All Things oDesk
January 22, 2009 by Brian McDonough

So you've focused your profile, updated your portfolio and learned to write a persuasive cover letter, all to land an interview with a buyer. Now what?

Here are some tips for effectively interviewing with remote buyers:

  • First, the obvious: Be prompt, polite, professional and prepared. Consider the "Four Ps" the unofficial code of conduct in the oDesk marketplace.
  • Be flexible. Time zones and communications preferences can be tricky; be willing to adapt to a reasonable time and the method — email, Skype, IM — that the buyer prefers.
  • Given that, try to schedule your interview for when you are at your best. Do not interview at the end of your day, when you'll be tired. Better to wake up early for an interview than to stay up late.
  • If you are working on another job, make sure to stop at least an hour before your interview. You want time to wind down, get a fresh start, review any relevant materials, and make sure you're giving your best.
  • Make sure you won't be disturbed — especially if you're on the phone (or Skype) and at home, don't let background noise or interruptions make you seem unprofessional.
  • Bring notes. Have at hand examples of past work that are relevant to this job, and have pertinent links and reference contacts at hand.
  • Double-check your portfolio. If there's anything relevant to this particular opportunity that you'd like the buyer to see, get it into your portfolio or be prepared to otherwise direct the buyer toward it.
  • Ask the buyer about his experience with providers. What bugs him about providers? What has he valued in remote workers in the past? Discuss how your strengths can make you the kind of worker he's looking for.
  • Are you willing to do a paid sample project, maybe an hour or two of paid work? Suggest a "test job" yourself if the buyer seems to like you, but admits she's not yet sure which of her final candidates to select. Just being confident in your own skills sends a good message.
  • If not a paid project, how about a very quick test, free? If you can quickly provide a small, customized demonstration of your skill set, it might be a worthwhile investment of time — particularly if the job has long-term potential. Just be cautious and don't give away your work.
  • Don’t undercut yourself. If the buyer doesn’t ask you to negotiate over your rate, don’t offer to knock it down. If the buyer brings up rate issues, compromise if it’s worth your while. Suggest a trial rate that goes to full price after you've proven yourself, or take the pay cut but build in a bonus for reaching agreed-upon targets.
  • If you finish the interview promising to provide additional information or a link to an extra portfolio piece, do so promptly and include a thank-you note.
  • Even if there's nothing more to "deliver," follow up on your interview with a short and friendly thank-you note. You may also add a line or two (but no more) to strengthen a point in your interview.

If you're prepared and relaxed — you're both professionals, after all, and you are both just trying to find a solution to the buyer's needs — there's no reason for the interview not to be a success. Good luck!

Brian McDonough

Freelance Writer

Brian McDonough has been a writer and editor for more than 15 years, and has managed teams of in-house and freelance writers for newspapers, magazines and web sites.

  • Terry

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I hope all is well on your side, am a new client to this platform and i would like to learn more about it. i would like to schedule my interview tomorrow at 0700am, Kenyan time.
    I hope you will consider. Thanks and have a blessed time.

  • Riad

    Dear Sir,

    I am new hare, I know odesk is very good platform for freelancing work. I am very interested to work on odesk.I,m a student of Primeasia university in BBA.Please help me.

  • mecel

    i am a new user on odesk.please guide me.tnx.

  • muneera

    am new for odesk... plz guide me...

  • USMAN

    I AM NEW ON ODESK SO PLZ GUIEDE ME

  • Bapon Dicosta

    really i want to do oDesk job. so help me
    ...................................................

    • http://tnmtraining.weebly.com/bidding.html Take N Make

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  • https://www.odesk.com/users/~01b266e7bc8bfc5881 Nurey Alom

    Hey there....i'm a new worker on odesk work and i'm also experts on all SEO work. So i will need your superv help. I have no knowledge that how i can find a clients job. Please help me dear....

    • http://tnmtraining.weebly.com/bidding.html Take N Make

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  • kazi jakir hossain

    I need jobs..............

  • http://freedup1.blogspot.com/ Betty Alark

    Hi Brian!

    Thank you so much for the information for interviewing! I'm certain it will come in handy! I will review it often!

    • http://Odesk Muzammil Batavia

      I also want a job :)

  • Md. Ariful Islam

    Dear Sir,

    I am new hare, I know odesk is very good platform for freelancing work. I am very interested to work on odesk.
    I have completed masters degree under national university, now I am working a pharmaceuticals base distribution co. in accounts dept. over 10years. My position is asst. manager, accounts. I am doing there all accounting posting to software, preparing monthly salary about 600 persons, daily banking job, cash management, in addition

    I am well known ms word, ms excell.

    Specially for freelancing work purpose I am learning SEO & joomla. So far I am capable for SEO off page & medium category on page.

    For my above prospect please give me chance for any job under your guideline that will be highly inspiration for me.

    Thanking for your attention

  • juhtz

    I'am a newbie here and ,I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk and I have good knowledge about it. I'am computer savvy.

  • hosen-rasel

    I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk and I have good knowledge about Microsoft word, excel and Internet Browsing . so pls provide me some data entry Job

    • https://www.facebook.com/norbert.famoso Norberto Famoso

      Me too I would like to work and interested for job Data Entry Job..I have experienced for 5 years at US base.

  • Mohammed Fazal Karim

    I have Good Experience on MS Word, MS Excell & Internet, So You can rely on me for any simpe work, So I want a job on internet. Please Give a job.

    • Bablu33

      Hello,
      I am a new user for odesk. Very nice odesk. I am very happy join with you. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid. I will need help. Please Contract me as my mail.

  • Khalilur Rahman

    I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk and I have good knowledge about Microsoft word, excel and Internet Browsing . so pls provide me some data entry Job

  • S.M Riswan

    Hi dear! i'm waiting for online job. if you like give me a job. please send me through my mail as soon as possible.

  • Malik Sikandar

    i am new on odesk…………….plz guide me! i need a job

  • Md.Rabbani

    i am new on odesk…………….plz guide me! i need a job

  • Bart Ignacio

    I like to work to your company

    • http://www.facebook.com/monalisa.ochida Monalisa Aliguin Ochida

      do i need to log in to skype for an interview?? is there any option...

      • http://dataentry uzairfarooq

        i am new odesk jobs please give me

    • seshu

      ya its good for those who are really ready to work...

  • mandeep

    i am new on odesk................plz guide me! i need a job

    • Bablu33

      Hello,
      I am a new user for odesk. Very nice odesk. I am very happy join with you. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid. I will need help. Please Contract me as my mail.

  • http://yahoo nilesh gurow

    i want a decent job through online

  • http://yahoo nilesh gurow

    i want a job

  • http://[email protected] waqas

    i want this job urgentl

  • Fathima Azra

    i can work under your comment.i'll help you ever

    • ratul

      Fathima azra sister plz help me.i need a job in odesk.

  • http://google mario lito

    ;HELLO GOOD, DAY I HAVE A QUESTION? HOW TO START MY WORK RIGHT NOW,AND WHEN MY INTERVIEW ,IF WILLING .'''''PLZZ CALL ME IF WHEN ,THANKS MAM AND GOD BLESS YOU

  • http://gmail muhammad faisal

    thid a great chance if you give for work with odesk company

  • Hakizimana Lee Longin

    Hi ?
    Me too ,i am new on Odesk,
    but interested with to be with the udesk team
    that is the reason why i wont to send this short letter to the
    recruiters
    Thank you.

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    Please find attached to this email, a copy of my CV, for your kind consideration. I feel I would be an excellent candidate for your vacancy as it closely matches my skills and experience. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely

  • Sunil Patil

    I am the new user on odesk team.
    Very nice article!!!

  • gihan

    I am a new user on Odesk. Odesk is very good company.. I hope i

    • S.M Riswan

      please help me my dear friend

  • philip john alcuizar

    I am a new user for odesk. i have a previous job was all about Data entry. i work for van horn legal group inc. Please Contract me as my fb or mail

  • http://www.bdcomputers.webs.com Mohammad Akteruzzaman

    Hello,
    I was reading your job posting. I am an experienced administrative supporter and graphic designer but new in Odesk.
    I am interested in your project. If you want quality work please contact me. And of course you can test my skill.
    Will be waiting for your kind opinion.

    Regards,
    Aktar

  • Md. Ziaul Islam

    I am new on odesk so i don

  • eve18

    hi,I am a new user for odesk, my previous job was all about automotive wiring harness design and encoding was also included as part of the job. Is it possible for to get hired on data entry fields?as much, as a call center agent?

  • http://odesk.com MAMUN1000

    I am a new user for odes k. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid.I do the work try best.

  • http://odesk.com MAMUN1000

    I want to this job

  • http://www.bsintlbd.com Mizanur Rahman

    I need a Job, So, Please give me advise.

  • rezaul huq

    I am a new user for odesk. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid.I do the work try best

  • rezaul huq

    I Need a job

  • Tofail

    I am newer in odesk. I have faced many interview. I have successed most of interview. I want to expart in interview. So please give me good suggestion about this.

  • Danish Mehmood

    This is a Nice blog i like it very much.

  • shilpon

    I am a new user for odes k. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid.I do the work try best.

  • S.M.Monjurul Ahsan

    I am new on odesk so i don

    • Erica

      You may find the type of guidance you're looking for from other users on the oDesk forums: http://www.odesk.com/community

      • http://www.odesk.com/nazmaaktar nazmaaktar

        please hallp me, I am new on odesk so i don,Am new on odesk and trying to build my profile. I will need help n how to pass the odesk readiness test. How do I also take other odesk tests as well as prepping for interviews.

      • http://www.odesk.com wbayedur

        Hi
        I’m a new user of oDesk. I need hElp!!! Please Contract me by Skype or Facebook.
        Thanks

  • Abdul Rahman I

    Am new on odesk and trying to build my profile. I will need help n how to pass the odesk readiness test. How do I also take other odesk tests as well as prepping for interviews.

  • http://ODesk.com shahrukh durranee

    i am new on odesk so i don

  • http://www.rpkworldbd.com rupokhsn

    i am new on odesk so i don

  • http://www.aronexcomputer.blogspot.com Engineer Ebrahim

    Hi
    I'm a new user of oDesk. I need hElp!!! Please Contract me by Skype or Facebook.
    Thanks...

  • http://www.odesk.com Anoma Kariyawasam

    I m new member for odesk.Im very happy join with you.I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid.

  • borhan uddin

    Please contract with me on Facebook.

  • http://realestateagent.brinkster.net Muhammad Sherjeel Khan

    ODesk is very good company.
    Thanks to Odesk team
    Helpful Information new hires Odesk member to buildup his strong Profile

    Thanks
    Muhammad Sherjeel Khan

  • Adnan Maqsod

    I am a new user on Odesk. Odesk is very good company.. I hope i'll do my best & i got a good job with good Bid.. i dont know how they ques. me in interview. but i face interview best..Any body Have some idea to face interview easily . then told me. i'll very thanking to ODESK to the bottom of my heart to giving us a new & alternate thinking.
    Thanks

  • http://universeofnurulislam.com Nurul islam

    hi
    i am new on odesk so i don't know how to face up interview i it possible to give me guide line

  • suvnil

    Thanks to Odesk team, for very necessary information being a part for preparing the interview, this is really helpful who is becoming new hires Odesk member to buildup his strong profile,

    Thanks
    Suvnil

  • http://www.gkabir.com Mohiuddin Ahmed

    I will get a good job with good bid.

  • jaspal nagra

    I really thanks for providing us such a knowledge to give a person his first interview.
    This information is very helpful for me to understand how i have to deal my clients.
    thanks.

  • http://odesk thaiba

    I

  • http://odesk thaiba

    I am a new user for odesk. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid

  • Anis mia

    I am new odesk User.I have seen it in person with interviews I have conducted where prospective hires weren

  • Thilini Madhushika Wijesinghe

    I'm a new odesk member.I'm very happy as joined with you.Thank you so much for your consideration.

  • http://utube yvonne

    no am always on yahoo or u can join me on skype fo yvonnevirgo 97 that my skype name

  • Jaqui

    Marc, not just graphics design for lowball prices.
    many postings in many different areas are far below industry norms.
    I've seen many postings for Articles paying $1.00 USD for 350 words, yet I normally will get $200.00 USD to $500.00 USD for such an article elsewhere. Some places pay a fixed rate of $200 per article, others use a $1.50 / word rate.

    Or a complete dynamic website for the Industry standard for a single static HTML page. ( $50.00 ) which is 1/10th the rate of a "customize existing script" site and 1/30th of a custom script.
    Pick the postings that will pay you what you are worth to bid on.

    Carol and Maggie,
    written communication skills in English are important, but with many members not being Native English speakers ridiculing them for a lack of such skills just shows you up badly. Why not work with them to help them improve their written English skills instead? All providers benefit when we help each other improve our skills. The posted work will reflect that improvement in higher cash paid.

    A second point about English, even Native English speakers have a difficult time with it far more often than any other language. English is the most difficult language on the planet. I.M. shorthand, like the often used lol, only makes it worse.

    A final point on this topic, even the posted work often shows a distinct lack of skill with written English, from members who apparently are Native English speakers. It comes with the territory of being online, you have to either become a "Grammar NAZI" or let it go without comment.

    Jacqui, you missed one for the "Obvious" section, be honest.

    I have seen it in person with interviews I have conducted where prospective hires weren't honest, some so glaringly that it was no effort to weed them out of the possibles list. Others only showed when they couldn't perform the jobs. It's unfortunate, but many people think that "stretching" the truth in an interview is acceptable. It's grounds to cancel a contract.

    Jaqui

  • Paulski

    Along with Sadi... especially @ Maggie... already felt outshined and deprived of them best assignments...LolsloLs
    People - love each other, arrogance and ignorance will burn in hellish conditions sooner or later ;D

    to Marc: Interviews for such jobs would increased theirs costs irrationally (someone there is getting paid to interview you as well) ergo I bet you are right.

  • Marc

    Do we also need an interview if we're working on a fixed price job?

    There are some jobs in the Graphics Design Category which pay for like $5 to make one logo. Making a logo usually never takes me more than an hour to finish. Surely such a job will not require long formalities like an interview on Skype.

  • Sadi

    @Carole and Maggie: LOL... hahaha...

  • Maggie

    Carole - I hope you are right - I'm pretty sure my language skills will outshine those posted here and enable me to grab the best assignments! Having just joined, I can't wait to see what exciting projects await me!

  • Carole

    I cannot believe the level of English in these comments! Surely that is the most important criteria on interviews?

  • faouzi

    i thisnk shoudl get some convestations about any work before starting.

  • Danila

    Just want to say that feedbacks in your oDesk profile are the most important thing during any interview. If you have bad one be ready to explain the reason why you got it. Often just unassailable alibi can help.

    Work hard to build your clear feedback history and forget about the most troubles.

  • http://mahmudahsan.wordpress.com Md. Mahmud Ahsan

    cool, when bidding giving project plan is sometimes more helpful.

    • http://www.medsit.net mahe

      SALAM MD MAHMUD AHSAN would you please help me about online earning system from bangladesh?

    • Md.atikur rahman(atik)

      cool,when bidding giving project plan is sometimes more helpful.

      • Md.anamul

        I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk and I have good knowledge about Microsoft word, excel and Internet Browsing . so pls provide me some data entry Job

    • http://ABC Zahid

      Hello,
      I am a new user for odesk. Very nice odesk. I am very happy join with you. I got a good confident i will get a good job with good bid. I will need help. Please Contract me as my mail

      • http://odesk.com anubhav

        Hello sir/madam
        I am also a new user for odesk.and odesk is very nice & genuine work.i am happy to join with you . I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk and I have good knowledge about Microsoft word, excel ,photo shop editing and computer hardware works.please contact me as my mobile or mail.

        BR:\\ anubhav

        • http://www.facebook.com/take.n.make Take N Make
          • Aroshan Nilanthi

            Dear Sir,

            I'm Aroshani Nilanthi & disable girl who are working in the private sector as a computer operator (Data entry updating) this job easy for me because I'm disable.

            I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk. But I have to take a time to prepare the computer items & internet facility for start this work.

            Sir, Could you give me this job opportunity for me ? If you are give me a job opportunity,I may thankful to you.

            Pls give me a little time to arrange everything for this in my side.

            Thanks,
            Aroshani

      • Muhammad Inam Khan

        Hi,Sir I am recently join o desk but i cannot understand how to earn this site.Plz help me. Regards M inam Khan

        • shobuzz

          Thank you so much for the information for interviewing! I’m certain it will come in handy! I will review it often!

          • sabeena

            I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk. But I have to take a time to prepare the computer items & internet facility for start this work.
            I am also a new user for odesk.and odesk is very nice & genuine work.i am happy to join with you . I am Interested to do Data Entry Job through Odesk and I have good knowledge about Microsoft word, excel ,photo shop editing and computer hardware works.please contact me as my mobile or mail.