Expert Tips: Freelance Job Interviews with No Experience
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Prepare for the interview
  2. Highlight transferable skills
  3. Showcase your portfolio
  4. Pitch your value
  5. Ask smart questions
  6. Follow up post-interview
  7. Negotiate pay rates
  8. Resources for freelancers
  9. How to handle rejection
  10. Keep learning and improving

Are you a newcomer to the freelancing world, looking to navigate freelance job interviews with no experience? A feeling akin to walking a tightrope, isn't it? But don't worry—you're not alone in this. The world of freelancing can be intimidating, especially when it comes to job interviews. However, with the right tips and techniques, you can confidently ace them, even with zero experience. This blog post will guide you through some expert tips to help you smoothly navigate your way through freelance job interviews without any experience under your belt. So, let's get started, shall we?

Prepare for the interview

The first step in navigating freelance job interviews with no experience is, of course, preparation—it's like mapping out your journey before you set out. You might be thinking, "But how do I prepare when I have no experience?" It's simple: you start with what you know, what you can do, and who you are.

  • Know the Client: Spend some time researching the client—understand their industry, their products or services, their mission, and their target audience. This will not only show the client that you're genuinely interested, but it'll also give you a better understanding of what they might need from a freelancer.
  • Understand the Job: Be sure you fully comprehend what the job entails. This means reading the job description in detail and understanding the skills required. If there are any specific terms or jargon, make sure you know what they mean. Don't be shy to look them up or ask questions if you're unsure.
  • Know Yourself: Take a good look at your own skills and strengths. What can you bring to the table? What unique qualities do you have that might be beneficial for the job? Even if you don't have direct experience, you might have relevant skills or qualities that could be a good fit.

Remember, preparation is like a safety net in a trapeze act—it's there to catch you if you stumble. So, take your time, do your homework, and step into that freelance job interview with confidence!

Highlight transferable skills

Now, let's talk about transferable skills. Even though you're navigating freelance job interviews with no experience, you've surely picked up skills along your life's journey that can be applied in a freelance setting. These are your transferable skills, and they're like hidden treasures—worth more than gold in an interview!

  • Analytical Skills: Are you good at problem-solving? Have you designed a system or process that improved efficiency in your previous roles or personal projects? Then, congratulations! You have analytical skills that are highly sought after in the freelance market.
  • Communication Skills: Can you explain complex ideas in simple words? Have you written papers, articles, or even engaging social media posts? That's evidence of strong communication skills, a must-have in the freelance universe.
  • Adaptability: Have you had to adjust quickly to new situations or environments? This ability to adapt is a big plus in the ever-changing freelance world.

These are just a few examples. Your transferable skills could also include things like project management, leadership, creativity, or even traits like being detail-oriented or a good listener. The point is, even if you don't have direct experience, you have skills that can be applied in a freelance context. So, don't sell yourself short! Highlight your transferable skills and show potential clients that you've got what it takes to succeed.

Showcase your portfolio

One of the most effective ways of navigating freelance job interviews with no experience is to let your work speak for itself. But how do you do that without any prior jobs? The answer is: create a portfolio.

A portfolio is your visual resume, a collection of your best works that showcase your skills. And the good news is, it doesn't necessarily have to be filled with paid work. Here's how you can build one:

  • Personal Projects: Have you designed a cool logo for your blog? Or perhaps written a captivating article about your favourite hobby? Include it! Personal projects are a great way to display your abilities.
  • Volunteer Work: This is a fantastic way to gain practical experience and contribute to a cause you care about. Plus, it adds a nice touch to your portfolio.
  • Mock Projects: If you're aiming to score a freelance job in graphic design, for example, why not create a few mock-ups for imaginary clients? It's a fun exercise and a great way to demonstrate your skills and creativity.

Presenting a diverse portfolio not only shows your competence but also gives potential clients a taste of your style and approach. Remember, the goal is to show them what you can do and why they should choose you, even without formal experience.

Pitch your value

After showcasing your portfolio, the next step is to pitch your value. This is a crucial stage in navigating freelance job interviews with no experience. It's about making the client understand what you bring to the table—beyond just skills and talent.

One way to do this is by solving a problem. For instance, if you're a freelance writer, you could mention how your engaging writing style can help increase their website traffic or improve their brand's online presence. If you're a graphic designer, you could discuss how your eye-catching designs can take their branding to the next level.

Remember, clients are not just looking for a freelancer to do a job—they're looking for a solution to their problem. So, it's your mission to show them how you can be that solution.

Another way to pitch your value is through your unique qualities. Are you a quick learner? Do you have an unusual approach to your work? Or maybe you're particularly good at working under pressure? Whatever it is, make sure to highlight these attributes in your pitch. They can make the difference between landing the job and being passed over.

In the end, the key is to remember that you're pitching your value, not just your skills. So, make sure to share not only what you can do, but also who you are and what makes you unique in the world of freelancers.

Ask smart questions

When navigating freelance job interviews with no experience, it's not just about answering questions — it's also about asking the right ones. This is your chance to show that you're serious, eager, and invested in understanding the project's needs.

For instance, you might ask about the company's target audience or their business goals. This shows you're thinking about the bigger picture and how your work fits into it. Another smart question might be asking what success looks like for the project. This can help you get a clearer idea of the client's expectations and how you can meet them.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for specifics. If you're not sure about something, ask. It shows you're detail-oriented and want to get things right. Plus, it's better to clarify at the start than to have misunderstandings later on.

Lastly, remember that this is a two-way street. You're also assessing whether the job is a good fit for you. So feel free to ask about work culture, feedback processes, or any other details that might impact your decision.

Remember, asking smart questions not only helps you stand out but also sets the stage for better project outcomes. So don’t shy away from this opportunity to shine.

Follow up post-interview

Following up after an interview can often seem like an afterthought, but this step is just as important as the interview itself—especially when navigating freelance job interviews with no experience. Your follow-up can solidify the positive impression you made during the interview and show your continued interest in the project.

It's a good idea to send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. This note should be brief but thoughtful, appreciating the interviewer's time and reiterating your interest in the project. Be sure to mention any specific points from the interview that stood out to you—this shows that you were engaged and attentive.

But what if you don't hear back immediately? Don't panic. Remember, clients often have other commitments and may take a while to respond. If it's been a week or so without any response, it's perfectly acceptable to send a polite follow-up email. Keep it short, professional, and express your continued interest in the project.

Think of the follow-up as the closing act of your interview performance. It's your last chance to leave a lasting impression, so make it count!

Negotiate pay rates

Another key aspect of navigating freelance job interviews with no experience is learning how to negotiate pay rates. While it may seem scary at first, remember that negotiations are a normal part of the freelance work process.

Before you even get to the interview stage, do your homework. Research the average rates for the type of work you're applying for. Websites like Glassdoor and Payscale can be helpful for this. Having this information at your fingertips will give you a reference point during negotiations.

When it's time to discuss rates, don't be the first to throw out a number. Instead, try asking the client what their budget is. This gives you a sense of what they're willing to pay and allows you to respond accordingly. If the number they give is lower than expected, don't be afraid to counter-offer. Remember, they're not just paying for your time—they're paying for your skills and the unique value you bring to the table.

Keep in mind that negotiation is a two-way street. You should feel comfortable with the rate and the client should feel they're getting their money's worth. Finding this balance can take some time, but it's a crucial part of the freelance journey.

Resources for freelancers

As you begin your journey into the world of freelancing, it's important to have resources on hand that can help you succeed. Whether you're navigating freelance job interviews with no experience or looking to improve your skills, these resources can make a world of difference.

Online communities such as Freelancer and Upwork are a great starting point. They not only provide job listings but also offer forums where you can connect with other freelancers, share experiences, and ask questions. Learning from those who have been in your shoes can prove invaluable.

Next, consider online learning platforms like Coursera and Udemy. These offer a wealth of courses covering various aspects of freelancing—from mastering a new tool, to improving your negotiation skills, to learning how to manage your finances as a freelancer. The best part? You can learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your home.

Finally, don't forget about networking. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for connecting with potential clients and fellow freelancers. Remember, the more connections you make, the more opportunities you'll find.

Armed with these resources, you'll find yourself better equipped to navigate freelance job interviews, even with no experience.

How to handle rejection

Let's face it: rejection stings—especially when you're just starting to navigate freelance job interviews with no experience. But remember, being turned down for a job isn't a reflection of your worth. It's simply part of the process.

First, it's important to keep things in perspective. Every successful freelancer has faced rejection at some point. Each "no" is one step closer to a "yes". So, don't let rejection deter you from your freelancing journey. Instead, see it as a chance to grow and improve.

Next, use each rejection as a learning opportunity. Ask for feedback if it's not provided. It might be tough to hear, but it could provide important insight into areas you need to work on. Maybe you need to hone your interview skills, or perhaps your portfolio needs a little more polish.

Finally, remember to take care of your mental health. Rejection can be tough to handle, but it's important to stay positive and keep your spirits high. Surround yourself with supportive people, take breaks when you need to, and remember to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they might seem.

Rejection isn't easy, but with the right mindset, it can be a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block on your path to navigating freelance job interviews with no experience.

Keep learning and improving

Think of your journey navigating freelance job interviews with no experience as an ongoing learning process. With each interview, you'll gain more knowledge and become more comfortable with the process. And while it's exciting to land a job, the growth doesn't stop there!

Start by staying curious. The world of freelancing is ever-evolving, with new tools, platforms, and trends popping up all the time. Make it a habit to keep up with industry news, learn new skills, and explore new ideas. This will not only help you stay competitive but also make you more appealing to potential clients.

Next, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback after each job or project, even if it went well. This feedback can give you valuable insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. And remember, constructive criticism is a tool for growth, not a personal attack.

Finally, always strive for excellence, but remember that perfection is not the goal. Mistakes are bound to happen, and that's okay. They're part of learning and improving. So, when they happen, don't beat yourself up. Instead, take it as a valuable lesson and move forward with new wisdom.

Remember, navigating freelance job interviews with no experience can feel like a daunting task. But with a commitment to constant learning and improvement, you'll not only become a seasoned interviewee but also an exceptional freelancer.

If you're eager to learn more about freelancing and acing job interviews with no experience, we highly recommend checking out Jasmine MacPhee's workshop, 'The Freelancing Fundamentals To Make You Flourish.' This workshop is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the freelance world, even if you're just starting out.