3 Key Questions to Ask Remote Candidates

September 17, 2020

Remote work, while being recognized as more mainstream, especially now, is not suitable for everyone.  It takes a certain type of person to work effectively away from an office setting.  Independence, good time management skills, resourcefulness, and trustworthiness are some qualities an employer should seek in a candidate applying for a remote role.

So how can you determine whether a candidate will succeed at teleworking?  Consider asking these 3 key questions during an interview to help assess for remote suitability.

How do you prioritize tasks?

It’s important to know that the candidate can distinguish between important and less important tasks and make the call independently as to which ones go to the top of the list. Ask about what strategies they use to assess their workload and keep track of their progress as well as how they structure their workday.  If the candidate needs a lot of direction from their manager to organize tasks and requires frequent checking-in to ensure that they are focussing on the right things, working remotely might prove challenging.      

What makes you an effective communicator?

In an office setting people can constantly see you so it’s much easier to share your thoughts spontaneously and engage others in conversation.  And while there are many different technologies that companies can implement to help facilitate collaboration and inclusiveness, making your voice heard as a remote employee is often a challenge and could potentially lead to disengagement.  You want to make sure that the candidate is comfortable reaching out to others and initiating conversations, that they can leverage collaborative technologies to their full potential, and that they can communicate their ideas clearly, without hesitation. 

How do you maintain work-life balance?

Many of us who have worked from home regularly for an extended period of time can attest to the fact that it is easy to blur the line between professional and personal life.  While remote work offers more flexibility in daily schedules, it is easy and sometimes even tempting to keep on working beyond allotted work hours, eventually leading to burnout.  You want to make sure that the candidate is cognizant of this fact and that they have strategies in place to help them work most efficiently without jeopardizing their mental health.

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