Methods for Communicating with Distant Workers

The first time you went to a job interview was likely an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. From putting on your best outfit to practising your handshake in front of the mirror, you were taking all the necessary steps to ensure that the meeting went as smoothly as possible. However, with the onset of the global pandemic, the interview process has been completely transformed. Rather than a handshake, the first thing you hear in a Zoom interview is the interviewer asking if they can be heard. This new, unfamiliar setting has meant that both the interviewer and the interviewee have had to adjust to the new circumstances. As a result, HR departments and company heads have had to start from the beginning, finding new ways to conduct interviews with applicants who are located remotely.

With the emergence of individualism and the increasing prevalence of hybrid and remote working, remote interviews have become an important tool for companies when scouting out top candidates from all over the world. Before the global pandemic, remote interviews were often used as an effective way of screening applicants, but now they are often the only option available. By conducting interviews with potential employees over the phone or via video chat, businesses can easily assess a candidate’s skills and capabilities without needing to meet them in person.

When recruiting a remote worker, it is important to look beyond the job description and focus on the individual. You should be searching for more than a competent specialist; you need someone who is self-motivated, capable of working independently and able to make a positive contribution to the team even when not physically present in the office.

Despite the obvious advantages of recruiting remotely, it can be difficult to identify the most suitable candidates for a position. To ensure that the right person is recruited, it is important to have a clear idea of the qualities and qualifications that are being sought. Moreover, it is essential to have an effective interviewing process that can be conducted remotely. To that end, the use of cutting-edge remote interview techniques can be hugely beneficial. To discover more about the best ways to carry out remote interviews, read on.

A Checklist for Online Interviews with Distant Candidates

  1. Familiarize Yourself with The Culture of Your Organization
  2. Evaluate the Way You Currently Conduct Interviews
  3. Video Interviews Should Never Be Missed
  4. Equip Yourself Appropriately
  5. Incite Excitement by Disseminating Interview Information
  6. Know the Protocol for a Phone Interview
  7. Get Your Evaluation Strategy Ready
  8. Pay Attention!
  9. Discuss the Company’s Values and Philosophy
  10. Include Additional Team Members in the Virtual Meeting
  11. Take Your Time Deciding.
  12. Have a Backup Plan

1. Familiarize Yourself with The Culture of Your Organization

In order to ensure that your remote workers are able to work to their fullest potential, it is essential to have clear expectations established prior to the interview process. Where can I find the company’s guidelines regarding working remotely? Additionally, when should results be evaluated and what communication channels do you expect your personnel to use, and when?

Having a clear understanding of the type of remote manager you wish to be will make it easier to ascertain whether the person you are interacting with is a suitable fit for your team.

2. Evaluate the Way You Currently Conduct Interviews

In-person interviews are quite distinct from virtual interviews due to the fact that the interviewer and interviewee are not in the same physical location. This can cause a sense of disconnect between the two parties, and it is often difficult to recreate the atmosphere of an in-person interview in a virtual setting. It is not possible to replicate the experience of an in-person interview through a virtual medium and, as such, attempts to do so are likely to be unsuccessful.

It is important to first assess and streamline your current recruitment procedure before considering any remote job prospects. How can you improve your application process? We would be grateful for any feedback or ideas you have that could make the recruitment process easier and more efficient for the applicant.

Many organisations fail to give due consideration to the hiring process, instead simply conducting interviews with potential candidates until they find someone who they feel would be able to do the job. However, it is important to remember that this is much more than a social event; you are making a decision which could have a considerable impact on the future of your business. If you do not take the time to properly consider each applicant, you could find yourself having wasted valuable time, money and effort.

3. Video Interviews Should Never Be Missed

Are you uncertain about how to proceed with a virtual interview? Would you prefer to conduct the interview over the phone, or would you prefer to use video conferencing technology instead?

In certain circumstances, a phone interview with a candidate can be a more efficient use of time; however, this does not necessarily make it the most effective approach. When conducting an interview over the phone, there is a greater distance between interviewer and interviewee, meaning that the interviewer is unable to interpret the body language of the individual being interviewed as effectively as in a face-to-face meeting. Alternatively, a video conference allows the interviewer to really see the face of the person they are speaking to, facilitating a more personal connection. This can help the interviewer to become more familiar with the individual and potentially even welcome them into their team.

According to Software Advice, a staggering 60% of Human Resources (HR) managers and recruiters have expressed a preference for conducting video interviews remotely. Furthermore, Jobvite have reported that 80% of recruiters have been taking advantage of video technology for distant interviews during the pandemic.

4. Equip Yourself Appropriately

Have you ever experienced difficulty comprehending the other person during a video conference? Their microphone made it sound as though they were on a commercial flight with Darth Vader as the pilot.

Before undertaking the process of recruiting remote team members, it is essential that you have the necessary resources available to you. Failing to do so can not only lead to frustration, but can also cause you to become disengaged with what the prospective employee is saying. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you are well-equipped to handle the task at hand.

These are the fundamentals:

  • Superb microphones
  • In-ear monitors of high quality (noise-canceling are the best ones)
  • In other words, a decent camera

In addition to making sure you have a stable internet connection, which is essential for any successful remote working, it is important to select the right programme or platform for your virtual interview. It is a common misconception to assume that all applications are the same, but it is important to be aware that some are much better suited for facilitating remote communication due to the range of features they offer. It is important to be mindful of the fact that some alternatives may be too simplistic or may not have a good quality camera, both of which could impact the effectiveness of the interview.

Here are a few of the best programmes for making video calls:

5. Incite Excitement by Disseminating Interview Information

Once you have identified a shortlist of potential candidates for the role, it is important to plan your interviews in advance. If you contact a candidate the day before the interview, it is unlikely that they will be able to commit. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the applicant is adequately informed about the process of the interview and the technology they will need to use. Even though you may be an experienced interviewer, the applicant may not be familiar with the tools they will need to download and use during the interview.

The success of candidates is closely linked to the amount of information provided to them. It is beneficial to provide them with all the necessary information prior to the interview, in order to ensure they are aware of what is expected of them. Before any interview takes place, it is important to ensure the applicant has been given the following information:


In cases where a potential applicant is situated within the same nation as yourself, this is not a problem; in other words, you simply need to allocate time in your schedule, contact them to ascertain if they are available, and then proceed. However, if the applicant is located in a different time zone, such as a different country, you may need to consider conducting the interview at an unusual time, such as the afternoon.


We would like to confirm the details of the interview. Will the interview take place over video chat, phone call, or instant messenger? If it is a video chat, then which platform will you be using (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Meet)? We advise that candidates should be prepared for any form of communication as remote interviews can take place on numerous applications and platforms.


It’s always beneficial for applicants to know who is making the interview. Whether it’s the human resources department or the CEO himself.

6. Know the Protocol for a Phone Interview

As an individual representing your organisation during the interviewing process, it is important to maintain a professional attitude even when the interview is taking place remotely. Whilst it is understandable that you may feel more comfortable in your own home environment, it is essential that you adhere to the same standards of professionalism as you would in an office setting.

It is essential to bear in mind that some candidates might be apprehensive about appearing on camera. It is important to create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for applicants, so that they can give candid responses to the questions, rather than feeling intimidated by the process.

When selecting a location for a remote interview, it is important to take the environment into consideration. A peaceful and quiet setting can have a significant impact on the outcome of the conversation. If you have children, try to find a spot away from their playroom. Alternatively, you may want to consider visiting a tranquil coffee shop with a dependable internet connection.

The following are some extra considerations to keep in mind while conducting interviews for members of a distributed team:

  • As soon as the interview starts, turn off all of your phones (or at least silence them)
  • Wear business attire.
  • The candidate’s attention may wander if your backdrop isn’t plain.
  • Find somewhere well-lit so the potential employer can see your face well.
  • It is strongly recommended to check your internet connection and equipment prior to the interview, so that you can be certain that they are both operating correctly and will not cause any interruption during the interview.

7. Get Your Evaluation Strategy Ready

Attending a face-to-face meeting with a potential candidate can give the interviewer an instantaneous impression of the individual. Over the course of the interview, the interviewer will either seek to confirm or alter this initial judgement. Out of all the qualities that could influence the interviewer’s opinion, it is most likely that the candidate’s level of likeability will be the most influential. This initial impression is formed by the candidate’s outward appearance and the initial conversations they have with the interviewer on the way to the meeting.

The applicant has far greater control over how they appear during a video interview than in a face-to-face interview. If they have followed the advice available in the many available guides on how to succeed in a Zoom interview, the interviewer will only be able to see their head and shoulders against a blank backdrop.

It is beneficial to ask a range of inquiries when assessing an applicant, as it is important to ascertain if the individual is an appropriate cultural fit for the company. This is not only to ensure that they are capable of succeeding in a remote capacity, but also to ensure that they are compatible with the organisation’s ethos and values.

As the practice of remote working becomes more commonplace, it has become important for employers to assess the habits of potential interviewees when it comes to prioritising tasks and managing their time. In interviews for telecommuting positions, it is common to ask questions such as, “What do you do to organise your day?” and “Can you describe a typical day in which you work from home?”, as well as “Can you describe your actual workspace?”. When recruiting for a remote position, it is essential to consider which questions will best help to assess the talents and characteristics of the applicant. By thinking carefully about how these queries can be reframed, employers can gain a better understanding of their potential employee.

8. Pay Attention!

It is important to remember that remote interviews should not be one-sided, with only one party speaking. Instead, they should be a two-way conversation, with both the interviewer and the interviewee having the chance to ask and answer questions. This enables both parties to gain a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the firm and the job opportunity being discussed. Giving both parties the opportunity to ask and answer questions is the best way to ensure that the interview is a successful, productive dialogue.

Attending a video conference requires greater concentration than being physically present in the same room due to the additional amount of mental energy that needs to be expended in order to interpret non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, vocal intonation and body language. This has been confirmed by various specialists in the field.

After spending an hour in a video conference, it is only natural to start thinking about supper. However, if you have a focused mindset, a clear goal, and an environment free of distractions, you can push these distractions to the back of your mind. When you are unable to physically touch or see the applicant, it is important to pay attention to their behaviour and the emotions they portray. Listen carefully to their conversation, noting their manner of speech. In most cases, it is best to simply listen and not attempt to take control of the call. Encourage the applicant to ask questions and to provide detailed answers.

9. Discuss the Company’s Values and Philosophy

At interviews, it is not only the candidate who is given the privilege of potentially joining your firm – it is also an opportunity for you to find someone with the talent and abilities that could be a beneficial addition to your team. This is a chance for you to work alongside someone who could be an asset to your organisation.

Candidates who demonstrate their enthusiasm for the organisation and its values and culture are well-suited to the role. However, in order to ensure that applicants are a good fit for the position, it is essential that the company communicates its core values to potential candidates. Doing so will enable them to make an informed decision about whether the role is a good match for them.

It is essential to showcase the company’s ethos by providing a comprehensive overview of it, rather than simply repeating the mission and vision statements. To do this effectively, it is necessary to demonstrate that all staff members are completely dedicated to achieving these goals by illustrating the core values of the business through anecdotes and citations. This will give a broad and vivid insight into the company’s ethos, allowing potential customers and stakeholders to gain a more in-depth understanding of the firm.

10. Include Additional Team Members in the Virtual Meeting

In order to ensure that you find the most suitable candidate for the role, it is important to consider involving other members of the team during the recruitment process. This will enable you to assess how well the potential employee may fit in with the existing team and whether they are able to make a positive contribution. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your employees about the recruitment procedure and consider having them present during the interview to evaluate the suitability of the candidate.

It is important to take into account the opinions of other team members when making a hiring decision. This will help ensure that the selection is impartial and that all relevant information and perspectives are taken into consideration. For example, some may feel that the applicant falls short in a certain skill, while others may harbour doubts about their integrity. Listening to all perspectives will enable you to make a more informed decision.

11. Take Your Time Deciding.

No matter how urgent the circumstances may be, it is essential that you take your time in making any decisions. Failing to do so could result in a substantial financial loss. For instance, according to CareerBuilder, businesses can incur a cost of approximately £15,000 for each wrong hiring decision. Therefore, it is paramount that you take the necessary time to ensure you make the right choice.

When we suggest that you ‘take time’, it does not necessarily mean a full month. However, it is recommended that you take the time to carefully examine the applicant’s CV, your notes from the interview, and the recommendations from other candidates. Once you have reached a decision, whether you decide to employ the applicant or not, it is essential that you let them know as soon as possible.

12. Have a Backup Plan

The long-awaited interview day had finally arrived. Being in the afternoon, it presented an opportunity to work on other tasks while waiting. Unfortunately, however, the internet connection randomly began to disconnect, and it became apparent that there were regional issues with the internet service provider. Consequently, all that could be done was to wait for the situation to be rectified.

Having a contingency plan is of utmost importance in situations like this. As an alternative, you might consider conducting the interview over the phone, or alternatively, rescheduling the meeting at a later date.

It is reasonable to offer the applicant a further opportunity to attend the interview if they are experiencing technical issues with their connection. If that is not possible, it is advisable to find an inventive way to ensure that the interview process continues.

As a Parting Shot, Remember to Hire People Who Have Really Accomplished Something.

At Works, we invest a lot of time and effort into conducting remote developer searches and preliminary screenings, in order to ensure that we can provide you with the highest quality candidates for your open positions. This helps to ensure that the remote interview process runs as smoothly as possible. By providing you with a pre-screened and vetted resume, you can rest assured that all the hard work has already been done for you.

Go in contact with us if you need help locating remote IT specialists, and we’ll get to work right away.

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