5 questions to ask when recruiting candidates for remote positions

HR Tips

The current job market is complex and rapidly changing. On one hand, there is a great demand in the market for candidates. On the other hand, candidates are often skeptical about changing jobs in these uncertain times—this has led to a rapid increase in the popularity of remote work. So, whether you are recruiting from the other side of the republic or the other side of the world, if the candidate will be working remotely, do not forget to ask these 5 key questions during the interview!


How do you plan your work day?

When asking this question, it is important to listen carefully to how the candidates describe their working day–having an efficient structure or schedule to the work day is crucial to maintaining consistent productivity. Ask whether they prefer meetings in the morning or afternoon, how they best concentrate on work, what time they perceive themselves as the most productive, and to which work activities they allocate their time. These questions will clarify if the candidate is suitable for remote work. For example, If they jump quickly from one activity to another, it can indicate a lack of focus.  


What tools and software do you normally work with?

Asking this question is a great way to get a window into a candidate's normal work day in order to see if they are efficient and well organized. You can easily find out what tools (if any) the candidate uses to organize their time. This can include Todoist, OneNote, Evernote, Wunderlist or Google Calendar.

The answer to this question will also tell you if the candidate uses the same CRM system, communication software, video calls, etc. as your company. If so, great! This ensures that the candidate can not only operate these softwares, but they may also already have them installed on their computer.

TIP! Have you read our article on the use of chatbots in recruitment? Get inspired!  


How often do you take breaks?

Breaks are a crucial part of employee productivity. When working from home, work and personal life have a tendency to “merge” and the employee works much longer and without a break. Avoid candidates with inconsistent or unproductive break habits. Some people consider breaks to be an inefficient way of spending time and underestimate their importance. This can lead to overwork, anxiety, or loss of focus.

Routine, necessary breaks give employees the opportunity to process information from previous activities and be more productive in the long run. Discuss with the candidate how often breaks should be taken to determine if they can maintain productivity.  


What do you consider to be the biggest challenges when working remotely?

The answer to this question will reveal to you which aspects of remote work the candidate may struggle with. For example, technological illiteracy could be recognized if the candidate has trouble joining a video call or operating online platforms.

Additional insight from this question is gained if the candidate can admit their weaknesses in teleworking. If they can, there is a better chance they will try to confront and fix them. Watch out for candidates who avoid mentioning areas in which they could improve. It is better to hire a candidate that is transparent about their strengths and weaknesses than to uncover weaknesses from a candidate that fails to mention them.   


How do you imagine communicating with your supervisor and the team?

Communication is vital when working remotely. Creating an efficient system of communication is essential to ensuring that employees are able to interact with their superiors or colleagues whenever and however needed.

Make sure the candidate is adept at using Google Meets, Hangouts, Teams, and other relevant remote communication methods. Unfortunately, no form of remote communication is as effective as face-to-face interaction, so pay careful attention to how the candidate responds to this question–he or she must be able to adapt to your company’s online communication methods. 

We wish you good luck with the interview! In the meantime, check our guide on how to become a more efficient recruiter.

Author: Anna Křivská

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