How to conduct a technical interview in a remote setting? By taking into consideration the candidate’s technical background, the type of role, and the best communication platform to use, you can create an effective remote technical interview process. It is important to think about how to best assess a candidate’s technical abilities, while also providing them with a positive and effective experience.
During our 10 years of experience, we have learned how to evaluate skills like communication abilities, autonomy, and time management, among others. And we know how to structure interview questions to evaluate technical and soft skills. In this article, we’ll share our main tips to help you conduct a technical interview successfully!
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 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, and the video, and 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 to 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 the dev’s abilities. You can set a project, problem, or 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 are you 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.
And these are our tips on how to conduct a technical interview in a remote setting. If you want to skip the process of recruiting remote developers because you want to focus on other aspects of the business, you don’t have the technical background, or to avoid a bad hire, we want to help you.
Our technical recruiters are here to help you streamline the process of recruiting remote developers and find the perfect fit for your company. We understand the importance of finding the right candidate and promise to provide you with a talented developer within two weeks. Our goal is to provide companies around the world with top-notch tech talent at an affordable price. Let us help you find the right developer for your business today!