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The online world is becoming a work setting for many people around the world. But when you’re actually hiring someone to work remotely for you- your team could be facing double trouble.

Job interviewing in itself can be difficult, but online interviews require even more responsibility, and if you don’t know how to interview remote workers you’re in for quite the ride. You need to know, right from the start, what you are looking for, when it comes to future employees and which skills and experience you will accept, and which ones won’t come into consideration.

‘It’s difficult to determine whether a potential employee or staff member is a great fit for your remote team. That’s why it’s important to have a strategic plan, and tactically devised questions that are going to lead your interviewee to show off some of his/her skills live’, says Tom Wilson, HR specialist and staff coordinator at Essays on time, who has an extensive experience interviewing prospective employees both online and face-to-face.

Here are the top essential qualities to pay attention to and detect while interviewing remote employees:  

1. Strong Communication Skills

Both oral and written communication skills are equally important. While it’s easy to test oral skills via a Skype call, for example, it’s important to ask for examples of their previous writing, to see whether writing skills are at the desired level.     

2. Troubleshooting

How does a prospective remote staff act in an emergency situation or when something goes wrong? You need someone who is confident, calm and has great problem-solving skills. Ask to hear several ways he/she would solve a particular problem, whether it’s related to the job or problems with colleagues or software troubleshooting.

3. Prioritizing & Pro-activity

It’s without a doubt, essential to test someone’s ability to make priorities and take initiative. That’s one of the most important skills you’re looking for in remote staff because you won’t be there every single minute to guide their way.

Think of a couple of situations that could occur within your company, and see how the interviewee responds. Try to create situations that might happen and test how he/she would act in a certain situation. Give concrete examples, don’t talk in general.

4. Tech Savvy 

Make sure a future employee has sufficient user experience of working with the essential equipment and software. You can also ask for certificates of courses to see if they really have sharp skills, as well as ask for a detailed list of technological devices and software they are proficient in using.

5. Personal Accountability

When you hire remote staff, you want to be able to really count on that person. While there are no special criteria to determine whether someone is trustworthy and accountable for the future, you’re just going to have to go with your gut. In essence, you need to try establishing how this person conducts himself towards your business and brand, and how serious he/she takes his responsibilities.

6. Attention to Details

When you’re not in an office, it’s sometimes difficult to focus on what you’re doing and give it a 100% because nobody is actually standing behind your back, pushing you to do so. You need to assess whether the candidate in question will pay attention to all the details outlined in the job description. This is something only time will tell, or if you want to get some information about it immediately, contact a previous employer.

7. Effective Time Management

Time management can be quite tricky, and it’s important not to make mistakes when hiring remote staff, automatically considering he/she will make time. In this case, it’s best to ask previous employers about the time management of the certain individual, because no matter how experienced someone seems, it’s not a guarantee that he/she will be effective at managing time.

These are the most important aspects of the interview you have to take into consideration before you make your choice. While it’s crucial to follow your instinct and guide yourself with your experience, it’s best to be prepared.

You’re investing in your company, so take the time to actually come up with a strategy and plan, and you will surely hire an outstanding remote employee.

Written By
Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on career, self-development, e-learning, social media, blogging and others. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. Her inspiration comes from reading like-minded blog posts and communication with smart people. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.

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