Questions to Ask Any Potential Remote Employee

What can you anticipate from an interview for a remote job?

Before the actual interview, it is advisable to communicate with the candidate through email and chat networks to gauge their communication skills, grammar, writing style and reliability in handling future interactions.

Furthermore, conducting a video conference with the candidate prior to the actual interview can help evaluate their verbal communication skills.

Now, let’s dive into the core of the interview.

It is recommended to opt for video chat for conducting the interview, regardless of the chosen communication format for the new hire. Popular options include Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting or Zoom. Furthermore, recording the video interview can serve as a reference for any queries, making the process more dependable and convenient.

What to Ask in a Telephone Job Interview

While hiring a remote worker, it is vital to take into account several factors. We have classified these factors into three categories – technical experience, personal details, and expectations. We recommend asking pertinent questions to identify the right candidate, with a focus on these three areas.

Proficiency in Technology

It is crucial to evaluate a candidate’s past experience working remotely and the technology used during the interview process for hiring remote workers. Though a candidate may possess the necessary skills, it is essential to ensure they are comfortable and familiar with relevant technologies. Remote work may not be suited for everyone, despite the many benefits associated with it, and hence it must be confirmed during the interview process.

  1. How well equipped are you for remote work?

    It is crucial to ensure that potential remote employees have access to the necessary technology required to carry out their duties. This comprises a computer, secure Internet connection, appropriate software, a designated workspace, and secure storage for confidential data (e.g. patient records for remote workers, subject to HIPAA regulations, must remain confidential).
  2. Time tracking using a computerized system

    Most companies prefer to employ candidates experienced in using time monitoring software to accurately track their working hours. If the candidate has prior knowledge of the software, it would be an added advantage, but if not, they should be willing to learn. If you do not agree on time tracking for remote workers, you should consider alternative software with the same question. It is important to recruit individuals who are skilled in the tools necessary for the organization’s success, or who can learn them rapidly.
  3. What methods will you use to maintain order?

    It is not advisable to hire a candidate who is accustomed to multitasking, even if they appear to be organized. It is essential to verify the potential employee’s proficiency in relevant software programs like Google Calendar, Trello, and other to-do list organizers. To ensure that the remote worker is well-prepared for all possibilities, it is crucial to confirm that they have the necessary skills to meet deadlines and deliver results.
  4. Preferable project management methods

    During the recruitment process, it is advantageous to inquire if the candidate is familiar with project management tools and has used them in the past. This will provide insight into their technical skills, self-sufficiency, and capacity to manage time effectively and deliver results using the relevant tools.


It is recommended to assess a candidate’s ability to work in a fast-paced environment when interviewing them for remote positions. Hiring personnel who can adapt and thrive in the organization’s dynamic work environment is critical to successful remote work.

  1. What are your prior remote work experiences?

    When considering candidates for a remote position, it is crucial to determine their level of expertise. A candidate with prior experience in unconventional work settings will be better equipped to understand the role’s expectations and your desired outcomes as an employer. Successful remote work requires more than just technical proficiency; it necessitates initiative, flexibility, and personal accountability.
  2. How do you prevent distractions from affecting your work?

    While remote work has a lot of benefits, it is crucial for telecommuters to manage potential distractions resulting from working in a home environment. This entails avoiding common distractions like working from a café, library or beach.
  3. How do you process information?

    As a manager, it is vital to be aware of the learning styles preferred by your team members. This includes communication modes, such as spoken, written, visual or audio formats, overall and step-by-step instructions. A comprehensive understanding of what needs to be learned and in what formats is critical, and being able to identify the most effective way to process information is invaluable, as underlined by Hard Refresh.
  4. What motivates you to seek a telecommuting position?

    Understanding why a candidate wants to work remotely is valuable. Inquiring about their interests and preferences, such as traveling, working from home, or working independently, could provide deeper insight into a potential hire. If the candidate states their ability to function efficiently in their own conditions and schedules, it could be a positive sign. However, if their primary motivation is to travel, it might be a cause for concern. Attracting top-notch talent is crucial, and it is imperative to recruit employees who are passionate about the work itself rather than working remotely.
  5. How do you maintain your motivation?

    It’s important to ascertain if the candidate has a plan to stay motivated while working remotely, or compensate for the lack of in-person interactions with colleagues or an office environment.
  6. Ask for an example of an individual accomplishment.

    Inquiring about an accomplishment in the candidate’s personal or professional life can provide a good indication of their capabilities. This could be in the context of home, work, or school life. A qualified candidate should have no trouble providing an instance that demonstrates their abilities.


Remote positions require a unique skill set, which necessitates different interview questions than those for on-site positions. It is crucial to evaluate a candidate’s comprehension of effective communication and other collaborative skills. A useful approach to determine a candidate’s suitability for the job is to observe how they handle hypothetical questions and resolve the issues during the interview.

How do you handle working with colleagues who frequently have conflicting opinions?

During the recruitment process, it is vital to evaluate a candidate’s personality in addition to their technical skills and hard abilities. Soft skills and personal traits should be considered to determine if the candidate fits the company’s culture and team. How a candidate handles disagreements is a significant indication of their compatibility; an individual with a short temper may not be suitable for a team environment, whereas someone with experience in managing such situations can prove a valuable asset.

Do you prefer a highly organized setting or a more flexible, freeform atmosphere to maximize your productivity?

Determine if the candidate requires micromanagement and the frequency of communication necessary for your company’s remote worker.

The term “miscommunication” springs to mind.

Effective communication is essential to remote teams’ success and a crucial factor in evaluating a potential employee’s suitability. Whether they work remotely or in-house, the ability to establish and maintain a productive dialogue is paramount. As noted by Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier, “Effective communication is so critical in a remote work environment that these simple things can help identify who might be the perfect fit.”

Are you seeking a fresh and exciting challenge in 2023? One way to achieve this is by asking remote workers unconventional questions during recruitment. Many companies use unique questions to assess an applicant’s problem-solving ability, creativity, and originality. Some examples of intriguing and quirky interview questions might include:

Suppose you were gifted an elephant and prohibited from selling or giving it away. In that case, what would be your plans for the elephant?

Suppose I were stranded on a deserted island with my basic needs met; in that case, I would choose to bring a means of communication and a source of entertainment.

Do you consider yourself a gatherer or a hunter? (Dell)

Suppose you were a Martian. In that scenario, how would you address your problems? (Amazon)

Interviewing Remote Workers? Utilise These Strategies from Works

When preparing for a remote job interview, it is crucial to understand the interviewer’s expectations. Research has shown that a successful interview frequently results from the interviewer’s meticulous questioning and preparedness.

Works is committed to supporting you in your search for the ideal candidate. We are a Canadian recruitment agency that specialises in remote recruitment for IT professionals. Begin your transition to a remote work environment by contacting us today. We are eager to help.

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