Vasily Voropaev, a founder and CEO at, a serial entrepreneur, and a dedicated promoter of remote work and remote teams, shared his experience in a material for Forbes.

You can read the original article at the link.

Seventy-four percent of companies surveyed by Gartner say they want to keep some employees remote, even after the pandemic is over. But how do you find those who won’t burn out in a few months?

I have more than 15,000 remote employees under my roof, and I imposed a simple rule when hiring remote workers: Know what to ask to choose the best candidate. This has helped me not waste time and money looking for people who will fail very soon anyway.

Before you even begin the hiring process, you need to understand that working from home is a skill. And it can be tested in an interview just like any other. There are several questions you can ask to help you with this. This allows, without straining the candidate too much, to check their qualities that interest you the most.

Here are the qualities you should look for in a remote candidate:


Working remotely, employees must be able to plan their work and personal time.

Questions worth asking:

What tasks did you solve in your previous job? What did you personally suggest doing?

Is the candidate a mature person capable of taking responsibility for the situation on their own? For remote work, in contrast to office work, self-organization is very important for an employee of any level.

One more useful question:

What was the most ambitious project that you yourself came up with and implemented?

People with self-motivation are capable of answering this question, especially in IT. They enjoy solving interesting problems. If you need to find someone with motivation and energy, this is a great question to ask.


There are no people completely responsible in every aspect of their life. But talking about it is uncomfortable. People are used to thinking that they should be responsible for everything, even in the smallest details.

To help the candidate relax and honestly talk about themselves, you can try to start the conversation about your failures. Situations in which you may not have shown responsibility, and what happened in the end. Ask the applicant to talk about similar experiences in their work or personal life.

A good question:

Why is it possible not to complete a task?

Such situations at work will surely happen. And candidates won’t be able to not answer such a question and dodge everything by the banal “I am always responsible.” The quality of their answer will tell you how serious they are about their work.


A candidate must be able to complete tasks according to deadlines. But such an aspect of their personality is hard to test during a half-hour interview. Therefore, to test the personal qualities of candidates, it is very important to communicate with their previous customers or employers. You can get information about them from the CV or résumé of the applicant.

If you can’t get in touch with previous employers, you can try a question like:

Are you ready to adjust your schedule to the team’s schedule? What time do you usually start and end your workday?

Here, the thought process is more important than exact answers. An exception is if your company has a specific, strict work schedule. In this case, practice shows that the difference in a person’s working time should not exceed three hours.

Motivation To Work Remotely

To check if the applicant understands the differences between office and remote work, and is ready for the second option, you can ask:

If we gave you the opportunity to work in an office or at home, which one would you prefer? Why?

If a person says, “I don’t care; the main thing is I want to work with you,” then this probably is not your candidate. How many more predictable and safe responses did they give in the interview? You are hiring an employee for a remote position, so they should have an interest in remote work and their own reasons as to why it is important to them.

Communication Skills

Communication within the remote team becomes critical. In the office, it happens naturally, while someone gets up and goes to have a bite to eat. When working remotely, it has to be actively worked on. It’s one of the main things we focus on at

You need to understand whether a person will communicate with colleagues. Of course, there may be a few “loners” in the team, but if work chats are always dead, employees start to have a feeling of an oppressive atmosphere. And they may begin to think about working elsewhere.

A helpful question would be:

If you could not resolve an issue at your previous job, whom did you contact?

This lets the person know that it’s OK to ask you questions. And it allows you to assess the behavior of the candidate in a stressful situation. And after their story, you can (and should!) tell who will be the person’s contact in a new project and with whom they should communicate to resolve certain issues.

Bonus: What You Don’t Need To Ask

There are some popular interview questions that don’t really mean anything. They only make it clear to a potential candidate that you do not value their time.

Here are some of them, in my opinion:

Can you tell us about your “home workplace”?

Experienced remote employees can work from any place. Many of the top programmers in the Valley work from coffee shops (I even know someone who works from a gym).

Why are you considering a job in our company?

If you do not have a super-unique project, you will not hear useful answers. And if you are a startup or a little-known firm, this question also makes you seem insecure about yourself and your future.

Tell us about your working day?

How exactly the candidate arranges their day does not matter — the main thing is that they are comfortable and can give you results.

If your candidate has certain qualifications to work remotely (motivation, self-organization, responsibility, punctuality), then you can be confident when starting your onboarding process. This person will be much more likely to stay with your team.