How to interview applicants for your job remotely

This post is an excerpt from my book DISTRIBUTED.

You are hiring remotely on your own and it is challenging. You have mastered the art of writing an amazing job post and you have applicants. You have selected the best ones for an interview. 

No matter what job you are onto or what stage your business is, your next step is to get the first screening interviews with the top candidates. These interviews are one-on-one interviews. The goal of these interviews are the same: check how the candidate communicates and how the chemistry works for you. Here, little things matter. Pay very special attention to how the candidates communicate during the process, before, during and after the interview. 

Before the call

Before the call, are they flexible enough? Do they suggest you more slots of their time to talk? Are they considering time zones if there’s a lag between you and them? Are they proactive? Do they send calendar invites to you or you need to send that over? Do they offer multiple ways to connect, Skype, phone, Hangouts? Are they on time? Do they have a good setup to talk with you? 

During the call

During the call, do they have a nice internet connection? I know it sounds harsh but we are talking about remote work. Are they in a quiet place or is there a lot of background noise? If they can’t commit a safe and quiet place for the interview, how could they manage future talks with your team with a setup like this? Do they ask questions about the job and the team you have, or just trying to sell themselves? Also, this can’t be rationalized but does chemistry work between the two of you? Did they do their own background check on your business? If yes, that is great, they are really interested in you. 

After the call

After the interview, do they follow up proactively? If you asked them anything, do they send it over ASAP or completely forget to send? Do they mail you with further follow up questions? 

After the interview, a lot of candidates will be disqualified. You act like you always do: reject them even more politely, as they’ve spent time on talking with you. Let them know they are rejected quickly, it is polite. They might hunt for other jobs as well and still wait for your feedback. Those who made it through the first interview, a test job is awaiting to be done.



At Anywhere Consulting, we help entrepreneurs to launch, build and grow their remote business. We provide support and consulting services as well as educational products to overcome the challenges of remote businesses. If you are a freelancer who wants to launch a distributed business or you already have an established business but want to grow remotely, we can help you.