What questions do you ask as a remote interviewer?


Curious about remote hiring managers techniques around measuring if a candidate will be a quality remote worker. What do you ask in an interview to measure this? Does anyone have any process here that you’ve found to screen out people who would not be a good remote employee?


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I published a guide on this topic within the GitLab handbook: ‘How do you conduct interviews remotely?

We look for people who can be Managers of One.

Interview questions to assess for success in a remote environment

  • Have you ever worked remotely?
  • What were some of the challenges you faced with working remotely?
  • Why do you want to work from home or a third-space (e.g. coworking space, external office, Codi, etc.)?
  • Have you worked with a distributed team? How did it go? Even if it wasn’t explicitly defined as remote work, you can include examples of moving a project forward while traveling, or doing so while your classmates, peers, or colleagues were in a different physical location.
  • What methods do you use to ensure you are communicating with a remote team?
  • How do you switch off from work?
  • Tell me about a time you recognized an opportunity for process improvement and how you brought that up to leadership.
  • Have you ever worked independently without direct supervision on a daily basis?
  • What strategies, tools, routines, or workflows do you use to ensure your day to day goals met?
  • What are some of the things that you have struggled with or you think you will struggle with working remotely and how do you intend to combat them?
  • What excites you about working remotely over working in a traditional office environment?
  • What would you do if you have a piece of work that requires someone in a different timezones help and they are not available?

Unless the interviewee has remote work experience, I try to assess this question indirectly. @darrenmurph gets at this with some of this questions.

I look for evidence that the person is a self-starter and a good writer. There’s more to working well remotely, but those two attributes will take you pretty far.

Self-starting can be freelancing, a side hustle, or intra/entrepreneurship. Outside of work, that could be starting a volunteer group or creating a club at their university.


Awesome, thanks @darrenmurph. In the case of strategies, tools and routines, do you find that you want to teach that, or do you want someone to come to the job with a set best practices that works for them?

I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the middle, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts there.

Sure! Tools and workflows need to already be set by the company. We’re always up for someone bringing new pilots/ideas to the table to iterate on what exists. It also helps to know before you interview if you’d like working somewhere. That’s why I added a ‘What’s it like to work at GitLab?’ section to our FAQ shortly after I joined.

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