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Interview Questions for a Remote Position - Every Business Should Know These

Are you getting ready for a remote interview marathon? Possibly, you have landed at the right place, then! With more and more employees getting attracted to remote job opportunities, companies adapt to remote interviews. But, there's still confusion around interview questions for a remote position because organizations are unsure if remote interviews are the same as traditional ones.  So, to clear your confusion about remote work interview questions, we have prepared this blog. Through this, we'll tell you about the crucial aspects of a remote interview – how it is different from an in-person interview and what are the best interview questions for a remote position. 

Do you Think that Remote Job Interviews are Different?- Let’s Find Out

The way of holding interviews for remote positions is different from traditional ones. But the intention behind holding the interview remains the same as in in-person interviews.

Remote job interviews are different from traditional ones in certain ways. Like, a remote job interview takes place over a video conferencing platform and not in person. Hence, it is necessary to decide on the interview platform and check the technicalities before conducting the interview.

Also, in a remote job interview, an employer focuses on the remote working experience of the applicant – whether or not the person has a proper understanding of the job, how they are at organizing daily tasks, time management, and so on.

Besides, there's something that employers must keep in mind - while they try to find the perfect fit for the position, the candidates too will try to find the ideal company. 

So, asking the right interview questions for a remote position is essential from both ends. Plus, employers must communicate to the candidates about the benefits and opportunities of working with the company.

What are the Factors to Look for in a Remote Candidate?

Is the candidate experienced in remote work? How do they manage their time and organize tasks? Such questions are essential in remote interviews, unlike in-person interviews. Similarly, there are specific skills that the hiring manager must look for in remote job candidates. Here's a comprehensive list of some of the most common traits recruiters look for in remote employees.

Reliability

Your team must be able to count on the employee. They must be assured that they can count on the individual to show up in virtual meetings and calls, meet deadlines, keep the team updated on the progress, and deliver the work on time in case of remote working. Try to know how they complied with deadlines in their past and if they kept the employers updated. It will help in building credibility. 

Time management skills 

For employers, it is crucial to know how skilled the candidate is in time management and whether they can meet deadlines. In physical offices, managers can track the employees’ work progress and push them toward meeting the deadline. But in remote work, it is not possible to do so. Hence, the candidate you choose must be efficient in managing time. 

Communication skills 

In remote work, being able to communicate well is essential. Most companies use messaging platforms and channels to keep the communication flow among team members intact. Hence, one must have practical written communication skills along with verbal communication. Make sure that the potential employee is efficient in writing emails, responding to chats, etc.

Self-motivation ability

Remote employees must be able to self-motivate themselves about staying productive and focused on the task. They must know to schedule the tasks and successfully complete them on time. Ask them what they do to remain focused on their tasks and how they motivate themselves to stay productive. 

Collaboration skills 

Collaboration is a must-have skill and a challenge in remote work. Successful remote employees are great at collaborating with teams over projects. Since there are no face-to-face interactions in remote work, employees might lack true collaboration with their teams. 

Ability to work independently

Another essential trait of remote work is the ability to work on their own. Employers must look for remote employees who can work independently and make decisions on their own when the team isn't available. Especially if the team is a global one, remote employees must be independent and good decision-makers. 

Top 10 Remote Interview Questions to find Candidates who are a Right Fit 

Your interview questions for a remote position must be such that they help you determine if the candidate is remote ready and if they are the perfect fit for the job. 

Here are ten interview questions to ask for a remote position: 

  1. Are you experienced in working remotely?

Most candidates would have responded 'no' to this question had it been before 2020. But it's 2022, and 51% of the employees have worked remotely during the peak of the pandemic restrictions. So, you might find a lot of experienced candidates. But still, you must confirm their remote work experience. 

  1. Are there any challenges you have faced while working remotely? Would you like to name a few?

This is an excellent question to ask a remote interview candidate because the answer to this question tells you how well the candidate has managed the remote work challenges like feeling demotivated, isolated, having difficulty in understanding tasks, etc. By asking this question, you can determine if the candidate has good coping strategies in place or not.

  1. Where do you like to work from?

By asking this question, you can know about the physical work environment of the person. Perhaps, they would tell you about a home office or a workspace set up at home, a coffee shop, or a nearby bookstore. You can know if the candidate has a distraction-free workspace from the information. 

  1. How do you schedule your tasks on a working day?

This question will help you understand how the candidate manages their time and stays productive. You can get the nitty-gritty of their routine from this question, like their optimal working hours, start time, in-between breaks, and flexibility. 

  1. Have you experienced working with a distributed team? How did you make it work?

In physical offices, it is easy to get information from employees. But in the case of distributed teams, it is a challenge. It may so happen that an employee has a question, and due to the difference in time zones, they need to wait for 12-hours before they can get their answer. Ask the remote work candidate if they have faced such a situation and how they have handled it. And if they have not, then ask them how they would respond to such a situation if need be. This will give you a detailed idea of each candidate's problem-solving skills. 

  1. How well have you used different communication tools in remote work?

This is one of the crucial interview questions to ask for a remote position, as it will help you understand if a candidate is accustomed to using remote work technology. When an employee works in a globally distributed team, the only mode of contact is virtual tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, or even Google Drive. So, by asking this question, you can determine if the candidate is technologically efficient with the virtual workspace. 

  1. How do you ensure project success when working remotely?

This question gives you some sense of how the candidate approaches a project when they cannot collaborate with their team in person. Perhaps, they would come up with many questions or continuously communicate with the manager and co-workers. The candidates' answers will help you determine their way of communication, work style, etc. 

  1. How do you keep yourself motivated and engaged when working from home?

This remote interview question tells you about the candidate's ability to stay motivated and productive despite the distractions of remote working. You might get different answers from different candidates. Perhaps, someone can make public commitments to do the remote work, read self-motivation books, and listen to podcasts. Again, there might be candidates who love solitude when working. It might help them stay focused. 

  1. How do you handle distractions when working remotely?

Distractions are inevitable in remote work. Kids shouting their lungs out, pending laundry, or even roommates or family watching Netflix. These are common distractions in remote work. Asking this remote interview question will help you find out how the candidate handles such distractions. To some, the focus might come naturally from the solitude of remote work, while others might have to put on some instrumental music or earplugs. Make sure you know the candidate's strategies that help them stay focused. 

  1. How do you maintain the work-life balance?

Gallup report says that 29% of fully remote employees have experienced severe burnout from work during the pandemic. And burnout might lead to the employees taking a sick day or experiencing low confidence. So, ask this remote working interview question to determine how the candidates switch off from work and whether they can keep their work aside and connect with their personal lives at the end of the day. The healthier and happier your employees, the higher their productivity will be. 

How to Evaluate Candidates for Remote Jobs?

Keeping the interview questions for a remote position aside, there are a few strategies to consider when evaluating a candidate for a remote place. 

Set up video interviews

You can conduct interviews or even discussions over video conferencing to evaluate the candidate’s way of interacting, understanding of technology, body language, attitude, personality, and so on. 

Since distributed teams use Skype or Zoom to interact, it is important to assess their comfort level with using tech platforms. Also, video interviews will help you understand their personality and attitude. 

Such insights will help you determine if they are a perfect fit for the job. 

Evaluate critical-thinking skills

Remote employees are not able to stop by their manager's desk and ask questions. So, the candidate you choose must be decisive and good at taking the initiative. To test that, provide your candidates with hypothetical scenarios and ask them to respond to them. This will enlighten you about the candidate's decision-making and problem-solving skills. 

Take written tests

Written tests tell you to understand how well the candidate can communicate via emails or other written forms of communication. This is crucial if you are working with a global remote team (or are planning to set up one) because real-time interactions can be challenging due to time-zone differences. Also, assess whether or not the candidate can follow instructions and meet deadlines.

Assess cultural fit

Regardless of the geographical boundaries, you and your employees must be on the same page. That means your employees should have the same values and understand your organizational goals. Ask the candidate about their way of working and their practices to test their cultural fit. Also, pay attention to the candidate’s questions to find out whether or not they are interested in your business objectives. 

Make Remote Work Easier With Multiplier

Hiring the right people requires you to ask the right questions. To hire remote employees, asking remote-work-specific questions will help you understand if the applicant is suitable for your remote team. 

With platforms like Multiplier, onboarding and managing remote teams become simpler. Multiplier offers a range of solutions like remote onboarding, managing global payroll, compliance, and benefits. So, it doesn’t matter which country you belong to, we will help you set up a team from anywhere and everywhere.

So, reach out, and let’s discuss more on working out the challenges of hiring remote employees together!

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