2020 was the final nudge for many companies in going remote, and we saw the work from home culture for its productive and efficient strengths. The majority of companies are operating in at least a partially hybrid model, but many are moving to indefinite remote work, especially in the tech industry.

At Hyperinbox, we built our product centered around the idea that remote work is great, but you have to approach it for what it is if you want to be successful: Strategies that may work well in an in-person office setting should not be replicated virtually. The same goes for recruiting – working at a remote company requires slightly different considerations and, therefore, a different approach to recruitment. So, as in any interview, it is crucial to tailor your questions to the environment and the job itself.

Not only is it a nuanced approach, but recruiting remotely can be incredibly challenging when it comes to connecting with your interviewer. It’s often hard to determine body language, and the setting can feel a little bit more forced.

Technical issues can often get in the way and make it harder to read your interviewer’s tone with a three-second lag. Further, with remote teams, you’re not only competing with local applicants but potentially those globally. Therefore, it is important to find other ways to stand out and show you’re thinking intelligently and thoroughly about the position you’re applying for. With all that being said, this is ultimately easy to do with some well-crafted talking points! Here are a few questions to ask when interviewing for a remote position:

The Culture

While a job might seem great on paper, if you don’t vibe with the people around you or are a good cultural fit, the best job might end up being a tough experience. The culture is not only an important social factor, but it is essential to fit in well with your team to grow professionally and take advantage of the experiences you are getting, especially through mentorship opportunities.

1.     Could you tell me more about the team’s culture and how it has changed since going remote (or how you created it while starting remotely?)

2.     What are some team-building strategies and practices your team does while remote?

3.     Could you tell me more about mentorship opportunities and programs in place?

4.     What are the company’s core values?

5.     How does the company work to make the environment more inclusive both generally and especially while in a remote environment?

6.     Would you say the company has a well-established remote workforce or is it newly growing and in the experimental phase?

7.     How collaborative is the role daily?  

The Job and Responsibilities

While you should not ask about the information listed clearly in the job description, it is important to understand more about the program itself and your daily responsibilities. Especially if the position you are applying for may change to in-person from a virtual environment, you have to grasp the tangibles rather than just the more abstract goals of the position.

1.     Could you tell me more about the development of the position and how long it has existed in its form?

2.     Can you describe a typical workday for someone working in the position remotely?

3.     (If temporarily remote:) How would my job responsibilities differ while working remotely and given a transition back to in person?

4.     What qualities and skills will be needed for this position? Will there be a training program for xyz?

5.     How does this position fit into the greater fabric of the company? What other teams will I be working with?

6.     How does the team communicate and collaborate, do you have a synchronous or asynchronous work model?

Technicalities

Working remotely can provide a lot of freedom, but many technical kinks are essential to work out. Working from home can often blur the lines of a work-life balance, so it is essential to understand the realities of that position remotely.

1.     (Especially important if not local:) With a remote work structure, what are working hours and is there flexibility with “desk” hours and time differences?

2.     Are there in-person components to this position?

3.     Are other members of the team or key functional groups working in person?

4.     How is performance measured and who will be responsible for that?

5.     Which remote tools does the team use?

Use some of these questions in the interview itself and as a guide to better understand what type of work environment you are looking for and if the role is a good fit for you. You must keep an open mind and a good job for your career goals is essential, but make sure that when you are interviewing you are also conducting an interview with your employer internally – Would you be happy in this position on a daily basis and working with this team? Hopefully the answer is yes, and these questions can help you figure that out! Now go impress the hiring managers and secure that dream job for your future.