weed out bad remote workers

5 Interview Tactics to Weed Out Bad Remote Workers

You have years and years of experience hiring traditional office workers for various positions within your company. So when it comes time to hire a remote worker, you might think that you can follow the exact same processes and procedures you’ve previously used in hiring office employees. Think again. Hiring a remote worker is quite different from in-office hirings. If you need some hiring help, here are five interview tactics to weed out bad remote workers—and hire the right ones.

Know what to ask.

When you’re interviewing a potential employee, it’s important to know what to ask of a remote worker. Beyond what you see in their resume and cover letter, you should make it a priority to find out if they have previous remote work experience. While that might not make or break your decision to hire them, having someone on your team with previous work-from-home experience is an asset, since they’ll already be familiar with what it’s like to work from home. If your potential employee doesn’t have remote experience, ask them questions like, “How would you describe yourself as a worker?”, “How would you describe your communication style?”, and “How would you keep yourself motivated when you work from home?”

Put them to the test. 

In today’s job market, it’s perfectly acceptable as an employer to ask a job candidate to perform a test. This helps to show you how they would do if they were actually hired for the job. So give them a test as it relates to the position you’re looking to fill. Not only will you get a deeper understanding of the quality of their work, but you’ll also find out if they are able to meet deadlines without having a boss hovering over them.

Test their tech-savvy.

Your offices are in Los Angeles, CA. Your job candidate is in Las Vegas, NV. Short of having him fly in for a potential job interview, you should do at least one interview via a video conferencing tool. Why? This is important for a few reasons. First, you’ll get an immediate sense of how techy your job candidate is—or isn’t. After all, if he can’t figure out how to video conference, it might clue you in that he’s not tech-savvy, which is an important skill for any remote worker. Second, conducting a video interview will allow you to not only see your potential employee, but also his surroundings. A job seeker who conducts his interview from a clean, orderly home office, over one who does his interview from the local (and noisy) coffee shop potentially shows who is more serious about the position.

Get a sense of their style. 

During your interview, you should ask job candidates about their work style. You might discover that one remote worker is more productive at 3:00 a.m. than at, say, 3:00 p.m. Or you might find out that another job seeker is fairly shy. Assessing the work style of a potential job candidate is important; after all, you want someone who is going to blend in well with the company and be able to stand on their own two feet as a virtual employee. That means being a strong communicator, being able to self-manage, and also being in sync with the company.

Assess their knowledge.

When you hire any employee, ideally you want that person to have a connection to the company. Whether it’s that they believe in the organization’s mission or the company’s culture, having an employee who aligns with these beliefs typically means that the potential employee will work hard and want to grow with the organization. That’s why you should ask a potential remote worker what he knows about the company, from its history to its mission statement to its current standing in the industry. That will tell you how interested the job candidate is in working specifically for your organization and can be a future indicator of how hard-working, productive, and successful he will be as a member of your team.

Hiring a new employee can be a long, laborious process. Ensure that you hire the right remote worker for the job by asking the above questions and you’ll have a strong worker who will be an asset to your organization—no matter where he’s located.

For more tips on building and nurturing successful teams, whether remote or in-person, download PGi’s free eBook “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.”


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