As an independent software consultant I get contacted by companies and individuals from all walks of life looking for technical help. Everyone has their own skills and experiences and thus different methods for evaluating candidates. If you are looking to hire a consultant, follow these steps and you are sure to land your dream consultant from Hell. All of these are based on actual experiences.
- Upon first contact, fail to address the consultant by name, introduce yourself or explain your needs in any way. Bonus points for requesting an in person meeting at your office to begin discussions.
- Ask the consultant to sign an NDA before even discussing the basics of the project
- Have no budget and be unable to provide one when asked
- Ask the consultant to take a “coding test” that is actual code that you want to use for your production website. Clarify that it should only take an hour so it’s “no big deal.”
- Meet your consultant in person for a requirements discussion without a laptop or writing materials. Ask to borrow a pen and paper.
- Provide requirements specifications on wrinkled up notebook paper that you pulled from your pocket. Bonus points for offering to scan the papers.
- Describe yourself as “brilliant” without a whiff of sarcasm
- Heavy usage of the following terms: “paradigm”, “disrupt”, “billion dollar idea”, ”the next Facebook”
- Trash multiple consultants that you worked with in the past. Bonus points for trashing a consultant that you are still currently working with but are looking to replace.
- In the work contract’s indemnification clause ask the consultant to protect you against any and all ill consequences of your business, related to the consultant’s work or not