Hiring Remote Workers: Conducting Interviews and Assessments

As businesses become more and more aware of the many benefits of remote working, they are taking note of the various articles and blog posts that highlight the increased productivity of remote employees. Not only does this allow employers to source the best candidates, it also promotes an atmosphere of inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Moreover, studies have shown that remote workers tend to have higher job satisfaction, better mental and physical health, and a greater sense of loyalty. The financial benefits of remote working should not be overlooked either.

For many managers, the challenge of establishing a remote team is a difficult one. Working out how to conduct interviews and assess the abilities of prospective new hires remotely can be a particularly tricky task. If you require assistance in this area, Works would be more than happy to help you – simply get in touch and let us know what you need. Additionally, we would also be delighted to share the knowledge and expertise we have acquired in this field.

At this stage, we are confident that we could provide you with a comprehensive ‘Remote Guru Training Course’ that would cover all the more complex information that we have acquired. However, it is important to note that if you possess the necessary management skills, you will have the capabilities to implement these strategies. The challenge lies in working out the specifics with someone who is located on the other side of the world. Therefore, we have a few suggestions for you to consider:

Sort Your Technology

As your first point of contact with potential candidates, you will be provided with their resumes to review. If anything catches your eye, then you may wish to arrange a telephone conversation with them. In order to do this, you will need to ensure you have their time zone details to avoid any potential issues with calling them at an inconvenient time. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available which can help you to identify and correctly interpret the time zone information.

In the current digital age, the use of programmes such as Skype offer a convenient alternative to traditional methods of communication, such as making a phone call. Not only are these services a viable option for making contact with someone, but they also provide the added benefit of allowing for video conferencing. However, for initial conversations, a telephone call may be a more suitable option as it creates a more informal atmosphere.

If you are finding it difficult to persuade the applicant to come to your premises for the interview, arranging a video call may be your only course of action. Recruiters can select from a number of specialised plans. It is advisable to use the same platform that will be used for keeping in contact with your remote staff. Observing how the prospective employee deals with the situation could be an insightful insight into their character (and may help you to save money).

Try Not to Notice the Obvious

Video interviews are no longer limited to being used exclusively by remote staffing agencies. They have become a popular and accepted medium for employers to use, even for roles that require a presence in the office. As such, there are many resources available to help job seekers prepare for and excel in their video interviews. This ensures that no matter the role, or the location, job seekers are well-equipped to make a good impression and present themselves in the best possible light.

A potential candidate who has taken the time to research and practice will have familiarised themselves with the process of a Skype interview by searching online for ‘How to ace a Skype Interview‘. A professional, clear head and shoulders image of the candidate should be provided. Although a Skype interview allows for the full attention to be given to the applicant, it does not offer the same level of insight as an on-site interview, as the candidate has complete control over what is seen and experienced. An on-site interview, on the other hand, allows the interviewer to observe the candidate in their natural environment.

One potential solution to gain insight into how a remote worker is managing is to contact them via telephone at their usual place of work. Additionally, you could request a video tour to observe the setup of their remote office. Doing so can be beneficial in acquiring useful information, such as the level of organisation of the worker and the opportunity to ask them questions about their day which arise naturally.

It is more important to find someone who is a good fit for your company’s culture (particularly for remote working) than almost any other factor. Asking questions which are intended to discern how they manage conflict, plan their time, and react to obstacles can be extremely helpful in gaining an insight into a potential candidate.


It is now commonplace for job contracts to include a probationary or trial period. Generally, these contracts contain a 90-day provision that allows both parties to terminate the agreement without repercussions, should either come to realise that they have made an error in their decision. However, it can be difficult to ensure that remote workers have been given the appropriate resources and opportunities to succeed in their role.

To what extent your onboarding procedure determines the success of remote working is highly dependent on it. Effective communication is essential during this period; providing your new employee with concise remote working rules and informing them of who to contact with any queries will give them the best chance of success.

It is important to consider carefully what tasks should be assigned to new hires for their first assignment. Whilst it may be tempting to assess their capabilities by giving them a difficult task and seeing how they cope, this is not recommended. It is better to start with simpler tasks and gradually introduce them to the team and the bigger concepts as time allows. This will enable them to adjust to the new environment more easily.

It is clear to those who regularly read our blog that we emphasise the importance of effective communication within distributed teams. To ensure your new employee is aware of how they can contact you should they require any help, be sure to check in with them. If you want them to understand their place in the bigger picture of the project, you should ensure they are included in your daily stand-up meetings from the beginning.

It is important to be open to accepting responsibility if mistakes are made. A good mix of personalities is essential for effective remote teams, perhaps even more so than any other type of team. Individuals who struggle to express their ideas and opinions without becoming defensive or insulting others may not be well suited to working remotely.

Possible Substitute

Are you struggling to source qualified remote employees? If so, we would be delighted to help. Our team is dedicated to finding the world’s most talented and ambitious developers, and we are confident that whoever we send your way will be a remarkable asset and an experienced remote worker.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would be delighted to make use of our expertise to assist you in any way we can. If you would like to discuss this further, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

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