Remote work has become much more common than it once was. Consequently, the remote job interview has, too. Companies face a new set of challenges specific to having virtual employees, and remote job interview questions need to address these challenges.
Common issues with distributed remote teams include communication gaps, less direct supervision, and a lack of trust by managers that employees are doing their work. It is possible to overcome the mentioned concerns with a well-thought-out list of questions to ask when interviewing for a remote job. To hire individuals who fit the bill, use these nine questions to ask candidates during a remote job interview.
1. Why are you interested in a remote position?
This is one of the first questions to ask when interviewing for a remote job. Some candidates are attracted to the idea of working remotely, but they haven’t really thought it through. You want to ensure the candidate isn’t applying for a remote position solely for the flexibility or lack of visibility it provides.
2. What’s your approach to staying organized and focused on your responsibilities and tasks?
This is one of the most important remote job interview questions to ask. Without the structure that often comes with working in an office environment, remote workers need to create structure for themselves. You want to find out whether they use calendars, make lists, have a solid filing system, and use productivity apps on their phone. If they simply “wing it” without a system or some level of structure, there is a high probability that they’ll be challenged with working remotely.
3. What challenges might you face when working remotely?
If candidates aren’t used to working remotely, the answer to this question will provide insight into whether they have truly considered what working remotely might be like for them.
4. On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your tech skills?
Remote work requires an individual to be relatively tech-savvy. Without access to in-person IT support, candidates will need to install company software and troubleshoot tech issues from over the phone. They also need to able to use remote applications required by the organization.
5. When working remotely, where do you prefer to work?
The answer to this question will help you determine if the candidate has a dedicated workspace or if they’ll be in an environment with many distractions.
6. Have you ever worked with a virtual team? What were some of the obstacles or challenges you faced? How did you overcome them?
Common interview questions to ask candidates focus on past behavior and experiences to determine future performance. This question does that with a remote-work spin.
7. On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your communication skills?
As mentioned, communication is one area that presents challenges for organizations with remote teams. Remote workers need to be able to communicate very well verbally and in writing.
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8. How do you prefer to communicate with your coworkers and manager?
Suppose you ask this question during a remote job interview, and the candidate indicates a preference for in-person communication. In that case, it’s fair to wonder why they’re interviewing for a remote job in the first place. Remote workers need to be comfortable with virtual communication as the primary type of interaction they will have with other employees.
9. How do you ensure you switch work off at the end of the workday?
If your employees are working nonstop or can’t shut work off at the end of the day, it can lead to stress and unhealthy work habits. Finding out how your candidate maintains a work/life balance can provide hints into their ability to thrive in a remote environment.
Remote work isn’t for everyone. During the remote job interview, if you have a solid list of interview questions to ask candidates, you’ll be able to identify the best fit for your remote positions. For more remote interviewing tips, check out iHire’s interview resource library.