The Best Interview Questions When Hiring for a Remote Position
Hiring is challenging enough, but there are added complexities when hiring for virtual or work-from-home positions. Even with the best monitoring systems and quotas to ensure productivity and accountability, a manager who doesn’t see their employees everyday needs to be able to trust that their remote employees are working hard.
I recently read an article by Kevin Sheridan – a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and best-selling author on employee engagement and effective management, that offered some great ideas for interview questions when hiring remote workers. He states that there are 4 characteristics that are common with the best virtual workers: self-starters, self-motivated, self-disciplined, and self-sufficient. Following are a list of interview questions to help identify these successful traits.
- What experience, if any, do you have working on a virtual team?
- Tell me about your work from home environment. (For example, are you the only person home during the day? Do you have a designated home office?)
- Describe what characteristics you have that make you a good candidate to work remotely?
- What concerns or challenges did you face while working remotely and how did you overcome them?
Identifying Self-Starters and Self-Motivators
- What motivates you to work hard?
- How often do you expect to have a live interaction with your boss in this role?
- Give me an example of a time when you created a business outcome from the start and took it to the finish line?
- How long do you want to be in this remote position, and what are your expectations for where your job will be a year from now?
- When you do great work, how do you like your work to be recognized?
Identifying the Self-Disciplined Worker
- How do you keep yourself on track to meet or exceed your goals? Please provide an example or two.
- How do you track projects to ensure they are not only completed, but completed on time?
- How comfortable are you with troubleshooting connectivity or technology issues? Can you give me an example of resolving such an issue on your own?
- Tell me about the single greatest mistake you have made in your job in the last few years.
- If you were hiring someone for this remote job, what would you look for?
Identifying the Self-Sufficient Worker
- Give me an example of when you needed additional resources to complete a task, and how you went about obtaining those resources.
- What expectations do you have as it relates to your use of technology for succeeding as a remote worker? What technology do you see as absolutely essential in this role?
- What are your preferred communication mediums when working remotely?
- Do you have experience using video conferencing such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts?
- What has caused you to feel stressed at work in the past and what have you done to handle it?
- Give me an example of a time when you successfully worked on your own under pressure.
The Art of Interviewing
Of course, you won’t ask all of these questions, and some questions may align better with your interviewing style and corporate culture than others. Find the ones that work well for you, and be sure to ask all candidates the same questions when possible so that you have a good comparison as to how they responded.
Interviewing is an art, and your interviewing technique needs to be continuously refined and changed based on many different factors – the level of the position, the type of role, and in today’s changing business environment, whether it is a remote or in-office based position.
HR News Library, 10/21/2020. “Best Interview Questions for Virtual Jobs”, by Kevin Sheridan.
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