Contrary to widespread assumption, remote work isn’t just done at coffee shops and in pajamas. Working remotely entails working, which entails doing the task at hand and remaining active throughout each workday.
Interview Tips for Remote Jobs
You are aware of this as a remote-friendly employer. But rather than applying for the position because it’s appropriate for them, candidates could do so because it’s distant. Not every candidate is suited for a remote work environment, even those with the necessary qualifications and experience. These are some interview queries to use when hiring remote workers.
Interview questions to ask remote workers
1.Have you ever conducted remote work? What difficulties did you encounter?
Some applicants are drawn to the concept of working from home, but they are unaware of its realities. For instance, new remote workers can find the change startling. If the response is “Never,” ask, “Why do you wish to work remotely?”
Ask the applicant about the difficulties they had when working remotely if they have done so, even if it was just sometimes. As a remote employer, you know that working remotely isn’t as ideal as the stock photographs portray. Anyone who has previously worked remotely is likely to be aware of this. More significantly, they should be mindful of the difficulties of working remotely and have plans in place to deal with those difficulties.
On the other hand, if a candidate claims there were no difficulties, you can assume they are lying or didn’t work remotely enough to encounter these issues.
2.What motivates your desire to work remotely?
It may seem odd to inquire about someone’s purpose for looking for a remote job, but it’s crucial to do so. People’s ability to work certain hours or their level of distraction may be affected if they need to stay at home to care for elderly parents or young children. Although it won’t necessarily rule them out, it is something to discuss with them during the interview.
Additionally, it reveals something about who they are as a worker. For instance, if someone mentions how working from home makes them more productive or prefers working from anywhere, they are framing their response in a way that discusses the benefits of remote work from a professional standpoint. This demonstrates their career-focused nature and (hopefully) makes them dependable and excellent employees.
The applicant has framed the response in a more personal way. On the other hand, if they mention how they wish to work in their pajamas or that they dislike having a manager hovering over them. There is nothing wrong with seeking a remote job for personal reasons.
3. Have you ever collaborated on a remote team? How was it? (Or, How will you approach the difficulties?)
When you operate in an office, you might frequently acquire the response you require immediately. Ask your question by walking into a co-worker’s or supervisor’s office. No big deal if they are in a meeting. Come back later to obtain the response.
However, when a team works remotely, it might be challenging to receive a response when you need one. There is no “office” to pop into, and not everyone has the same hours of operation. It might take the staff up to 24 time zones to respond to a query. Thus it can take the entire working day.
When new remote workers learn that their boss is 12 time zones away and that they don’t always get the response they need when they need it, they can be in for a rude awakening. Please inquire as to how they intend to handle that. How will they find the solutions they require? What if there is a crisis? You may learn more about someone’s ability to solve problems and seek answers by finding out how they will handle the scenario.
4. In what city would you like to work?
Find out where and how the applicant wants to work. Ask them about their home office setup and if they currently work from home. Does the applicant possess all the tools necessary for a remote worker to succeed? Is it a location with few distractions, if any? Ask the candidate about their home office setup, perform a video interview if it’s feasible, and urge them to participate from that location. Reiterate any home-office needs you included in the job description, such as a wired internet connection, a separate space for calls, or anything else.
But remember that not everyone does best in an office environment; some prefer the couch, the patio, or the local library. Ascertain their access to technology and the means through which they do so. Do they have the means to connect to your office server discreetly if they choose to work from coffee shops? Or do they rely on a link to the internet shared by many people?
5. What Do You Think About Your Tech Skills?
Whatever technology and software you give your staff, they must feel confident using it and doing independent troubleshooting. What happens if your staff’s computer crashes or the virtual meeting doesn’t operate while working remotely since they won’t have fast access to tech support?
Look into this more if they mention how they detest using new technology or how they can’t tolerate updating their computer. Suppose a person wants to work remotely but is unable or unwilling to handle the inevitable technical difficulties they will encounter. In that case, they may lose productivity hours while waiting for assistance.
6. How do you intend to communicate with a team that is spread out?
Working remotely has the drawback that you never run into co-workers for a chance to chat in the break room. Most conversations in a remote team are seldom, if ever, accidental, even though the organization can design opportunities for casual connection (like a virtual office lunch).
Please inquire about the candidate’s plan for team collaboration and their familiarity with various communication channels. Do they solely use email anymore? Why, if so? What about communicating in real-time utilizing virtual conference rooms? How about message boards? Remote workers should feel at ease using a variety of communication channels. For some forms of communication, email is excellent, but not for others.
7. How do you maintain concentration while working?
Distractions are a reality of life for all workers, but they differ for those who work remotely from those who do so in an office environment. One noisy roommate, being preoccupied with news alerts, or simply living near a busy roadway might all be contributing factors.
You may understand how candidates could deal with distractions as remote workers by asking them how they keep focused on projects currently (regardless of where they work). You’ll be able to focus on a more remote-specific follow-up inquiry by posing the general query first.
8. What difficulties do you anticipate arising from your distant employment, and how will you overcome them?
The particular difficulties of remote work are unfamiliar to those who have never done it. People haven’t considered all of the potential issues that might arise when working remotely if they can only think of “Which pair of fuzzy slippers to wear.”
It should provide something a little more practice for new remote workers. When someone says, “I’m afraid about feeling lonely, but I’m going to attend a sculpting class,” they know the issue and have a strategy to address it. This demonstrates the person’s ability to think strategically and predict and solve problems before they go out of control.
9. Describe your preferences for and objections to working in an office.
The fact that certain people require an office setting and the presence of co-workers to do their best work is a sometimes disregarded yet crucial feature of remote employment. Sadly, not everyone considers this before making the switch to remote work.
Inform the applicant that while working remotely doesn’t exclude socializing with your co-workers, it indicates that they will interact with you differently. They may enjoy a virtual lunch through video chat rather than eating lunch together. Alternatively, they can spend their time on Slack rather than loitering at the coffee maker. Please inquire about the candidate’s opinion on his or their experience with online meetings.
10. Describe a risk you took that you failed at. What did you discover?
Any team form must make adjustments when a new team member is added. The new employee will, however, adjust the most. Applicants must be adaptable, receptive to recommendations, eager to experiment and try new things, and willing to learn from their errors as the latest team member.
You may learn more about the candidate’s working style by requesting an example. Do they have a single, set method for everything? Do they develop and learn from their errors? Do they have the humility to acknowledge they were wrong? You can tell from their responses whether or not they are adaptable and compatible with your current team.
You may learn a lot about a potential employee by probing the right questions throughout the interview process. No difference applies when hiring remote workers. However, you may determine if they are the ideal remote worker for your team by asking them questions relevant to working remotely.