Hiring Remote Workers: Conducting Interviews and Assessments

Remote working is gaining recognition as businesses realise its numerous advantages, such as improved productivity among remote workers. This allows employers to choose the best candidates while fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace environment. Additionally, research indicates that remote employees generally have higher job satisfaction, better physical and mental well-being, and a stronger sense of loyalty. The financial benefits of remote work are also considerable.

Establishing a remote team can be a challenge for many managers, especially when it comes to conducting interviews and assessing skills of potential hires remotely. If you find yourself struggling in this area, Works can provide assistance – simply reach out and let us know what you require. We are also happy to share our knowledge and expertise in this area, gained through experience. For instance, we have written an article about our approach to hiring only the best candidates.

We have developed a ‘Remote Guru Training Course’ that covers all the complex information we have gathered, which we are confident could be an invaluable resource for you. However, it is worth noting that with the right management skills, you can still put these strategies into practice. The difficulty lies in figuring out the specifics with a team member who is located in a different part of the world. To this end, we have some suggestions that you may find helpful:

Organize Your Technological Tools

When considering potential candidates for a remote position, their resumes will likely be your first point of contact. If any particular candidate stands out to you, arranging a telephone conversation may be the next step. To do this, it’s important to have their time zone information so you can avoid scheduling a call at an inconvenient time for them. Luckily, there are many resources available to help identify and interpret time zone information accurately.

In this digital era, programmes like Skype offer a convenient alternative to traditional forms of communication, such as phone calls. These services provide a viable option for establishing contact, along with the added benefit of video conferencing. However, for initial conversations, a phone call may be more appropriate as it creates a more relaxed environment.

If you are unable to convince a potential hire to attend an in-person interview, a video call may be the only option. Recruiters have several specialised plans to choose from, and it’s best to use the same platform that will be used for communication with your remote team. Observing how the candidate handles themselves in this situation could provide valuable insight into their character (and may even help you save on interview costs).

Avoid Focusing on the Obvious

Video interviews are no longer just used by remote staffing agencies – they have become a common and accepted means for employers to conduct job interviews, even for roles that require in-office presence. Consequently, there are many resources available to help job seekers prepare for and succeed in video interviews, regardless of the role or location. This ensures that candidates are well-prepared to make a positive impression and present themselves effectively during the interview.

Prospective candidates who have prepared for a Skype interview by researching and practicing will likely have searched for resources on how to ace a Skype interview, such as ‘How to Ace a Skype Interview‘. It’s important to provide a professional, clear head and shoulders image for the interview. However, while a Skype interview may allow for undivided attention to be given to the candidate, it does not provide the same level of insight as an in-person 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.

To gain insight into how a remote worker is managing, one potential solution is to contact them by phone at their usual place of work. Additionally, you could request a video tour to observe their remote work setup. This can provide valuable information, such as the worker’s level of organisation and the opportunity to ask them questions about their workday in a natural way.

When considering potential candidates, finding someone who is a good fit for your company culture, especially for remote work, is more important than almost any other factor. Asking questions that assess their conflict management skills, time management strategies, and problem-solving ability can be highly effective in gaining useful insight into a candidate.


It is becoming increasingly common for job contracts to include a probationary or trial period. Typically, these contracts include a 90-day clause that allows both parties to terminate without consequences if either party realizes they made an error in their decision. However, it can be challenging to ensure that remote workers have been given the necessary resources and opportunities to excel in their role.

The success of remote working largely depends on the effectiveness of your onboarding process. Clear communication is crucial during this period, and providing your new remote employee with concise guidelines for remote work and informing them of who to contact with questions can greatly increase their chances of success.

When assigning tasks to new hires for their first assignment, it’s crucial to choose carefully. Although it may be tempting to challenge them with a difficult task to assess their capabilities, this is not recommended. Starting with simpler tasks and gradually introducing them to the team and more complex concepts over time is more effective. This approach allows new hires to adjust to the new environment more smoothly.

Regular readers of our blog know that we stress the value of effective communication in distributed teams. To ensure that your new employee knows how to contact you for assistance, check in with them regularly. If you want them to grasp their role in the project’s bigger picture, include them in your daily stand-up meetings from the outset.

Being accountable for mistakes is crucial. In remote teams, a diverse mix of personalities is especially vital for success. Individuals who have difficulty expressing their ideas and opinions without becoming defensive or insulting others may not be well-suited to remote work.

Alternative Option

Do you face difficulties in finding skilled remote employees? If yes, we are here to assist you. Our team is committed to identifying the world’s most talented and ambitious developers, and we are confident that whoever we refer to you will be an outstanding asset and an experienced remote worker.

We encourage you to contact us without hesitation. It would be our pleasure to leverage our expertise to support you in any way we can. If you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, please feel free to contact me.

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