How to Know if a Candidate Will Work Out With Remote Work

In today’s world, it’s almost a given that most companies will have at least some employees working from home. Many companies have reported that employees are more likely to quit their jobs if they are required to go back into the office. Additionally, more employees have reported searching for remote jobs to replace their current jobs that require full-time office work. While this transition to at-home work has helped reduce costs and improve productivity in some instances, it still takes a special type of person to make working at home successful. When choosing a candidate for a remote position, it’s important to evaluate a few qualities that can give you a good feel for whether or not they’ll succeed in their position.

Figure Out Motivation

One of the first things you should look into when interviewing a work-from-home candidate is their motivation for seeking a remote job. Some people like remote work because they think they can procrastinate more and work less. While candidates are unlikely to admit this openly, you’ll likely be able to determine whether they intend to put in hard work simply by listening well to their answers during the interview. Many job candidate management solution software includes a notes section so that you can easily track all of this information that you gain from talking about their motivation. Additionally, most solutions provide a way to share this information with other recruiters and managers across each candidate as well as different job openings.

Determine Capabilities

Working from home requires specific equipment to ensure success. If a candidate already has some or all of this equipment, you’ll be able to get them up and running more quickly. Things like quiet working space, a high-speed internet connection, and a dedicated phone line can be expensive and time-consuming to acquire, making it more beneficial to hire a well-prepared candidate. Additionally, if the employee is to be on the phone with customers often, then it is ideal that they have the privacy and quiet needed for such work. You can typically get a feel for this if you participate in a virtual interview through a zoom call or some other type of visual interview.


If the employee doesn’t need to be on the phone, then this type of privacy may not be as important. However, it is still important that they have a space where they can complete their work without distraction so they can be as productive as possible.

Inquire About Teamwork

If the position you’re hiring for requires working on a team, it’s important to make sure any job candidate has an exceptional capacity for teamwork beyond what’s required for working in person. Remote teamwork can be quite difficult to do well if the individuals on the team aren’t willing to be flexible. Also important is good communication skills so that the candidate can work through misunderstandings without escalation. If they have experience with team management software such as slack, they may be able to provide examples of their teamwork and communication when it comes to working remotely. 

Learn About Work-Life Balance

While it’s important to have an individual who is committed to their work-from-home job, it’s not good to have someone who ends up being a workaholic. If nothing else, it could cost your company in terms of overtime that the individual accrues. Of course, it could also cause the individual to become overstressed and burned out to the point that their quality of work suffers. Make sure that the person you’re interviewing understands that just because they have an office in their home doesn’t mean they need to be constantly working. This tends to be a common issue for many employees. Prior to working remotely, many people report that home was a place where they turned work off and spend time with their family. However, with work being at home, it can be more challenging to disconnect from work since the physical space of work is at home. This means that work-life balance is harder and thus it is even more important to ensure that your employee is able to work through that issue.

Ability to Prioritize

It’s likely that your employee will need to manage multiple tasks at a time. For work like this, it’s important to ensure that the person can prioritize tasks as needed. This is especially important when the employee is remote and may not have as much oversight as they may when in an office environment. One way that some recruiters test for this is by doing a trial run with the potential employee as part of a short-term contract. That way you can verify if they are able to prioritize tasks as needed for the position.

Keep the Conversation Going

After you’ve hired the right candidate for the position, it’s important to stay in touch with them to ensure the position is working out. Since it’s easy for someone working remotely to fall through the cracks, plan to reach out to them at least once a week to make sure everything is going as planned. This will help you make any necessary changes so that your new hire doesn’t burn out and leave the company. In addition to decreasing churn rate, by checking in on them frequently, you can gauge for how they are feeling about remote work and ensure that you are providing what they need for them to be successful.