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4 Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring Remote Developers

Hiring Developers is challenging. Hiring Developers who’ll be working remotely is even more so, especially for companies adopting this way of working for the first time during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Most companies will have their technical questioning and testing to a level they’re comfortable with but you’ll also want to ask some questions specific to remote working. Here are a few examples we’ve been advising hiring managers and HR to consider.


Do You Have Previous Remote Work Experience?


Every remote worker has to start somewhere, but a candidate with at least some previous remote experience will help, even if its been on an adhoc, discretionary basis. I find this an easy question to begin with and allows for numerous follow-up questions covering communication, problem solving and scenarios. 

If the candidate you’re speaking to is new to the world of remote work, think about asking questions like, “How do you plan on changing your current working routine?”, for example. Developers completely new to it will need to be trained and onboarded differently to those who have previous experience. I’ll be writing a follow up covering remote onboarding but keep this in mind and allocate sufficient time and resources if this is the case.


What Tools Have You Used Previously for Collaboration and Remote Work?


By asking this in remote interviews, you’ll get a good idea of the candidate’s ability to and attitude towards communication with their team, whether that team is remote or even when they’re in the office as well. Ideally, most will have experience using video platforms like Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts, a time management product, and maybe even project management tools like Jira or Trello. Keep in mind, the candidate doesn’t have to have experience in the specific tools your company or organisation uses (that can easily be taught), but some previous experience does help.


How Do You Track Your Projects and Time Effectively?


Even in-office Developers should be able to effectively manage their time and projects, but it’s even more apparent to guys working remotely. You’ll want to know what hours the candidate prefers to work (and make sure you account for their time zone if different from the rest of the team) and how this aligns with their direct reports and team members. Additionally, you’ll want to know how they prefer to be communicated with and the best way to easily reach them during business hours.

Regarding project management, inquire how the candidate plans on communicating what they’re working on, their project status, and other milestones with the rest of their team. Since their teammates or managers can’t walk over to their desk for an update, think about a check-in process that works for both of you.


What Does Your Work Environment Look Like?


Developers need minimal distractions to effectively get their work done. Ask them if they have a quiet space to work. Inquire if they have a comfortable desk and chair. Find out what type of system setup they have, and make sure they are provided with all the tools they need to get their job done!


This isn’t an exhaustive list and you’ll naturally need to tailor any line of questioning for your company or organisation but hopefully, this will give you a few ideas to start refining your process.

Stay Safe.



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