This sheet of interview questions is to help employers ask the right questions to identify the best candidates and thus, determine who is fit for the job position and is able to perform well while working remotely or physically in the office.
What to ask candidates for remote jobs:
Keep in mind that when you are interviewing for remote positions, the candidates should be responsible enough to be able to perform their job requirements remotely with no direct supervision.
Here are some of the obstacles and challenges faced by distributed teams:
- Communication: Online miscommunication can occur very easily, specially when employees work remotely and are living in different time zones and therefore, in order to prevent any communication problems or issues from arising, all members of any team must have efficient communication skills.
- Lack of direct supervision: Managers can no longer directly check on their employees physically to make sure that they are completing their tasks but need to trust their employees and track their progress online. Additionally, an employee’s engagement with tasks and responsibilities is difficult to regulate and measure due to the remote world challenges.
- Culture Fit: Employees who have been hired remotely may find it more difficult to fit into the team culture and integrate completely into feeling as part of the team as they do not interact or spend time with their coworkers outside of specific work meetings and other tasks.
Tackle these challenges by hiring employees remotely who are:
- Good communicators, both in verbal and written form.
- Motivated with an interest in taking initiatives to solve problems.
- Organized, self-disciplined and reliable.
You could also ask candidates if they have an access to al computer and internet connection that can be used to perform their work unless your company provides these resources.
Below you could find some questions that you can ask when you are hiring for remote positions:
- Do you have access to a computer, a reliable internet connection and a private space where you could perform your work responsibilities?
- In you previous work experience, have you worked remotely? If yes, what were the biggest challenges that you encountered? And how were you able to overcome them?
- What does your typical weekday availability look like?
- What are some of the distractions that you believe you will face when working from home? How do you ensure they do not get in the way of completing your work tasks?
- How often do you check your emails after work?
- What are your strategies in establishing limits between your work and home life?
- What are some of the solutions that you would resort to if you had internet connection issues while attending a meeting with your manager or being in a call with a customer?
- What are some of the platforms and applications you used in your previous work experience in regards to calendar and task management?
- If you were given a project to work on with team members who, unlike you, work from the office and you need to find a common ground to get the job done.What are some of the methods you will take on to make sure you keep up with them and complete your responsibilities?
- What motivates you during the weekdays during work?
- If there is a need to save your work files securely because of confidential information, what are the measures you are willing to take?
- If your team was offline and no one was available to help you with an urgent question you have about a task you are working on, how do you find the answer to your question?
- What medium would you want to utilize if there was a need to have a difficult conversation with a teammate and provide the reason?
The methods of evaluation to check if a candidate is suitable for remote jobs:
- Assess communication skills by conducting video interviews. Teams that are distributed and scattered across physical/online spaces engage through online platforms like Skype or Hangouts. Therefore, candidates should possess these skills to confidently navigate their work space. You could also check if candidates would be able to handle a situation with potential technical issues.
- Test for written communication skills. Candidates should be able to write clear and coherent emails that are easily understandable to minimize any extra back-and-forth communication. This is specially important when members of one team are not present in one space due to different time zones, etc and the communication needs to be efficient and effective so that no extra time is wasted. You could also check if the candidates possess time management skills and are able to deliver projects on time.
- Evaluate critical-thinking skills. Candidates should be able to take initiatives and make decisions on the go, if they need to because especially in remote work spaces, the luxury of stopping by your manager’s office to ask questions no longer exist. Therefore, it is imperative to pose hypothetical application questions to see how candidates react and respond to these questions and if they will use judgment to complete their tasks smoothly.
- Check for common values and cultural fit. It is essential that members of one team share similar understandings and values, regardless of geographical boundaries, to be able to work well together. You could also ask for the candidate’s motives and their short/long-term goals to see if they are the best fit for your team and also be mindful to the questions posed by the candidate that can help you understand their perspectives and interests regarding the job position and your organization.
You could find a list of major red flags for remote jobs below:
- Poor communication skills. Remote work positions require effective and efficient communication for smooth work relations. And therefore, candidates who do not perform well during the interview and lack strong verbal/writing skills might not be a good fit.
- Absence of team spirit and motivation. While it is true that the majority of the work performed remotely, is individual based but there is a lot of projects and work tasks that need collaboration and coordination between team members and therefore, candidates should have a balanced approach of individual and team work.
- Absence of technological skills. Candidates who are technologically illiterate and are not comfortable in working with a wide range of different platforms (messaging, cloud applications and video calls) might not be advantageous for the organization.
- Lack of time management skills. Candidates who have a hard time finding a balance between their work and personal life might not be suitable for remote work. This is because remote work requires flexibility and last-minute changes and therefore, candidates who get immersed in the working culture and do not take sufficient amounts of breaks, may find themselves in a burnt-out state.