The 9 Most Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing Foreign Talent

Ask these crucial questions when interviewing overseas job candidates

Key takeaways:

  • The proper interview questions for foreign candidates reveal if they will be a good fit for your business.

  • Choose questions that give you a deeper understanding of the candidate’s skills and talents as a freelancer or outsourced worker.

  • Never ask questions about a candidate’s religious or political standing or sexual orientation.

The interview is an integral part of the hiring process for any job. It becomes even more important when you are hiring people in another country. It isn’t quite as easy to judge a potential candidate’s ability to fill the job when they are halfway around the world. 

International candidate interviews are usually conducted via a live video platform such as Zoom or Google Meet. Another efficient idea is one-way video interviews in which candidates are provided with questions ahead of time to record their answers. These options not only save the price of overseas phone calls but give you a face-to-face experience that is irreplaceable.

Interviewing a foreign candidate requires a different line of questioning that’s focused on how and when they can perform the job duties from a remote location. Never ask questions about religion, politics, or sexual orientation; it can set you up for a lawsuit. Your questions should focus on revealing how a candidate will best fit into your business. Ask these ten telling questions when hiring foreign talent to make sure you hit all the bases.

1. How long have you outsourced your talent?

Hiring someone who has already worked with foreign companies is a perk. They know the potential pitfalls of freelance work from abroad and how to avoid them. You gain their talent as an employee and the benefits of a seasoned professional, such as efficient scheduling habits and smooth communication

2. How were your past experiences?

Asking about a candidate’s past outsourced work experience can tell you a lot. You will understand what the candidate feels is a good or bad work environment and a sense of how they will fit into your company’s big picture. 

3. Why do you outsource?

Find out why your candidate outsources their work. The usual answers will be financial and convenience-oriented but you may also hear something that makes the candidate particularly valuable to your company, such as “frequent travel” or “I speak several languages.” 

4. What advice would you give the HR department on hiring outsourced workers?

Asking what they think is vital for HR to know lets you know their biggest work hurdles. Candidates will answer this question by explaining where they need to be heard the most and addressing problems that show up regularly in all businesses that hire foreign workers.

5. What types of technology do you use in your work?

It’s important to know that the person you hire can do the job, no matter where they live. It’s even more critical when your candidate lives across the globe. Find out what sort of technology they use in day-to-day work tasks. Ensure they are proficient in any software programs that are vital to your business and capable of delivering work on time.

6. What is the strongest skill you bring to the table?

Hearing what a candidate feels is their greatest strength can tell you a lot. You can assess where they will add the most benefit and how much supervision they’ll require in your company. 

7. What are your weaknesses?

No one likes to talk about their weaknesses so this question can be very telling. Something that may seem like a trivial weakness to them can be something vital to your business or something they consider a weakness could turn out to be an advantage to you.

8. Tell me about yourself

This tried-and-true gem is a standard question that HR should ask at every interview. It’s a dreaded question for interviewees but it can give the HR department a broader understanding of their skills, experience, and personality. 

9. How do you handle stress?

Stress comes with the territory when you are a freelancer. It’s vital for the health and success of your business to hire someone who has a plan for handling stress. People who are easily frazzled when things get down to the wire are not beneficial to business. 

Knowing the right questions to ask a foreign candidate is vital. The costs of firing and rehiring are more than financial. It also saps time and energy from your staff. One area of interviews that often confuses employers is cultural etiquette but it’s pretty simple. Avoid any questions about religious or political standing or sexual orientation.

Consult with a professional when you have questions

DOXA helps small and medium-sized businesses build high-performing, scalable, global teams. We are a global business services firm that is fundamentally aligned to bring better solutions for small businesses. Using our proprietary system, we ensure that SMBs have the infrastructure, tools, and assets to compete with larger organizations. We allow hiring managers to talk to candidates before signing an agreement with us. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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