If you are short on time, here are 3 questions that give you the fastest way to identify whether you are talking to someone who really knows what they are doing.

1. What process do you use when you work with clients?

In other words, what are the steps they are going to go through when they work with you?

Marketing freelancers who have a lot of experience typically have a pretty well-defined system. They are going to need certain information from you, they are going to go through specific steps, they are going to give you certain reports, etc.

The more clearly they can articulate the process, the better.

2. What tools do you use?

What software do they use? What have they done to automate their work and be as efficient as possible?

Someone who is committed to a particular line of marketing, especially if they have been doing it for awhile, has invested in some kind of tool that helps them get better results faster.

3. How do you keep up with changes in your industry?

The best marketing freelancers invest in themselves. They read blogs, books, magazines. They attend webinars and listen to podcasts. They are members of trade associations and participate in online communities. Sometimes they attend conferences.

If you don’t have time for a full Topgrading-style interview (even the shortened one I came up with for freelancers), these 3 questions will help you sort through candidates very quickly.