6 Interview Questions to Ask a Potential Remote Employee

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Remote jobs are evolving rapidly and an increasing number of employers are hiring remote employees to build a diverse workforce. Hiring remote employees helps employers reach more candidates, offer great flexibility to them and increase employee retention.

Interviewing is generally an intimidating task. Are you interviewing for a remote position? It can be even more difficult than hiring for a traditional, in-house employee. In addition to the usual interview questions about skills, experience and knowledge, employers need to take into consideration the candidate’s commitment, communication skills and other qualities.

So, what kind of questions should you ask the candidates while hiring for a remote position? The below questions will help you determine a candidate’s potential and find out whether or not a candidate is a perfect fit for your remote position.

1.What work environment is perfect for you?

Not every candidate will have a dedicated home office space, but it’s important to know about their distinct workspace. They should have an idea of creating a workspace for them that is more comfortable and helps them to be more productive. You need to hire people who are aware of their work style and who knows which environment can let them be more productive at work.

2.What’s your remote work experience?

Get to know if the candidate has previous remote work experience. Though it is not the only factor to determine a candidate’s ability, it can help you understand the reliability of the candidate. It also serves as an indicator of whether they can work independently without supervision and can stay motivated. Always remember that previous remote work experience can also include things like working a part-time job apart from their professional 9 to 5 job or freelancing.

3.How do you schedule your workday?

This question will help you know more about how a candidate will schedule their work if hired for your company. Candidates should know when and how they can work better and be more productive. You need to know if they’re an early bird or a night owl and how they can adjust their schedule to fit your business needs when the need arises. This way, you can learn more about the time management skills of the candidate. You need to hire a candidate who can plan, schedule, be organized and finds a balance in their workday.

4.What tools or technology do you use to manage and deliver work on time?

This question is really important to know if the current tools and technology which you are using in your company can meet the needs of the candidate. When it comes to managing remote workforce there are certain tools that are essential – video calling, time management and tracking software, messaging apps and more. You should evaluate if the candidate is savvy enough to use technologies to his/her advantage. For better results, you can conduct your interview through webcam to assess the candidate.

5.How do you handle workplace communication or conflicts when working remotely?

The biggest hurdle a remote candidate can face is the lack of communication and collaboration. Your remote employees must be more efficient and timely communicators. They need to know how to create connections and collaborate with the in-house team without any conflict. So, ensure that the candidate can handle conflicts smoothly and show empathy.

6.What do you think is the biggest challenge of working remotely and how do you overcome that?

This question is a must for candidates who do not have any previous remote working experience. If the candidate has a clear understanding between working as an full-time employee and remote employee, he/she will be able to envision the problems that might arise while working on a remote job. If someone with remote experience says, “Nothing” as the answer to this question, then either he/she is not truthful or never taken up a remote position before. An ideal answer would be distractions, communication problems and motivation.

Interviewing and hiring remote employees is not an easy task. But with due diligence and by asking the right questions, you can pick the right candidate for the position. The questions given above not only help you get a clear understanding of the candidate’s work ethic, but also lets you find out if the candidate is the right fit for the remote position.

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