The Best Interview Questions for Virtual Jobs

February 9, 2015 by

Interview QuestionsFinding good employees can be difficult. The challenge becomes even greater when hiring for a virtual role. When you don’t see employees every day, you have to trust they are working hard even though they’re unsupervised. As promised in my last blog, I’d like to share some of the best interview questions to help you effectively vet through the sea of job candidates and hire people with the greatest propensity to thrive and succeed in remote positions. More specifically, the interview questions that relate to the Four Characteristics for the Best Virtual Workers, as described in my last blog.

    • What experience, if any, do you have working on a virtual team?
    • Please tell me about your work from home environment. (For example, are you the only person home during the day? Do you have a home office?)
    • Describe what characteristics you have that make you a perfect candidate to work remotely.
    • What concerns or challenges did you face while working remotely and how did you overcome them?
    Self-Starters & Self Motivators
    • What motivates you to work hard?
    • How often do you expect to have a live interaction with your boss in this role?
    • Give me an example of a time when you created a business outcome from the start and took it to the finish line?
    • How long do you want to be in this remote position and what are your expectations for where your job will be a year from now? What are your expectations for job promotions and salary increases and where do you want to be in five years?
    • When you do great work, how do you like your work recognized?
    • How do you keep yourself on track to meet or exceed your goals? Please provide a couple of examples.
    • How do you track projects to ensure they are not only completed but completed on time?
    • How comfortable are you with troubleshooting connectivity or technology issues? Can you give me an example of resolving such an issue on your own?
    • Please tell me about the single greatest mistake you have made in your job in the last three years.
    • If you were hiring someone for this job, what would you look for?
    • Please give me an example of when you needed additional resources to complete a task, and how you went about obtaining those resources.
    • What expectations do you have as it relates to your use of technology for succeeding as a remote worker? In that vein, what technology do you see as absolutely essential in this role?
    • What are your preferred communication mediums when working remotely?
    • Do you have experience using video conferencing such as Skype or Google Hangouts?
    • What has caused you to feel stressed at work in the past and what have you done to handle it?
    • Please give me an example of a time when you successfully worked on your own under pressure.

The next time you interview job candidates for a virtual role, try using some of these questions to better gauge how effective and engaged they are likely to be when working remotely. You may even come to have a few favorite questions that seem to work especially well for you. My favorite has always been asking candidates about their greatest mistake because it allows you to assess their accountability. Depending on your company culture, at least a few of these questions are likely to align with your hiring goals.



Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.