Interviewing virtual teams


How is interviewing virtual team members different from ordinary staff hiring, if speaking about software outsourcing? When the personal meeting is impossible, what are the key actions that help find the best developers for the distributed team? Thanks for your answers

Outsourcing Virtual Workforce

asked Feb 16 '10 at 20:46
Alena Shechkova
101 points

1 Answer


It is clearly harder to interview someone that is not physically in the same room with you. There is a certain amount of body language and presentation that can tell you a lot about someone. This makes the task of finding talent much more difficult.

I have found that successfully interviewing and hiring virtual teams requires the following steps:

  1. Talk to them on the phone: Talking on the phone is critical to figuring out how someone acts and interacts.
  2. Ask for and check references: A lot of people ask for references but never check them. This is really critical to get right. So, always check references.
  3. Figure out if you know someone that knows them: Knowing other people who may know your potential contractors will be an invaluable source of feedback and comments.
  4. Grade the communication both verbal and written: Managing virtual teams is all about clear communications. Without it, you will have lots and lots of problems. So, if the communication is lacking, then it will get even worst.
  5. Initially, give them simple, short duration projects: You can always give a potential virtual team member a short duration project and see how it goes.
  6. Do external code reviews: If you have people that you trust, have them review the code as well. This will be a great way to judge their quality of work.

In the end, you really need to use your gut and judgement as to whether or not you can work with them.

answered Feb 18 '10 at 11:45
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points
  • Re body language, you can do a Skype video call. – Dmitry Leskov 14 years ago
  • Good point. Skype would work pretty good for that. – Jarie Bolander 14 years ago
  • thanks much for your comments – Alena Shechkova 14 years ago
  • No problem. Good luck selecting your team. – Jarie Bolander 14 years ago
  • Jarie, thanks much! – Alena Shechkova 14 years ago

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Outsourcing Virtual Workforce