Top 10 Interview Questions For Remote Jobs
Everyone likes a good top 10 list — your favourite movies, your favourite foods, your favourite places — but not everyone enjoys an interview…
Whether you’re an interviewer or an interviewee, interviews can trigger anxiety when you go in unprepared. You never know precisely what to expect from the person on the other side of the desk, or the other end of the call.
Fortunately, employment experts such as ourselves have taken the time to write down what we know to be the top 10 things you CAN expect to talk about in a job interview, so you don’t have to worry about it!
Today’s top 10 list is all about remote jobs. These are the most important questions that you, as a recruiter for a remote work opportunity, should be asking your candidates. And if you’re a job seeker, you should rehearse your responses to these if you’re up for a remote job.
Whichever category you fall into, you’re undoubtedly curious. So, without further ado, let’s get started with the top 10 interview questions for remote jobs!
1. Have you worked remotely before?
For most of history, the majority of jobs were on location. But since 2020, that rule has been broken.
In 2020, 51% of the North American workforce was remote during the pandemic — so it’s no longer unlikely that someone has had a remote job in the past. Still, it’s important to ask candidates so you don’t make any assumptions either way.
2. What are some of the challenges you face when working remotely?
While this question is typically reserved for people who answered “yes” when asked if they have experience working remotely, it can be a great way to see how realistically a candidate approaches working from home.
It’s also a great opportunity for candidates to show off their coping skills and how easily they can adjust to any situation.
3. Where do you like to work from?
Recruiters aren’t just interested in the decor of your workspace — asking about the physical location the candidate intends to work in is one way to investigate what resources they may need.
Does the space have reliable internet? Is it free of distractions? Do they have suitable equipment? This question is less about “what do you have” and more about “what do you need”.
4. How do you organize your time?
While remote work does offer a larger amount of independence, it’s still crucial to have routines — especially when your team needs to know when they can rely on you.
This question is meant to see how regimented a candidate can be with their daily life, and how they manage multiple assignments.
5. Have you worked with a remote team before?
Working by yourself without face-to-face meetings with your boss is one thing. But working collaboratively with a team of others who are also remote is a whole other thing.
This question is meant to jumpstart the conversation about how a candidate navigates the complexities of a distributed team, and whether they are resilient enough to problem-solve on their own when their team is unreachable.
6. Which communication tools are you familiar with?
Every business uses their own combination of remote collaboration tools. Some of the most common are Slack, Zoom, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Finding out which tools a candidate is familiar with will help you determine their technological fluency.
7. What is the most important thing you can do to ensure the success of a project, while working remotely?
This is a powerful question for figuring out what sort of team member a candidate will be.
Do they spend more time planning or discussing at the beginning? Do they focus on making sure everyone is communicating? Do they set timelines and manage team expectations?
Their answer will reveal the work ethic they value most,and likely also what they excel at.
8. Tell me about a time you experienced conflict with a remote coworker and how you handled it.
The classic question about interpersonal problem solving has been updated for the modern era!
While remote work has changed the face of the workplace, it hasn’t gotten rid of some of the most common ways we, as humans, can stall our productivity. And conflict with coworkers is one of the big ones.
It’s particularly easy to have falling outs now that our tone can be misinterpreted more often, since we aren’t communicating face to face. Seeing how a candidate reacts to and repairs these conflicts is key to seeing if their emotional intelligence can carry into the digital era.
9. How do you maintain focus while working from home?
No one is expecting you to barricade yourself into an anechoic chamber, free of even the slightest distraction, in order to work remotely. We all understand that life is full of distractions, and at home they surround us as much as (if not more than) anywhere else.
But as an employer, we want to make sure you have strategies to handle distractions. These include things like asking family and roommates to respect your work hours, or using noise-cancelling headphones in a noisy environment.
10. How do you start/end your work day?
Employers know that caring for their employees’ wellbeing is just good business.
Making sure that your remote workers can set clear boundaries between work and their personal life helps to make sure they don’t experience burnout.
We all need time to rest and recharge, and feeling constantly drawn to emails, phone calls, and other projects is counterproductive to our productivity. This question lets recruiters see if candidates have routines to help them get in and out of work mode when the time comes.
There are thousands of interview questions that have been used over the years. But in the last few years, they have evolved to meet the changing needs of the workforce.
These 10 interview questions should be part of your next interview, so be prepared to ask (or answer) them to bring your interviewing skills up to date!