Finding good and reliable developers can be a challenge nowadays. The competition is incredibly strong which makes attracting new talents difficult. 

Your job is to find a person who is an expert at their job, but also who can fit well with your current workforce. 

This makes job interviews your best chance at getting to know a candidate so that you can decide whether or not to move forward with collaboration. 

The pandemic changed the way interviews are conducted. Most businesses had to switch to online work, so they started hiring remote employees all around the world. This means that the majority of interviews are now done online. 

In this article, we will review some of the best strategies for successfully conducting remote interviews with developers to help you find the best talent. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Are Remote Interviews Different from In-Person Interviews?

Although both online and in-person interviews serve as a chance to get to know candidates, there are still significant differences between the two. 

First, remote interviews provide some additional options as compared to offline interviews. Applicants can now send you short introductory videos where they’ll tell you something about themselves, saving you from the “tell me about yourself” questions in your remote interviews. Additionally, remote interviews are less costly and much easier to set up. 

The logistics are much easier and take less time. Recruiters can use this extra opportunity to think about the content of the interview, instead of worrying about the venue. 

The downside is the lack of in-person contact, as well as all the technical difficulties recruiters may encounter. Even if they have a great environment, candidates can still struggle with online programs and Internet connection, which can impact the quality of the conversation. 

Best Tips for Conducting Remote Interviews with Developers

Now that you know the differences between offline and remote interviews, let’s take a look at some of the best tips you can use to make your interviews with developers more effective.

Tip #1: Set up Goals for the Interview

Before you start the interview, you should have specific goals in mind to make sure you’re asking the right questions. For instance, you may want to learn whether the developer is familiar with certain coding languages. This might force you to use some technical jargon. 

Let’s say you’re looking for a WordPress development professional, the candidate should understand all the ins and outs of WordPress and how it works. You can learn this through relevant questions and tests if needed.

Some additional goals that you should set up for the interview include:

  • Is the person you’re talking to easy to talk to and work with?
  • Will they be able to code the way your team needs them to?
  • Does the candidate understand the questions and problems your team is dealing with?

Tip #2: Have a Script for the Interview

Another important step is to prepare a script for the interview. This will make you feel more at ease throughout the conversation. Not only that but having a sense of structure will also help the applicant feel more comfortable during the interview, which might lead them to share more about themselves.

You should know that when you’re conducting a remote interview, you need to be the one leading the interaction.

When you’re hiring a mobile app developer, for example, you need to make sure you’re hiring someone with the right technical skills.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to the script strictly. Try to be as spontaneous as possible while also knowing you still have some questions and other options to go back to if you don’t know how to continue.

Tip #3: Make Sure That Technology Works 

In a remote interview, you have to pay close attention to the technical stuff. Chances are you’re going to be using tools such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. It’s always good to share this information with the candidate beforehand, so they can prepare as well. 

Your job is to make sure all of these tools are up to date and ready to go when you need them. Also, make sure you can also follow these tips to make sure your interview goes as planned:

  • Create a non-disturbing environment for the interview
  • Run a test before the interview to see if everything works
  • Make sure you can be seen and heard

Tip #4: Set up a Coding Test

Since you’re hiring a developer, you need to make sure you’re hiring someone with the right technical skills. This part will depend on your entire hiring process – some companies set up tests and interviews separately while others might do them at the same time.

You can set up a coding test that you can use during the interview to test the applicant’s coding skills right on the spot.

For example, you can set up a coding test through tools such as GitHub. Or, you can ask the applicant to solve a problem and debug a piece of existing code. You might also need to collaborate with your team throughout the process.

Tip #5: Ask the Same Questions 

If you have several applicants for the job, then the best thing you can do is ask them the same questions during the interview. This way, you’ll have a more objective way of gauging the quality of your applicants.

Of course, no two interviews will be identical, but you can at least create a framework that you can use during the interview to see how the candidates compare to each other.

Tip #6: Don’t Forget About Personality!

Since you’re hiring for a highly technical job as a developer, it’s easy to focus on the technical skills of the person in question. So much so that you quickly forget about focusing on the personality of the interviewee!

Before the interview, create a shortlist of personality qualities you would like to see in your candidate. You don’t have to stick to this shortlist strictly, but the ideal candidate should have a few of the qualities you’ve listed on your shortlist.

Soft skills matter a lot in the job as a developer and it’s up to the interviewer to learn about the person’s potential as a personality.

Final Thoughts

In the future, remote interviews are going to become even more commonplace. So it’s best to start preparing now and make sure that you’re ready for the future. With the right tools and tips, you can make remote interviews just as effective as offline interviews and pick the right people for the job of developer for your company.

Read: how to prep your interview attire

About the author 

Dmitriy Maschenko is the head of a division and a Board member at PSD2HTML, a company that offers top-notch web and mobile development services to all kinds of clients, from S&M businesses to agencies and governmental bodies. Dmitriy went all the way from a developer trainee position up to where he is now. With 12+ years of experience in the IT industry under his belt, Dmitriy has a wealth of knowledge to share with his readers. He writes on topics related to business management, website & app development, and everything in between.