Remote Hiring 101: Asking About Previous Experience

Remote Hiring 101: Asking About Previous Experience

5 minute read

Remote work is not just a trend – it’s here to stay – so it’s time to develop your remote hiring skills and get the best workers available. There are numerous advantages of having a remote team - workers are more productive, teams are diverse, and you get a wider talent pool to choose from. But despite many benefits to having a remote team, remote hiring is not always easy.

Hiring employees without meeting them in person means you need to make an extra effort to get to know them before deciding who joins your team.

Also, it’s important to hire the right person the first time, since replacing a worker takes a lot of time and money. In fact, high turnover leads to a drop in morale among your team (not to mention that it can also cost you around 40% of a junior employee’s salary!)

Here at JobRack, we offer thousands of high-quality candidates – but even with all the help we give you, it’s ultimately up to you to choose your new employee.

That’s why we’ve created this list of the best questions you can ask during an interview & find out the most about the previous remote experience of your candidates. 

Have you ever had any experience working remotely?

Although remote teams are generally more productive, there are a few tricky things to consider. If a person is easily distracted, cannot organize their time well, or gets lonely without physically being around their co-workers, working remotely is probably not the best idea for them.

That’s why it’s important to find out if your candidate has had any previous experience. If not – don’t worry, that’s not a dealbreaker. It just means you need to really make sure they’ll be comfortable working as a part of a remote team. These are the things you need to think about:

  • Will they be comfortable collaborating with their co-workers even if they’re working from different time zones?
  • Do they have a home office where they can focus without distractions?
  • Do they organize their time well in everyday life?

If your candidate is well-prepared to handle these challenges, they’re a good fit for a remote position.

Tell me about an issue you had when communicating with your co-worker?

Asking questions about difficulties in previous experiences is a great way of assessing candidates’ skills. You’ll learn how they deal with problems and whether they have what it takes to communicate with the rest of the remote team.

Don’t get us wrong – conflicts are inevitable, and sometimes even useful for facilitating creativity among the team.

But when hiring remotely, it’s important to find people who can communicate well. They need to be looking to problem-solve, not focus on shifting the blame onto someone else.

Asking them about previous difficulties with their co-workers can help you determine if they can compromise and how well they’ll do with your team.  

What is one issue you’ve had to overcome to improve yourself professionally?

A quality worker is willing to admit when they are wrong, learn from the experience, and grow professionally. With this question, you’ll be able to see how self-aware your candidates are regarding their qualities and weaknesses.

In our experience, attitude is more important than tons of experience and a perfectly written CV, so don’t shy away from really getting to know where your candidates come from – and where they plan to go.

Do you have experience using tools for remote work?

With a team scattered around the world in different time zones, remote work relies heavily on communication.

Check if your candidates have ever used messaging apps like Slack or project management tools like Asana, and whether they’re tech-savvy enough to learn to use all the tools they need for the position you’re offering.

If they don’t have experience, don’t worry. The most important thing is that they’re interested and willing to figure it out!

What kind of work environment do you enjoy?

Every remote team functions differently – and the way you run your company may not be for everyone.

For example, do you offer flexible hours?

Do you constantly direct your workers? Or do you prefer them to self-manage and come up with solutions on their own?

Do you enjoy throwing virtual parties every once in a while?

If your candidate prefers a different atmosphere to what you’re offering, you’re going to have issues with them regardless of their skills.

When hiring someone new, always consider your company culture. You need to look for someone with hard skills, but also someone who will communicate well and fit in with the rest of the team.

These were our top 5 interview questions for hiring remotely – you can test them out right now and find your new employee right here at JobRack! We highly recommend highly-skilled Eastern European remote workers. Click here to find out more.


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