How to conduct a technical interview in a remote setting? When it comes to remote interviews, there is a lot to discuss. After two years of the pandemic, we all know that cameras are necessary for remote interviews. But how to make the right questions to identify the perfect candidate? Whether onsite or remote, this is still a hard question to answer.
During our 10 years of experience, we have learned how to evaluate skills like communication abilities, autonomy, time management, among others. And we know how to structure interview questions to evaluate both technical and soft skills. In this article you’ll find our main tips to help you conduct a technical interview succesfully!
How To Conduct A Technical Interview In A Remote Setting
1. Set Clear Expectations
Remote technical interviews need more prep than onsite interviews. When you wonder how to conduct a technical interview, there are several factors you need to keep in mind to have the right setup.
If a candidate lives in the same country as you, this is not a problem. You clear a space in your schedule, see if they are available, and that’s it. Yet, if they live in another country with a different time zone, you might need to do the interview during hours you usually wouldn’t, for example, in the afternoon.
Where is the interview taking place? Is it going to be by video call, a phone call, or instant messages? There are thousands of different apps and platforms where remote interviews take place, so candidates need to know all this with anticipation.
It’s always good for candidates to know who is making the interview. Whether it’s the HR team or the owner of the company.
2. Always go for Video Interviews
Mental note for you: Always have the interviews by video call. Talking to someone by email or by the phone is very different from seeing them on a camera and seeing their facial expressions. Besides, video calls are the best way to relate with candidates and employees remotely.
According to Software Advice, 60% of hiring managers and recruiters prefer to do remote interviews by video. Many platforms and apps are great tools for conducting remote interviews and connecting better with your candidates.
3. Be Prepared
Whether you are going to make the interview by Zoom or Skype, make sure the platform works well. Test the microphone, the video, also make sure that your internet connection is stable. The worst you can do is wait until the last moment to find out your mic isn’t working, or the platform needs updates.
Location is also something to have in mind. Quiet spaces do make a difference in remote technical interviews. Seek a quiet spot in your house, far away from the playroom (if you have little kids). Or go to a nearby coffee shop with a good internet connection and few people.
4. Don’t Improvise – Prepare Your Questions
You know the type of employee you are seeking, so why prepare the questions? Well, although you might be good at improvising, don’t take this step for granted. The type of questions you make impact how you conduct a technical interview. Question prep is useful, especially when you know what type of employee you want in your team and what kind of answers you want to hear when asking technical questions.
Recruiting great talent is a process. Don’t try asking a hundred questions about everything at the same time. At DistantJob, even though we headhunt and hire easily, we like separating things a bit. On the one hand, we ask questions to see if a candidate has the technical skills; on the other hand, we also make sure that candidates will be a good fit for the company. And this doesn’t always happen during the same interview.
Bonus tip: Go for team interviews as well! It’s useful to have other team members interacting with candidates. And after the interview, you can discuss your thoughts about the candidate and see if you are all on the same page.
If you need some inspiration on what skills to look for in a remote employee, our marketing director Luis Magalhaes, has come to the rescue. Check out the video below:
5. Set the Stage To Conduct a Remote Technical Interview
Although we are proud defenders of the video-interview movement, we know it’s never the same to meet the person physically. But, this doesn’t mean that during video interviews, you won’t be able to connect with candidates. This mainly depends on how good you are at conducting technical interviews.
Setting the stage doesn’t mean to bring up candles and put some nice music on. It means to talk as if you were having the interview in the same room. Keep in mind that candidates might be nervous and that not everyone loves cameras, so help them feel comfortable to answer your questions the best way they can.
6. Asking Technical Questions At Remote Interviews
This tip applies especially for those trying to hire developers. There are plenty of ways to test technical abilities remotely. This will be easy if you have a strong technical background and understand what you are asking.
Live coding tests: This is one of the most popular ways of testing dev’s abilities. You can set a project, problem, or a specific task, and through a screen-sharing option, you can watch how a candidate comes up with the solution. There are several tools to do this, such as Git Hub, Google docs, Miro, among others.
Technical questions: With technical questions, you get the best of both worlds. Not only you are aware of how much they know but also how they express themselves. If they can communicate clearly and explain or are doubtful and their answers seem memorized. If you have more devs on the team, you could ask the candidate to solve something they solved in the past and observe the process.
7. Hire Faster, and Better: How To Conduct A Techical Interview With Us!
And these are our tips on how to conduct a technical interview in a remote setting. If you want to skip the process of hiring remote developers because you have a lot on your plate, you don’t have the technical background, or you had too many bad experiences, we want to help you. We promise you this: with our help you’ll be able to see your new developer in two weeks. Not any kind of developer, though. But a really talented developer who will adjust perfectly to your company. We want every company around the world to have the best tech talent at an affordable price.