During an interview, asking the relevant questions will help you identify the agency that has the talent and the right approach to your project. It will help you find a partner that will take ownership of their work and put your mind at ease:
Question #1: Will You Provide Recommendations And Ideas?
This question will help you weed out all the agencies that are more interested in showing you their work and telling you how great they are, rather than listening and understanding your challenges and giving you ideas and recommendations to meet your goals.
Question #2: How Am I Benefitting From Working With You?
Here you need to look at your prospective agencies’ processes and deliverables. Of course, this will depend on your budget: if you have a tight budget, perhaps the template is the better way to go. But if you have a decent budget to start from scratch and do custom work, the agency should take you step-by-step through the process, so it makes sense to you. You need to feel comfortable with their expected deliverables.
Question #3: Who Will Be Working On My Project?
Make sure you speak to the person leading your project, whatever their title may be, and make sure to know their: qualifications and credentials, how long have they been with the company, how many years of experience do they have and what type of projects/companies have they worked on in the past.
Question #4: Do You Have Experience With Similar Projects?
The work in the agency’s portfolio may not be in your industry, but it should have the same or similar challenges that your project has.
For example: if you need a smart search feature or if you have complex navigation or a product price that needs to change depending on the buyer, or maybe you need to comply to certain regulations related to your specific industry - find out if they’ve worked with similar features/challenges/regulations before and what the outcome looked like.
Question #5: How Will You Bring Value To Our Relationship?
Note that the answer to this question is something the agency should volunteer upfront, without you having to ask. They should have a clear outline of what they can bring to the table and how are they planning to bring additional value to the potential partnership.