10 Job Interview Questions for Hiring Remote Employees

10 Job Interview Questions for Hiring Remote Employees Publié le 22 January 2021 Par

HR managers and recruiters should always ask 10 job interview questions for hiring remote employees as they search for the correct fit for the virtual workspace.

Remote working is now more common in all types of businesses and industries, with nearly 40% of Canadian employees working remotely at some point in the past year. A number of companies have now moved into a state of semi-permanent remote work, and are looking to hire qualified remote workers. Remote work has both benefits and unique challenges, which HR managers and recruiters should always discuss with potential employees. Here are 10 job interview questions for hiring remote employees that will help HR managers know If they are the correct fit for the virtual office.

10 Job Interview Questions for Hiring Remote Employees:

  • Why do you want to work remotely?
  • Have you previously worked remotely?
  • What do you think is the main advantage of working remotely?
  • How would you describe a good work-life balance?
  • What are the qualities that make you a good remote worker?
  • What challenges do you foresee with working remotely and how will you solve them?
  • What tools do you find useful for working remotely?
  • What is your preferred schedule for working remotely?
  • Have you ever worked with international colleagues in multiple time zones?
  • If faced with a problem when working remotely alone, how will you approach it?

Why do you want to work remotely?

The first of the job interviews questions for hiring remote employees is simply establishing why they want to work remotely. There are different reasons that people can be interest in this type of work. It can help provide them with increased flexibility, provide opportunities that take advantage of their skillset without being limited to their living location, and allow them to potentially collaborate with people from around the world. Given the rapid increase in the amount of remote work job roles after 2020, it is equally as possible that there are more of these type of jobs available. Establishing their basic thoughts on remote work will help HR managers see how they will view the job role.

Have you previously worked remotely?

A basic question, but an important one nonetheless for hiring remote employees. Establishing previous experience is necessary when interviewing candidates for any job role. If they do not have any previous experience with remote work, this is not necessarily a reason to disqualify them. Large-scale remote work is still a new way of working for many people, and those with a growth mindset will be able to adapt to the virtual work environment.

What do you think is the main advantage of working remotely?

This question will help HR managers understand how a job candidate views the prospect of remote work. Hopefully they will see it as an opportunity to rethink some of the basic conventions of work, embrace technology and leave certain bad habits behind in the traditional physical office. At the very least, it will indicate if they have a generally positive view of remote work.

How would you describe a good work-life balance?

The ability to maintain a proper work-life balance is very important to job seekers even prior to the pandemic and has been used as effective means of recruitment. One of the cited benefits to remote work is that it makes it easier to maintain a good work-life balance because of reduced travel time, the ability to fulfil important family obligations and other factors. By asking a job candidate what a proper work-life balance looks like to them, it will provide an opportunity for HR managers to present how their company’s policies will make them possible.

What are the qualities that make you a good remote worker?

Despite attempts to remake the virtual office to function exactly like the traditional one, the truth is that remote work is different and places emphases on different skills and abilities. For example, the ability to keep oneself focused and self-motivated is vital to success as a remote worker. This will show if a candidate has really thought about the best way to adapt their own skillset for the remote work environment.

What challenges do you foresee with working remotely and how will you solve them?

Remote work sounds fairly simple: just wake up, make a cup of coffee and turn on your laptop. The truth, however, is that it does present unique challenges. HR managers can use this question to acknowledge that everything about the remote work process will not run smoothly all the time, and to encourage job candidates to prepare for problems. Problem solving is one of the most sought-after abilities in prospective employees. This gives job candidates that opportunity to present realistic expectations and shows that they have taken the time to think through possible issues, and use their problem-solving abilities to find solutions.

What tools do you find useful for working remotely?

As many businesses quickly transitioned to remote work in the spring of 2020, there was a bit of a scramble to find tools that allowed for effective collaboration and communication. Video calling programs like Zoom and Google Meet exploded in popularity, and even gave rise the dreaded “Zoom Fatigue” phenomenon. Like all workplace software programs, there is a learning curve when onboarding that HR managers and new employees should be prepared for. By establishing if a job candidate has experience with various tools and programs used in the virtual office, it means that the training process will be simpler. Even if a candidate is familiar with a different program, say Trello vs Jira, the fact that they are familiar and experienced with the basic concepts is an asset.

What is your preferred schedule for working remotely?

One of the benefits of remote work is that is allows for flexible scheduling. While in a traditional office, employees are expected to clock in and clock out at the same times, this should not be adopted as a blanket policy for the virtual office. The truth is that some people prefer to start work earlier or later, and this does not necessarily have a negative impact on their job performance. Forcing people to adopt to a standardized time could actually hinder their performance. If an HR manager is hiring for a job role related to customer service, it can actually be beneficial to hiring people who prefer to work at different times, as this greatly expands the time period that a company can offer service to its clients.

Have you ever worked with international colleagues in multiple time zones?

An additional benefit to remote work positions is the ability to hire qualified candidates without any limits of geography. Instead of recruiting in one city, HR managers can expand their recruiting efforts to literally the entire world. International recruitment brings with it the possibility of new ideas and fresh approaches, but it also makes for some practical challenges. Having employees working in different times zones means that it may be more difficult for quick collaboration and problem solving. By asking job candidates if they have experience working with international colleagues, it will show if they have already developed the patience and understanding needed when collaborating across multiple time zones.

If faced with a problem when working remotely alone, how will you approach it?

There will be unexpected issues and problems that arise out of nowhere when working remotely, just as there would if everyone was working in the same office or workspace. One of the challenges with remote work is that it means that one colleague cannot simply walk over to anther work station and seek immediate assistance. Even with the strong commitment to communication and collaboration that is vital to virtual workspaces, there will be times when a remote employee has to tackle a problem on their own. By making this one of the job interview questions for hiring remote employees, it reveals their approach to problem-solving and adversity. Remote employees must be trusted to solve problems on their own and having the right mindset will play an integral role in this ability.

Remote work presents new opportunities and challenges for employees and employers alike. When searching for the right candidates, HR managers should be sure to ask 10 job interview questions for hiring remote employee. It is important to hire people who understand that remote work has certain requirements that are different from the traditional office, and who are willing to adapt and change their way of working in order to achieve their goals.