Interview questions every CTO has to ask
when hiring remote developers

Leading a tech team is not an easy task for a CTO. But finding and hiring tech talent may be even more challenging, especially if recruitment is not your primary area of expertise. Still, it's important for any CTO to be the driving force behind the recruitment process.

Here are some interview questions which will help you highlight important strengths in potential candidates and make right hiring decision.

#1. What tools for collaboration and remote work you have experience with?

An answer to this question will give you an idea of how the candidate communicates with the team, no matter if it is remote or co-located. A toolbox of an ideal candidate for remote work would include a video conferencing tool such as Zoom, a time tracking tool such as Time Doctor, a project management tool such as Trello, and sometimes a time zone management tool such as Time Doctor.

#2. How do you manage conflicts when working remotely? Please describe a situation where you've successfully resolved a conflict.

This question will reveal how good is the candidate at communication with colleagues. While communication is important in co-located teams, it is critically important in remote teams. The reason is that in co-located environments people communicate naturally while in a remote setting it should be done deliberately.

#3. Do you use any special techniques or life hacks to stay focused when working remotely?

When working from home, it is very easy to get distracted. In the office too, but in the office, you have a certain level of "live" supervision and thus cannot afford distractions that are too long. However, no one can see what you're actually doing at home, and some employees can abuse this "invisibility."

#4. What working hours are most comfortable for you?

People choose remote work mostly because of flexible working hours. However, different organizations can have different requirements. Moreover, as your team grows, you may be getting new team members that are located in different time zones.

#5. How good are you at written communication?

According to Wade Foster, founder and CEO of Zapier,

"Most communication in a remote team happens via text—email, team chat, or one-on-one private messages. If someone struggles to write clearly and concisely, they'll struggle in a remote team." (source)

Therefore, you have to make sure that your candidate can clearly communicate their thoughts and concerns via writing. You can see that already at the pre-screening stage when you chat before the call.

Speaking of Zapier, did you know that its CTO, Bryan Helmig, is working with a 100% remote development team since the very beginning of company's growth? Well, he does and quite successfully.
We at Zapier are working in a purely remote way. Everybody's on the same level. Everything's optimized around it and that's great.
Bryan Helmig, CTO of Zapier
— Why do CTOs start hiring remotely?

— What were the biggest problems CTOs face when building a team?

— How to speak to the best tech talent you want to hire?

— What tools can a CTO use to ensure a productive workflow in their team?

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