10 Remote Interview Questions + How to ace them

Remote work is not the future, it is the present. Gartner HR Survey reveals 41% of employees are likely to work remotely at least some of the time post the coronavirus pandemic. This trend will lead to an even more competitive market for job seekers. Once making it past the initial screening, acing remote job interview questions is critical in landing the job. But how different are remote interviews really, and what kind of questions can you expect? 

Generally, a successful remote worker possesses stronger communication, project management, time management and conflict management skills than their in-office colleagues. These skills enable them to thrive in a remote work environment. This makes it essential for remote companies to assess applicants on these skills and their overall remote readiness throughout the interview process.

When applying to any remote roles, make sure to carefully read the job description and to tailor your application to the role. To land the interview, make sure you optimize your LinkedIn profile and resume (here is our ultimate guide to land the interview). Remote job interviews are slightly different than regular co-located job interviews (read about the basics of acing a video interview here). In this article, we explain the most common remote interview questions and the right way to answer them. Ready to get your remote dream job?

1. What does working remotely mean to you?

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This remote interview question is usually asked to assess your past/current remote work experience if any. A lot of remote workers choose working remotely because of the flexibility it provides. To answer this interview question, you can communicate how you plan your day, and how you select the location you are most productive (home, co-working space, cafes, etc). You can also mention challenges you have encountered during your remote work experience and how you have overcome them. Demonstrate the ability to handle different environments as well as managing yourself are critical aspects of remote readiness.

2. How do you communicate with your team in a remote environment?

With team members working across the globe in different timezones, it’s not always possible to discuss topics through a single communication channel. This question is used to assess one’s communication skills. It’s a good way to communicate the various tools you have experience with ranging from communication, project management to knowledge management tools, and how frequently you use it. The most important aspect is to demonstrate how to select the right medium of communication in different situations. 

3. How do you manage your calendar and schedule?

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How you organize your work is crucial while working remotely. This question gives insight into your working style. What goes in your calendar, what on your to do list? Do you block deep work hours? Do you have an open calendar? Demonstrate how you manage different types of tasks, adhere to deadlines, allow for interaction with colleagues, and take care of your personal well being. 

4. How do you prioritize your tasks?

With the lack of a manager and team members being physically present, work might seem different and overwhelming. Whether you prefer using the Eisenhower Matrix or another system, demonstrate that you have a system and prioritisation system for your tasks. 

5. How do you prepare for remote meetings?

Remote meetings function differently than in-person meetings. It’s harder and less common to schedule impromptu meetings, so make the ones you got count. This answer also helps to gauge on if you communicate mindfully with team members working in different timezones. Take them through the process of how you figure out team availabilities, share the agenda of the meeting, and follow remote meeting etiquettes during the call.  

6. How do you manage projects with a large team?

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Project management skills are one of the most important skills to be successful in a remote environment. This question helps the employer gauge your managerial skills and your ability to work with various project management tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp. You need to build trust that you are able to handle large projects by organizing, coordinating, or leading team members to project completion.

7. How do you handle lack of face-to-face interactions when you’re working remotely?

Isolation is one of the most commonly experienced downsides of working remotely. The answer gives insight into how you balance your work and life. For example, you can talk about being proactive about setting up virtual meetings to get to know your team members over coffee or drinks. Perhaps meet them in person if they are in town visiting or work from common coworking spaces if you work out of the same city. The idea is to gauge how far will you go to build and maintain camaraderie with your team members.

8. Describe a time when you failed or made a mistake (in a remote work environment).

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This question often takes applicants by surprise. It might be difficult to relive a failure, but the purpose is to understand what you consider a failure and your key takeaways from the experience. Don’t be afraid to choose a significant failure, explain in detail why it was challenging and what concrete measures you took to rectify it. The end goal is to reassure the interviewer that you’ve learned from this experience to become much better at your job and avoid similar mistakes.

9. If you have a problem and the rest of your team is offline, how will you handle it?

The best way to answer these types of remote interview questions is to prove your dependability as a team member. You can take the interviewer through the various steps you may have approached to complete the task to display proactiveness. The key is to talk about how you handled the situation with ease by doing your best addressing it. When working remotely, documentation is very important, so mention your diligent follow-up process. This starts with recording your progress and your systematic outreach to your team members, so they can contribute once they are back online.

10. How do you stay motivated while working remotely?

Each remote worker eventually establishes their own remote work style, and everyone faces dips in motivation. In order to answer this question well, you need to prove how you have overcome productivity slumps, low motivation and other challenges while working remotely. Reflect on your working style and personal preferences, and be prepared to give specific details about your routine, approach to “work-life-balance” and experience. 

Along with practicing your elevator pitch, practice how you’ll respond to these remote interview questions. 

At acework, we vet candidates for remote readiness during an onboarding call. If you’re looking for a remote job, and are ready to shine in your application, register on our platform and start matching with opportunities here

We also enable businesses to build their successful remote workforce. We support with remote work advisory and remote talent for open positions. Schedule a free strategy session to start building your high-performing distributed team or organisation. If you’re looking to hire remote-ready talent, you can also directly sign up your company here.

Remote Readiness helps all teams work better

Are you remote ready?

We developed a unique soft skills assessment to vet for remote readiness, and have screened hundreds of candidates based on it. We screen for intrinsic motivation, organisational skills and independence, among others.

Assess your remote readiness with this free, remote-ready checklist, that we created for individuals working or looking to work remotely. The checklist includes essentials such as:

  1. Reliable, high-speed internet connectivity
  2. Appropriate video conferencing hardware
  3. Experience with current productivity tools… and 13 other expert tips to help you assess your remote readiness.