Show-Vs-Tell: What are your experiences?

So, I've been pleasantly surprised by how I've gotten work lately as a freelance contractor. Rather than the traditional behavioral-based interview questions, several potential clients have set me up with a test of sorts. I get an assignment usually accompanied by a sample of similar work and have a specified amount of time to return my deliverable for review and approval or rejection. So far it's been all approval!

I find this interview process to be EXTREMELY progressive and really love some of the results of what I bring to the table. I'm wondering if this is a trend. Are other freelance contractors or folks looking for W-2 employment being engaged in the interviewing process by having their skills tested instead of a behavioral-based interview question process?

3 Replies
Helen Reid

I normally get a mix of both.  If they don't ask, I offer.  On a whole, potential clients always want to see what I can do for them.  I see this process as an interview both ways.

It's important that they have a fit with me just as much as I fit with them.  A contractual arrangement just won't work if they don't like my development style or there isn't alignment in how we approach learning delivery.  I will (and have) turned work down if I feel there isn't that alignment.  As a contractor, it's about setting up for a win-win-win (me, the client and the learner) and that starts with being on the same page.  

It also helps once you've won the contract as the needs analysis over design has already started... what did you like, what to change etc.

Helen Reid

It does not need to be a big sample (i.e.not a whole module...) .... just a few pages as a taster is usually enough.  The aim is to inspire them - engage them.  Seeing their brand will help them connect.  At a minimum I'll provide some sample pieces which are generic type topics.  I have a range which offer different presentation styles.  I find this helps as they are able to make choices over what they like and don't like - again - emotional connections and looking past cost etc to the future and what they want.  At this point it's often not so much about the content, rather how information can be presented.