Interviewing for remote roles is, by necessity, slightly different from a typical in-house position – and it’s essential to adjust your questions accordingly.
Anyone who has switched from an office-based role to working from home will agree; it isn’t the same, and the skills you need change.
So – which recruitment criteria are universal, and what are the crucial interview questions for a remote applicant?
Let’s run through them here!
Scoping Out Remote Work Experience at the Interview
First, you need to know how experienced your candidate is at distance working.
That doesn’t always mean they need a decade of freelancing under their belt to be your perfect hire – but that you’re starting from the same place.
Here’s why it matters:
- Working in a team, but remotely, can be a massive challenge for first-time employees.
- Some applicants might assume they can transfer their office-based skills directly to remote work – not grasping how profoundly different this scenario can be.
- You’ll need to assess the level of mentoring, training, and support required to ensure your new hire is comfortable and confident.
One of the top considerations is all about communication – so applicants who are pros at using collaborative software or project management tools will find it far easier to dive in with your existing team.
Questions to Ask About Job Applicant’s Remote Work History
Try some of these to gain insight:
- Have you worked remotely in a previous role?
- How comfortable are you working remotely in a team setting?
- Do you have experience working with project management tools?
- How have you managed the challenge of remote working?
- What do you do to stay organized in a remote work environment?
Some of the many remote work tools you might use in your organization include platforms like Trello, Zoom, Slack, Google Docs, Asana, or Airtable.
You’ll want to tailor your interview questions to explore your candidate’s skills in whichever resources matter most to your business, for example if it’s a WordPress expert, the applicant should know how much a WordPress site might cost.
Understanding Job Applicant’s Remote Time Management Skills
The other high-stakes element of taking on distance staff is time management.
If you’ve been there, you don’t need us to explain why it can be such a minefield trying to monitor workloads and deadlines if your team isn’t self-motivated.
Morale and engagement are beyond vital.
This skill matters more in remote work since you won’t have a manager on hand to keep chasing and pushing.
Establishing Organizational Abilities at the Interview
Ok, you can keep this one simple.
- How do you stay motivated working remotely?
- What strategies do you use to manage your time working from home?
As a hiring manager, your focus isn’t just on a thoughtful response but on a grasp of why these questions matter.
An applicant who brushes off the question probably hasn’t met the challenge of a brick wall of motivation before and found a way to push past it.
Interview Questions Relevant to Home and Work-Based Roles
Now that we’ve run through those crucial questions to ask for a remote position, it’s worth going through some others that should always be on your interview list – whatever the position looks like.
- Why did you decide to apply for this position?
The answer will show whether your applicant has done their research and knows a little about the business.
- What is the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on?
The key here is to assess your candidate’s actions to overcome their obstacles – demonstrating problem-solving abilities.
- How do you maintain a great work/life balance?
In the contemporary working world, this question has become much more valuable. You want staff that loves their work and are passionate about business growth – but aren’t risking burnout due to a lack of balance.
Finally, don’t hesitate to explain what you’re driving at if a candidate asks for any clarification. Even outstanding hires may not have a quick-fire response for every question.
Still, being confident enough to raise queries with an interviewer is a sterling sign that your interviewee is a great communicator – who will be able to converse with their managers with ease!