Remote hiring comes with additional challenges. On top of finding a candidate that has the skills and experience needed for the position, hiring managers also need to make sure that he or she has the necessary qualities and soft skills to be a successful remote employee.
Candidates who have a hard time organizing their workload independently and struggle with being productive outside of the office will probably end up performing badly when working remotely, which will cost the business a lot of money and resources. But what questions to ask in a remote interview to find out if a candidate is ready to face the challenges of remote work?
As with any job interview, it’s important to look for an applicant that fits the job description in terms of work experience, education and skills and comes with a proven track record in previous positions.
However, when it comes to soft skills, remote employees must prove that they are able to work independently and reliably while maintaining close communication with their team members. This is even more important in a remote position than in an office environment, since the employees have to organize their work day independently and ensure they are meeting deadlines and requirements predominantly on their own.
Additionally, remote work relies heavily on communication, so finding a candidate that is able to communicate actively and continuously while maintaining a balance between oversharing and undersharing can make a big difference within a remote team.
Also read in the Lano Employment Academy: How to set up a remote hiring policy?
So, how can hiring managers actually determine if a candidate is ready for a remote position? The key to testing a candidate’s remote-readiness is asking the right questions. The following questions shouldn’t be missing in a remote interview process.
Ideally, the applicant has had a remote job before and therefore has some experience with the unique proposition of remote work. But that doesn’t mean that candidates without prior remote-work experience should be ruled out right from the beginning. When interviewing first-time remote workers, it’s important to understand their expectations and their motivation to work remotely.
Time and task management are obviously two very essential factors in remote work. The ideal candidate has not only proven in previous positions that they can manage their workload independently, but should also be able to communicate how they did it and thereby show they are actively thinking about how to make the best out of a remote position.
Asking a candidate what they think is necessary to succeed in the offered position is a good way to get insights into an applicant's way of thinking. It is unlikely they will name any traits they don’t have, as that would minimize their chances of getting the job. This way organizations can double check if the candidate’s ideal character traits are in sync with what they envision their new employee to be like.
It is always good to get an understanding of how a potential new employee handles stress and goes about dealing with challenging situations, especially in a remote set-up. Transparency and communication are key to maintaining a healthy company culture and candidates need to show they are able to solve challenges and focus on the solution.
Communication is one of the most crucial aspects for remote teams. Knowing when and how to communicate is key for remote employees, and finding a balance for the right amount of social versus business-related communication can make or break a remote work culture.
Self-motivation is another highly important aspect of remote work, as other team members are not around to serve as motivators—and distractions are lurking everywhere when working from home. That’s why the ideal candidate should have some sort of tactic to stay focused or at least be aware of these challenges and seek support in overcoming them.
Overly eager remote employees who don't know how to switch off are very likely to burn out and become unhappy with their job. When hiring for a remote position, recruiters should therefore already check for the candidate’s ability to switch off and draw the line between work and private life.
Also, showing interest in the candidate’s well-being and encouraging them to take time off can have a positive effect on the business’s reputation as an employer and is a testament to a healthy company culture.
The Lano Academy is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Lano Software GmbH disclaims any liability for any actions you take or refrain from taking based on the content contained in this article.
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