, 2019
1 of 8

I just got my first invitation to interview for a project (fixed price). The problem is, I'm seeing a chicken-egg problem. Part of the job is to define the requirements (and presumably, negotiate the milestones and prices). But Upwork's invitation-acceptance form seemingly expects me to define the milestones and give fixed prices up front, based upon completely inadequate information about what they really expect.

 

What's the usual way to handle a situation like this? On one hand, I don't want to swat them down and decline outright... with some clear, unambiguous milestones, it could be a great project that's a good fit for my skills. On the other hand, it would be completely insane to blindly agree to do a project with (at the moment) fuzzy requirements and open-ended goals for a fixed price.

 

Put another way, is there a proper way to accept an invitation with a proposal that says something along the lines of, "I'm interested, but I can't make a firm commitment or propose concrete milestones until I know more... let's arrange a phone call for an hour or two to talk about your project?" Or at least, to decline the invitation in a way that makes it clear that I'm only rejecting the current invitation (because the description is too vague & open-ended), and WOULD definitely consider working on future sub-projects related to it once they've established more concrete goals and milestones?

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 8

Jeffrey, I think you're over-complicating this. Anything you put in a proposal is provisional and subject to negotiation/revision. If the client insists on holding you to your original terms, you can always decline the client's offer.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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Active Member
Jeffrey S Member Since: Feb 24, 2019
3 of 8

Ah, ok. At what point in the process is an offer generally regarded (by Upwork) as a binding commitment, subject to reputation-score penalties (or other, more insidious forms of algorithmically-inflicted punishment) for backing out?

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER
4 of 8

Jeffrey S wrote:

Ah, ok. At what point in the process is an offer generally regarded (by Upwork) as a binding commitment, subject to reputation-score penalties (or other, more insidious forms of algorithmically-inflicted punishment) for backing out?


Once you accept a job offer, then it's binding in the sense that even if you subsequently close the contract yourself, the client can leave you negative private feedback which is liable to lower your Job Success, once you have one, or disqualify you for a Rising Talent badge.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Mara Luisa B Member Since: Feb 21, 2019
5 of 8

It is   a question to go whith the  initial question.  Having the invitation IS NOT  gaurenteed a freelancer has the job right ?     What if  after  one  applies  the  client never responds back?

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
6 of 8

Hi Mara, 


I would like to confirm that having an invitation does not guarantee that the freelancer has the contract already. There are times when the client contacts a number of freelancers to do an interview, so that he can vet which freelancer is the best one for his project. 

 

A number of community members here would recommend that if a client does not come back after you have been invited for the job, it would be best to move on to the next client or job post. I would recommend that you read up on these freelancer resources and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs, for help getting started, and for more information about working safely through Upwork.


-Avery
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Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
7 of 8

John's answer is certainly correct. I would just add that as you move along in freelancing you may find that you stay completely away from the fixed bid project given you are developer. They really do not work as a freelance developer given the amount of time required from both parties to properly scope a project. Even then you will still need inflate the bid by at least 20% to cover the items the client felt were in-scope that you did not. Consulting companies based on the potential for large contracts spend considerable new business development dollars in scoping these projects and for them the client is known with a reputation and revenue expectation. None of that exists here. Of course if they want to pay you to go through the scoping exercise then at least that's somewhat reasonable. However, likely once things get going for you, you will drop fixed bid completely. For a specific consulting service it's great. For development, it's terrible.

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
8 of 8

Jeffrey S wrote:

 

Put another way, is there a proper way to accept an invitation with a proposal that says something along the lines of, "I'm interested, but I can't make a firm commitment or propose concrete milestones until I know more... let's arrange a phone call for an hour or two to talk about your project?"


I would say that's the way to do it. But I would also have to say that, despite taking that approach many times, I can't remember getting a contract that way. I hope it works better for you. (The fact that it's an invitation may help.)

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