An interview can feel a bit overwhelming and stressful to conduct. However, there is another layer of trepidation that can come with interviewing a remote worker. Trying to find someone trustworthy, productive, and hardworking enough to handle working from home and in addition trying to find if the person has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job could be intimidating at first but you have to determine if they are a fit for remote work, your company values, culture and if they have the skillset you require.
We are going to cover the questions that should be a part of your interview process.
So, what are some of the most common interview questions for a remote work interview?
First, before we get into common interview questions and answers, it is crucial to start the conversation by breaking the ice. You will get more authentic responses, and the candidate will be a lot more comfortable if you both find common ground.
So, start by asking them questions about their hometown, inquire about where they went to school, and see if you can find some commonalities.
Common Interview Questions and Answers
-Why are you interested in this particular role?
At the heart of the answer to this question is the information you need to find out if this individual is genuinely interested in the position for the right reasons. Do they want to expand their career, or take on new responsibilities? Alternatively, are they interested in more pay and perks? Knowing their motivations will allow you to see if their expectations match what you can provide.
-Have you ever worked remotely?
This is likely one of the most important questions you will ask during the interview. While, with enough dedication and hard work, anyone can succeed at remote work, those with experience are in a better position to hit the ground running. If they do not have any experience working remotely, you will have to train them accordingly.
-Why do you want to work remotely?
This interview question and resulting answer are just as important as the previous answer. Their motivations for wanting to work from home are just as vital as their reasoning for wanting to apply for the position. Responses such as “flexibility,” “more work-life balance,” and “autonomy,” are entirely satisfactory answers. However, you need to be watchful for someone that may give off the vibe that they could take advantage of the remote work arrangement. If they seem as if they would put off responsibilities, or fail to communicate their true intentions for working remotely, then you should re-think working with this particular candidate.
-How well are you able to manage yourself?
If you are looking for an ultimate takeaway of the common interview questions and answers process, then this question gets at the heart of it. Remote work requires exceptional self-management and discipline skills. You want someone that can get the job done whether you are in front of their desk or not. Some workers need the encouragement and urging of a boss to feel motivated to work. These individuals are not ideal for a remote work position. So, be sure to ask follow-up questions that ask for examples of how this individual has done this in the past.
-What is your communication style?
Remote work requires the need for a clear, concise, and straightforward communication style. Also, it necessitates the use of tools to communicate with superiors and co-workers. So, you need someone capable of responding in a reasonable amount of time to email or asynchronous tools. Also, your eventual employee should have a penchant for over communication and the forethought to ask questions or request a video conference if communication is unclear.
-Do you have any experience with any communication or productivity tools?
Anyone with patience and an interest in learning new things can be trained on a new tool. However, if you are deciding between quality candidates, you may be more inclined to hire the one with experience in tools you already use (or those that are similar). If a high-level candidate does not have experience in virtual communication or productivity tools, listen for their willingness to learn.
-What is your process if you run into a problem or obstacle?
A remote worker doesn’t have the luxury of running into the IT office if a technological malfunction arises. Also, nor can they instantly drop into a colleague’s office to straighten out miscommunication. This is why it is imperative to know the candidate’s process for handling a work-related problem, obstacle, or emergency. Remote workers have to be exceptional problem-solvers. This interview question and answer allows you to see their thought process when faced with an issue.
-When is your ideal work time?
Everyone has time during the day—or evening—in which they are the most productive. However, you need to ensure their preferred work-time matches with your company needs. If you require workers to be available during your regular business hours, then this candidate’s ideal work-time will matter considerably. If their preferred hours of work are different than what you need, ask follow-up questions to ensure they can make the switch if hired.
-What do you like the most—and least—about working remotely?
Remote work comes with a lot of perks as well as drawbacks. While hearing the benefits will be helpful, you will be looking out for the obstacles. This candidate has a better chance of preparing for the negative aspects of remote work if they understand what they are ahead of time. So, you want this candidate to have a strategy and plan for dealing with these potential issues.
-Discuss a time when you made a mistake, and how you went about fixing it.
Everyone makes mistakes, so this interview question and resulting answer are not meant to dig for weaknesses. Instead, this inquiry enables you to see how comfortable the candidate is with trying something new, admitting they made a mistake, and how they went about dealing with it. Again, remote work requires a high level of autonomy and self-discipline. Yourself and other staff members will not always be available for help or advice. So, you want someone that can be trusted to fix a mistake or at least get things back under control until they can reach out to someone.
-How do you keep yourself organized?
This is an excellent inquiry to include in the interview. Whether someone is working at home, at a co-working facility, or in a traditional office, organization is critical. You want to find out how they prioritize tasks, work through their day, and the tools they use to accomplish this. Again, much like the “what do you like most and least” question above, you want to see how they handle and work throughout their day, and if they do it efficiently.
-What are your plans for work-life balance?
When it comes to remote work, there is always going to be a temptation to pull out the laptop after hours, answer an email on the weekends, or reply to a call on vacation. However, burnout is a huge problem in the remote work community, and you want to ensure your candidate has a plan for balancing home and work-life. In addition to asking this question, you should also discuss the company’s stance on work-life balance, and make it clear that it is a priority.
-Why do you want to work with this company?
This interview question and answer will reveal if the candidate has genuinely thought about how their mission aligns with your company. You want to know if they subscribe to the same values, motivations, and principles as your company. The answer to this question will also reveal if they are invested enough to have researched what your company stands for, and how they fit.
Remote work continues to increase in popularity. Workers all over the world are realizing the benefits of location-independent work, and employers are also reaping the advantages. However, everyone is not cut out for the demands of remote work and the discipline it requires.
You need someone that is going to be dependable, motivated, trustworthy, and creative. Therefore, it is critical to ask the right questions to find someone with these qualities. Fortunately, these common interview questions and answers can help you hire the best fit for what you need.
It is one thing to perform well in an office setting, and it is another to maintain these exceptional characteristics of a remote worker while working away from a team. So, use the common interview questions and answers guide above to help you in your next remote work interview.
Good luck and Happy Hirings!