Questions to Ask to Remote Workers During an Interview

Questions to Ask to Remote Workers During an Interview

Quick Summary:  Many businesses that moved to a remote workforce model due to COVID-19 have opted to make that switch permanent. As a result, human resources staff and managers in charge of hiring need to adapt their recruiting practices to find candidates with the ability to thrive in a virtual work setting.

Conversations with job applicants are an ideal way to evaluate prospective remote employees and gauge their capacity to prosper outside of a standard on-site office. The subsequent interview inquiries will yield crucial information about how an employee is likely to function as part of your remote employees.

  • How long have you been working remotely?

Having relevant experience under one’s belt is crucial when recruiting new talent, especially for remote positions. Applicants who have a proven track record of being productive and dependable while operating from a home-based workspace comprehend the requirements for thriving and maintaining high job satisfaction in a virtual work setting. To gain insight into a candidate’s remote work expertise, begin by inquiring about the length of time they have been telecommuting. Then, move on to more targeted questions that allow them to expound on their experiences in greater depth. The ideal job seeker for a remote opening will have a demonstrated history of achieving results and meeting expectations with minimal direct supervision.

  • Do you have a proven track record of success with remote work?

It’s important to determine if the person you’re interviewing has achieved results while working remotely at the beginning of your conversation. This establishes the right context for the rest of the discussion. Someone with a lot of experience working remotely will have the personal qualities and practical skills to be successful as part of a distributed team. Once they respond, you’ll know if they’re speaking from experience or guessing about what remote work might involve.  

This question is useful for freelancers and potential full-time employees alike. Most interviewees with a proven track record of success working remotely will have done so for several years and will express enthusiasm for remote work. Experienced remote workers who function well in a distributed team have thrived in a virtual office, are likely to have been promoted, have increased their compensation over time, and have a portfolio of strong results. Ask candidates why they think they’ll thrive doing remote work at your company and in the role they’re applying for. Then segue into additional questions like those below.

  • What will you find challenging about this remote work arrangement? 

This interview question allows candidates to show that they have the self-awareness and foresight to foresee any issues that might come up.

More importantly, this question also reveals their level of interest in the role. If they’re considering this remote position, they’ve likely already wondered about any potential roadblocks. It’s also a key way to measure their humility. In their response, the interviewee can admit where they may struggle, which is an important skill for successful professionals to have.

Thoughtful and specific answers to this question demonstrate that the interviewee is being honest, insightful, and seriously evaluating the opportunity. In addition to identifying challenges, ask follow-up questions that invite them to present solutions they’ve developed to address and overcome previous challenges.

  • What techniques will you use to stay motivated and focused while working remotely?

While companies can implement meaningful measures to assist their remote workers, remote employees themselves must craft their strategies to stay productive and engaged on the job. A major benefit of remote work is that employees have the freedom to work in ways tailored to their personal needs and preferences. This question enables you to evaluate if a worker has developed techniques to support their success (a sign of professional maturity) and if those methods will align with your team’s ways of operating (a key practical consideration). For instance, remote employees may feel most productive working through the night and sleeping until noon, but that schedule may not fit with your practice of having team meetings each morning. Promising candidates will have devised a set of personal techniques that assist them in remaining productive and engaged, like taking scheduled breaks, keeping fixed hours, creating optimal playlists, or regularly reviewing key performance indicators. Remember, the goal is to find a good match rather than judge their habits. Additional questions will help you determine if their remote work habits align with your team’s approach.

  • What remote communication and project management software and tools are you familiar with? 

Employees who work from home as part of a team or engage with clients regularly should be adept at utilizing communication, productivity, and collaboration software and be open to learning new technologies. Mastering these skills is essential for remote workers to thrive. 

Remote workers typically have experience with various software programs and technologies. Rather than only asking about which tools they’ve used, also ask questions that uncover how deeply they know these tools and can rate their technical abilities. This will provide more insight into their expertise.

  • What is the key to managing your time and schedule? 

Working remotely offers workers more freedom, self-direction, and adaptability in structuring their workday. This requires remote employees to have finely honed abilities in managing their time, sticking to schedules, and staying organized. Job candidates should be able to point to a history of effectively prioritizing tasks and successfully budgeting their time. This proves they can focus on the most important parts of a role and complete work by deadlines.

  • Why do you want to work for this company?

Understandably, this is a typical question asked by recruiters when initially screening a job candidate, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid asking it. You want to hire someone who is genuinely enthusiastic about your company’s offerings, objectives, and culture and would integrate well.  

At the same time, evaluate how integral the ability to work remotely is in fueling the candidate’s desire for the role. If it’s their primary motivator, it could be a red flag depending on the type and seniority of the position. Similarly, an unwavering insistence on full remote work could signal some inflexibility, depending on your field and whether career growth may necessitate some in-office time. Ask follow-up questions to get a well-rounded perspective.


Evaluating remote job candidates based on certain criteria can help determine their chances of thriving in distributed work environments. Asking targeted questions about a professional’s aptitude for remote collaboration and self-management is key. As work-from-home and hybrid models become more prevalent, managers who can effectively assess these skills will have an advantage in recruiting the best talent. If you’re looking to hire qualified remote employees, put these recommended questions to the test. They can provide insight into a person’s potential for success when working from a distance as part of a dispersed team. If you are looking for the best IT staff augmentation services for your company the Brain Inventory is the best choice for your project/business.

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