Interview questions for hiring a remote worker

Flickr user _e.t.

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY If you're a hiring manager or part of an interview loop and you're sizing up job candidates for a position that will be based off-site, you have different concerns than a typical interviewer. Certainly, you need to make sure that a candidate can carry out their primary function, but working remotely has its own set of challenges. How do you know if you're hiring someone who can be successful when working separately from the main team?

The Management Issues blog recently delved into the kinds of interview questions to ask to assess people's aptitude for working remotely. As you might expect, they recommend asking the candidate to talk about their past remote work experience. Specifically, try some of these questions on for size:

What has been your experience working on a remote team? That's it -- ask that question and then stop talking. Yes, it's a very open-ended question, and it's that way on purpose. Let the candidate talk about their remote experience, and they'll drift towards interesting areas, whether it's communication, technology, status reporting, or something else.

What technology did you use in the past when working remotely? This question helps you assess their competency with essential remote-work technology, as well as see what tools the candidate has used.

What concerns or challenges did you encounter that you'd like to avoid this time around? I love this kind of question, because it helps you find out how thoughtful the candidate is with regards to tools and processes, and it helps you identify issues you might have within your own organization.

There are some other questions at the Management Issues blog -- check it out for more information. Do you have remote workers? What are your biggest challenges? Sound off in the comments.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user _e.t.