Donning the role of a decision-maker is not as easy as we often think. This is the reality for most recruiters, it is not a cakewalk to come up with the right set of interview questions to assess the candidate’s fit for a role correctly.
This gets trickier in a remote setting. As we adjust to the new normal of virtual hiring, recruiters have a huge responsibility to adapt and set their interview questions in order to separate the qualified candidates from the rest of the crowd without meeting them face to face.
Here we will discuss some important questions you can incorporate in the interviews to make the right hiring decision. But before we do so, let’s understand how you can set up remote interviews in the first place:
Setting up Remote Interviews
For many recruiters, it can be daunting to assess the candidate in a remote setting as it’s common to rely on in-person meetings to get a good sense of the candidate.
Here are some guidelines on how you can set the stage for the entire remote interview process and screen your candidates:
A detailed resume is a standard requirement to know the candidate’s experience and education details. Apart from that, you can also post a few preliminary questions on online job portals that can help you identify if you want to keep talking to the candidate. For instance, when job seekers view your job posting and apply for the job, you can include a quick questionnaire that asks them to include a short para on what makes them suitable for a job or if they are okay with the working hours of the company. This helps you streamline the screening process further and be more informed during the actual interview.
Outside the regular interview questions on their experience, why they want to work with you, future goals, etc. some specific questions can give you an impression of how well they will perform as a remote employee.
Once candidates are shortlisted, follow up with an email. You can either send another list of questions for the candidate to answer or set up a screening phone call to get some more information. If you have any standard assessment tests, you can send it to the candidate and let them do it online.
For the final round, you may have to set up one or more video call sessions with the candidate to assess their fit for the role further. The important thing here is to evaluate how easy it is to have a conversation with the candidate.
10 Crucial Job Interview Questions for Remote Candidates
Outside the regular interview questions on their experience, why they want to work with you, future goals, etc. some specific questions can give you an impression of how well they will perform as a remote employee:
1. Have you worked remotely? What are some of the challenges of working remotely?
This is perhaps the most vital question. If the candidate has prior experience of working remotely, they are a step ahead. It’s a big change from working in a 9-to-5 office environment to working with a remote team, across several time zones.
Even if they have not worked remotely before, asking them to envision the challenges can help you assess if they have thought through the implications of this radical style of working. They should know what the challenges of remote work are and have the right strategies to overcome them.
2. Have you worked with a distributed team? How was the experience?
This will be a good question to assess if the candidate is a team player, especially if the role involves collaborating with peers or supervisors. Even if they have not worked remotely before, you can check how they handled the inevitable issues of working in a team.
3. Tell me of a time when you had a problem to solve but did not have the full information necessary to make a decision?
Being on their own without a boss overseeing their activities means that they may have to make decisions without prior discussion. At times, it is not easy to get an answer the moment you need it. Not only is there no physical office where you can simply pop into your manager’s cabin but also your colleagues may not be working at the same time as you. So when the team is distributed, it may even be a full working day before a question is answered.
In such scenarios, how will a remote employee deal with lack of information? Will they actively pursue an answer or sit back and wait?
4. How will you address the gaps in closing deals with clients or providing project updates to superiors virtually?When interacting with clients or superiors virtually, the remote employees should be adept in managing communication in a tighter environment. Click To Tweet
According to the specific role, you can tailor this question to understand if the candidate exhibits negotiation skills and how it can be tailored to suit a remote setting. When interacting with clients or superiors virtually, the remote employees should be adept in managing communication in a tighter environment, especially when you cannot deal physically.
5. Are you well-versed with remote communication tools?
It’s important to know how comfortable they are using different online communication platforms. Remote employees should be open to using a wide range of video conferencing and workflow management platforms, other than email. Asking about what communication tools they use will help you understand how they communicate and collaborate with their team.
6. How do you stay focused on your tasks?
With remote working, distractions are common, be it attending to family, doing chores, cooking, etc. This will help you learn more about the candidate’s dedication toward work and how they deal with the common distractions to maintain focus.
7. Do you have a proper Workstation at your Home? Could you talk about the set-up a little?
In line with the previous question, you should also gain more insights into the typical work environment of the candidate including whether they have a dedicated space to work along with a reliable Internet connection, laptop, etc.
8. How do you maintain a work-life balance?
This can be a tricky question for candidates. The freedom to work remotely brings the flexibility to choose their work hours and allows them more time to spend on their personal work. The key here is to assess their ability to balance their priorities and how well they can manage their work deliverables, how they schedule their day, and when they choose to switch off from work.
9. How do you stay motivated and productive without experiencing a creative slump when working without any supervision?
Self-management and discipline is a key skill for a remote worker. At times, remote employees are bound to feel unproductive and prone to the monotony of a remote work environment. So, how do they tackle it and accomplish their tasks without having a team or manager around to support them? Will they be able to master the art of working alone?
10. Last but not least, does the candidate have any questions?
It’s only fair to put the ball in the candidate’s court for at least once to know if they have any concerns or queries to ask. When prompted, the candidate should ask relevant questions. If they don’t, it can send a message that they are not fully prepared or have not thought through the various demands of a remote position.
Asking some remote job-specific questions along with the typical interview questions will help you hire the right remote employee for your team.
What are some of the questions you would ask your remote candidates?