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Best Practices for Remote Developer Interviews

This article was originally published on Remotebase blog.

Interviewing remote developers requires a different set of best practices compared to traditional in-person interviews. We have the most effective remote job interviews, tips and techniques to help you conduct effective remote developer interviews, along with a guide for the pre and post-interview process.

Is conducting remote interviews worth it?

Remote interviews can help companies to cast a wider net and access a larger talent pool, as it eliminates geographical barriers and allows companies to interview candidates from anywhere in the world. According to a survey by Stack Overflow, 46% of developers prefer remote interviews over in-person interviews. Another survey by HackerRank found that 79% of developers said they would take a job without ever meeting their employer in person.

Additionally, it can save remote job seekers and interviewing companies time and resources as there is no need for travel and accommodation arrangements for either the candidate or the interviewer.

Moreover, conducting remote interviews can help companies to ensure a more inclusive hiring process by removing potential biases related to physical appearance or socio-economic background, which may occur during in-person interviews.

However, it is important to note that remote interviews also have their limitations, such as the inability to physically observe a candidate's demeanor or behavior, technical difficulties, and potential distractions. Nonetheless, by conducting remote interviews in the following way, it can be a valuable tool for companies to find the best-fit candidates for their open positions.

How to conduct remote developer interviews?

- Pre-interview process:

Prepare a clear job description

Before interviewing a developer, you need to have a clear understanding of the job requirements. Define the required technical skills, experience, and qualifications that the ideal candidate should have.

Pro tip: Use a job description generator to write attractive job descriptions.

Screen resumes

Screen resumes to identify candidates who meet the job requirements. Look for candidates who have relevant work experience, education, and certifications.

Research candidates

Research candidates online to learn more about their background and work history. Look at their LinkedIn profiles, Github repositories, and personal websites.

Prepare interview questions

Prepare a list of interview questions that are relevant to the job requirements. Ask questions that will help you assess the candidate's technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. Use a structured remote interview process that includes a set of standardized questions that you ask every candidate. This will help you compare the candidates fairly and identify the best fit for the role.

Schedule the interview

Once you have identified potential candidates, schedule the interview at a time that is convenient for both you and the candidate.

- On the interview day:

Choose the best video interviewing platform

In a study by LinkedIn, it was found that 80% of recruiters and hiring managers agree that video interviews will become the norm for the foreseeable future. The most popular tools for video interviewing for remote positions are Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. Seeing the candidate's face can help you gauge their reactions and level of engagement during the interview.

You can also opt for pre-recorded interviews as a backup plan. A recent report by Workable found that companies have increased their use of pre-recorded video interviews by 67% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Test the technical infrastructure

Before the virtual interview, test the technical infrastructure to ensure that everything works smoothly. Check the internet connection, camera, microphone, and other tools that you plan to use.

Clearly communicate instructions and expectations

It's important to give candidates clear instructions on how to join the remote interview, what to expect during the interview, how to follow up after the interview and any other relevant information they need to know.

Ask behavioral questions

In addition to technical questions, ask behavioral questions that help you understand the candidate's problem-solving skills, work ethic and communication skills.

Make it a two-way conversation

At the end of the job interview, give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions about the role or the company. This can help you gauge their level of interest and enthusiasm.

How to evaluate developers during remote interviews?

Remote candidate evaluation for a tech role requires you to look into some sceptic details including:

Technical skills

This is the most important aspect of the remote job interview, as it tests the candidate's ability to write code, solve problems, and work with different programming languages, frameworks, and tools.

Communication skills

Communication skills are essential for developers to work effectively in teams and interact with clients or stakeholders. Therefore, it's important to assess a candidate's ability to communicate clearly and effectively.

Problem-solving abilities

Problem-solving is an essential skill for developers, as they often encounter complex issues that require creative solutions. Therefore, it's important to ask candidates to solve coding problems or give examples of how they solved challenging technical problems in the past.

Domain-specific knowledge

Depending on the job requirements, it may be important to assess a candidate's knowledge of a specific domain, such as finance, healthcare, or e-commerce.

Collaboration skills

Developers typically work in teams, so it's important to assess a candidate's ability to collaborate with others, share knowledge, and contribute to team projects.

Culture fit

Culture fit is important for any job, and it's especially important for developers, who often work in fast-paced and dynamic environments. Therefore, it's important to assess a candidate's personality, work style, and values to ensure they fit in with the company culture.

Experience and qualifications

Finally, it's important to assess a candidate's experience and qualifications, including their education, previous work experience, and relevant certifications.

- Post-interview process:

Evaluate the candidate

Evaluate the candidate based on their responses to your interview questions, their technical skills, and their overall fit for the job.

Compare candidates

Compare candidates based on their skills, experience, and qualifications. Consider their responses to your interview questions, the quality of their work, and their ability to work with your team.

Follow up

Follow up with the candidate after the online interview to provide feedback and answer any additional questions they may have.

Check references

Check the candidate's references to verify their skills and experience.

Send offer/rejection email

If you are satisfied with the candidate's performance during the remote job interview, send an offer email. If not, then send a rejection email providing constructive feedback on areas for improvement and encouraging them to apply for future roles that may be a better fit.

How to write an offer letter email for developers

Here's a sample offer letter email:

Dear [Candidate Name],

We are thrilled to offer you the position of [Developer role] at [Company Name]. Your qualifications, experience, and technical skills have impressed us greatly, and we believe you will be an excellent addition to our team.

Your responsibilities in this role will include [job duties and responsibilities]. We believe your experience in [relevant experience] will be an asset to our team and company.

The details of your compensation package are as follows:

  • Annual salary: [salary amount]
  • Benefits: [list of benefits]
  • Start date: [date]
  • Working hours: [hours per day/week]

As a member of our team, you will have access to the latest technologies and tools, opportunities for professional development, and a supportive work environment.

Please confirm your acceptance of this offer by signing and returning the enclosed copy of this letter. We will also send you further details on your first day and other onboarding instructions.

We are excited to have you join our team and look forward to working with you.


[Your Name]

[Company Name]

Must read: The Ultimate Developer Onboarding Checklist for 2023

How to write a rejection email for developers

Here's a sample rejection email:

Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for your interest in the [Developer role] position at [Company Name]. We have carefully considered your application, and we appreciate the time and effort you put into the interview process.

Unfortunately, we have decided not to move forward with your application at this time.

Please know that this decision was not a reflection of your skills or experience, which we recognized and valued during the interview process. We encourage you to keep applying to other opportunities that match your skills and experience.

We appreciate your interest in our company and wish you the best of luck in your future job search.


[Your Name]

[Company Name]

How to ensure a positive candidate experience during the remote interview process?

To ensure a positive candidate experience during the remote job interview, you can provide timely and clear communication, offer feedback on the candidate's progress in the process, and provide a positive and engaging interview experience, such as allowing the candidate to ask questions and learn more about the company culture and values.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best practices for remote interviews?

Here are some best practices for remote interviews:

  • Test your technology beforehand to ensure a smooth interview experience.
  • Choose a quiet, well-lit location for the interview.
  • Prepare interview questions that assess both technical skills and cultural fit.
  • Use a video conferencing platform with features such as screen sharing and recording.
  • Give clear instructions to the candidate on how to join the interview.
  • Make the candidate feel at ease and comfortable during the interview.
  • Allow time for the candidate to ask questions and provide feedback.
  • Follow up with the candidate after the interview and provide feedback when possible.

What are some best video interview tools?

Here are some popular video interview tools:

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Cisco Webex Meetings
  • GoToMeeting
  • BlueJeans

How can I assess a candidate's cultural fit during the remote job interview?

To assess a candidate's cultural fit in a remote interview, you can ask behavioral questions that elicit examples of how the candidate has demonstrated specific values or skills in past roles, involve other team members in the interview process to gain multiple perspectives on the candidate's fit, and provide a clear understanding of your company culture and values.

What are some effective ways to evaluate a candidate's technical skills in a virtual interview?

Some effective ways to evaluate a candidate's technical skills in a remote interview include asking the candidate to solve coding problems, either in a coding test or during a live coding session, having the candidate share code samples from previous projects, and conducting pair programming exercises.

How can I handle salary negotiations with a candidate?

To handle salary negotiations, you can provide a clear understanding of the salary range for the role based on industry standards and the company budget and ask the candidate for their salary expectations. If there is a gap between the candidate's expectations and the company's offer, you can discuss other benefits or incentives that may make up for the difference.

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