Learnings from 4000+ interviews for hiring remote employees

At Indiez, we have managed to create something special. We have successfully built a community that is 100% remote.

Our community covers 30+ countries in over 5 continents across the globe. We have successfully delivered on over 250 different projects for some major organizations including Uber and Dominos.

Remote working is the future of work. If you do not start hiring ‘digital nomads’, your company will die.

We have made the mistakes so you do not have to. We have conducted 4000+ interviews, we have hired 400+ members and we have had to fire 10.

By following this interview guide, you will know what traits to look for to hire the world’s best talent.

Your interview process has to be consistent and it has to be via video. You have the opportunity to hire the best talent worldwide and video chat is the only feasable way to allow for a personal touch.

Don’t just do one stage. Famously, they say that interviewers know if they want to hire a candidate within the first 5 seconds, we do not believe this with regards to ‘digital nomads’. You have full control and we advise a minimum of a two stage interview process.

Along with the video interviews, set a task. When a candidate is willing to prove their ability before receiving a job offer, you know that they are keen to work for you. You are also able to see the quality of their work and whether it is a correct fit for your business.

At Indiez, we implemented tasks as part of the process for non-tech roles within our company. It allowed us to get a real feel for the candidates and whether they fit within our hard working culture.

Giving an independent slightly vague task is easy to think of. For example, If you are hiring a content writer, just ask them to write a small blog on a topic interest and let them figure out the rest.

What should I be looking for?

#1 Self Starters

Why is this important?

Remote work is all about independence. It is therefore incredibly important that the right candidate is a self-starter.

They will be async a lot of times and they have to be a doer and not a teller. There can be worries when creating a 100% remote work team and if you can see that the candidate has enough about them to motivate themselves, the rest of their team will have nothing to worry about.

An element of Indiez incredible success with telecommuting comes from having managers who do not have the need to micromanage. Though this can come from our managers style, it works because their team can be trusted and we learnt it from the initial interview process.

To decipher whether they have this quality, you need to find out whether they are capable of taking responsibility and whether they have the ability to finish something to the end.

Ask Questions Such As:

  • Give me an example of when you were responsible for the product and how it occurred from start to end.
  • Give me an example of when you screwed up and needed to rectify things yourself.
  • Then drill short questions from the answers given! Why did it happen? Who’s fault was it?

A clever technique that I use, is reactive responses. You want to ask about a time they experienced an injustice, and then empathize with the unfairness. You say, ‘Are you kidding? That’s crazy. What a jerk.’ Owners will immediately respond with something like, ‘Yeah, but I recognized it wasn’t worth my time to complain about it.’ They won’t buy in and double down on venting or complaining,”

#2 The Communicators

Why is this important?

When hiring remotely, communication is the most important factor.

You will not be able to walk up to someone in an office and just discuss any issues in your working day so they need to communicate as effectively as you can.

You also cannot just leave things open ended as then it will lead to confusion and because of asyncness and the person may not respond in time. You also will have deadlines that they need to meet and there is nothing worse when a deadline isn’t hit due to miscommunication.

Communication is now so easy with remote work. We use loads of tools at Indiez including SkypeSlackWhatsapp for instant messaging/video chats and AirTable and Asana for communicating tasks and progress of tasks. I have phone calls with my team daily during the working week despite different time zones, this is perfectly easy in today’s world.

How do I find the best communicators for me?

This is easy to check. How well are they writing? How well are they speaking? Are they being clear? Are they writing in detail?

You will know what is right for you with regards to communication but we give extra bonuses to people who conduct themselves well when they interject, people who send thank you notes following a conversation, people who are graceful, efficient and using a few words to be whip-smart.

Ask everyone you interview about something that they have recently learned, not only do you hear their communication skills but you may also get to learn something new too!

#3 The Growth Mindset That Will Help Your Business Grow

Why is this important?

Remote workers have to learn independently and learn a lot at rapid speed. They are super learners and you cannot track what they are learning!

To make sure the right person is doing this, they need to be experts in the art of self mastery. You will need to check that they are able to learn difficult things in a limited time frame and they they are willing to expand their knowledge.

Having someone who wants to grow their mind means that they will be generating enough to be a superstar within your business and will help your business grow.

Ask Questions Such As:

  • When was the last time you geeked about something?
  • What are you reading now?
  • Teach me something
  • How’s your career progressed so far?
  • What mistakes have you done in life?

This also helps you find some common ground in their interests with yourself and you will be able to build a relationship on those traits.

Self teachers are happy to develop more and more skills, you can create a workforce of experts within their departments and even some incredibly versatile talent. A true asset for any company.

#4 People Who Can Get The Results!

Why is this important?

This speaks for itself. They need to hit your targets.

You need to find out whether they have regularly hit KPI’s, what they expecting from their future KPI’s and in some cases you can request evidence on previous performance.

What should I ask?

You should ask your candidate to suggest how they think you should be measuring their performance at the interview stage. This gives you an idea of both yours and their expectations.

  • How many targets have you hit in your last position?
  • What did you do to ensure you hit your KPI’s?
  • When have you ever failed to hit target and why?
  • How did you handle hitting deadlines while working remotely?

From here, you will be able to gage their previous results. You can even ask for backups and if you are happy to confirm this when getting references with their previous employer.

Final Interview Points:

A really true and brave candidate will ask you whether you have reservations about them at the end of the interview. Be honest and see how they respond to any objections or hesitations that you may in them. This could be impactful on your final decision.

Always concentrate on punctuality/responsiveness. This links back to the communication YET AGAIN and also whether you can rely on this person as an employee. If they are late to an interview, think strongly about how often they would be late in meetings. If they don’t respond fast, how badly do they want the job?

This is what we do and what we look for when recruiting a perfect remote workforce and our hiring process enables us to only hire people who have a desire to create huge impact and change the world. Once hired, we get out of their way and let them see their work as their own MISSION. 🚀

Use our 100% remote team and see how thanks to this interview technique, we are able to build you something special in record speeds.

Need help building your product? Indiez will be here for you when you need something building. Our remote community will help you on your way and build you a product very fast. We have the top 1% startup talent in the world and we will guarantee to hit your deadlines.

Let’s build awesome. 🙌

Starting up? Do it right! Join 100+ amazing founders who built successful products with Indiez.

Know more about us here — Indiez.io

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