5 Steps to Interviewing in the Uber Economy as an Independent Consultant

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The Uber economy has changed the dynamics of the hiring process. Employers are moving more quickly to bring in the specific talent needed to solve a narrow problem. They’re asking focused questions and demanding specifics about your experience and the results you’ve achieved.

While the general thrust of the conversation might be the same – the interviewer will be curious about your experience and wondering if you’re a cultural fit – they’ll question you with a decidedly different tone. Expect the session to be more focused and less formal, and be aware that the recommendations you leave behind will be especially important.

To prepare, follow these five steps.

  1. Ready, set, camera! More employers are conducting their first interviews over video. If you haven’t used Skype or a similar service before, practice with friends and family before you sit down for the real thing. This will give you the opportunity to work out where to look, what to do with your hands, and how loudly to speak. Plus, it will help you get comfortable talking to a camera instead of a live person.

Video practice will give you the opportunity to work out where to look, what to do with your hands, and how loudly to speak. 

  1. There’s a problem you can solve. Companies looking to hire interim executives usually have very specific goals for the position. Tailor your work examples to the challenges they’ve described, and explain the approach you took and the results you achieved.
  2. Put your creativity on display. Most companies hiring independent consultants are often looking for fresh thinking. Be ready to share ideas about how you’d approach their particular problem and the results you’d expect to achieve.
  3. Do you fit the culture? To achieve your goals, you’ll need to adapt to your new environment quickly. So before the interview, get the inside scoop from a current or recent employee about how work gets done at the company and how it defines its values.

Expect fast decisions: The interview process in the Uber economy moves quickly.

  1. Have your references ready to go. Be prepared to share your references and portfolio immediately after your first interview. Unlike the hiring process for a permanent employee, interviews in the Uber economy move quickly. Clients usually ask for references up front – not at the end of the process.

Keep in mind that a manager considering an independent consultant usually has an urgent need and will often make a quick decision. By focusing on his problem and how you can solve it, you’ll help him understand the value you’ll bring to his organization – and give him the confidence he needs to bring you on board.

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