On this page, we're curating a list of questions that we at GitLab appreciate hearing answers to from others in remote organizations. We'll also address a popular question: "How do you interview remotely?"
Whether you're wanting to learn how to hire remotely, or just wanting to know how to get hired for a remote position, it helps to know how you should prepare for a remote interview. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so keep these tips in mind.
For hiring teams, a common challenge is this: "How do I assess culture fit remotely?"
To answer this question, you first need to unlearn a bit, and change your frame of mind. A hiring manager should not aspire to assess culture fit. Rather, you should aspire to assess values fit.
For many, it is assumed that culture is simply the aura, energy, or vibe one gets when walking into an office. This is largely driven by decor and personas in the room. It is dangerous to allow company culture to be dictated by such factors, as this will create an oscillating culture that changes depending on mood or socioeconomic conditions.
A company culture is a company's list of values. Culture is an assurance that each employee respects, admires, and feels invested in a company's values, and that leadership works to ensure values are not violated. As GitLab, a sub-value within our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging value is "culture fit is a bad excuse."
Remote interviewers should link a company's values during the interview and have a conversation to assess a candidate's alignment and understanding of those values. Particularly in a remote setting, values serve as the north star, guiding every business decision by people you cannot physically see and shaping how colleagues treat one another.
Conducting a remote interview is all about preparation, and most importantly, setting expectations for the person being interviewed. You also have technical considerations to make since the person joining the video/conference call is using a different setup than you, or they may not have interviewed remotely before. Be clear about how to join the interview and the technical requirements. Make sure the process and/or email templates are documented internally so that others can communicate this process to future interviewees.
Remote interviews are just like in-person interviews in many ways: You're still trying to make a good impression and communicate your strengths, you're just not doing it from the same room. One of the ways that remote interviews can go wrong is if you don't take into account your environment and let yourself become distracted. Preparation is just as important in a remote interview as an in-person interview.
Don't casually browser the internet on your computer during an interview. If you wear glasses, the other person may be able to see what is on your screen and that can be a little embarrassing. Only have what you need for the interview and don't get distracted.
Use headphones with a microphone. Not only will this make you sound better, it will reduce listening fatigue for the other person as well so that you can have a better conversation. One of the more common phrases you'll hear from GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij is, "Can you put your headphones on?"
GitLab seeks to learn from others who are embracing remote work. This list of questions is directed at other peers working within a remote organization. Some are aimed at executives and hiring managers. In the video above, found on the GitLab Unfiltered YouTube channel, Sid asks the below questions to InVision Chief People Office Mark Frein.
We are working on a submission process for remote companies who want to engage in interviews with GitLab to share their perspective on these questions and more — stay tuned!
Below is an archive of past interview guests, answering the above questions and discussing remote work with GitLab team members.
Learn more about scheduling a GitLab Pick Your Brain series.
GitLab's all-remote culture empowers team members to live and work where they are most fulfilled, and to structure their day in a manner that suits them.
If you have yet to work within an all-remote environment, it can be difficult to fully understand the potential. Each individual is able to approach all-remote differently, leveraging the autonomy it enables to improve one's life.
In the GitLab Unfiltered video above, two GitLab team members share their experiences on working in an all-remote setting, providing a glimpse at what's possible when embracing this style of work.
To provide insight and transparency into the lives of GitLab team members — and give those considering remote work ideas for structuring their own lives — we ask the below questions in a video interview. While GitLab's entire team is remote, there can be great diversity in answers.
Explore answers from GitLab team members in the Remote Work playlist at the GitLab Unfiltered YouTube channel.
GitLab team members interested in being interviewed should message @dmurph.
Return to the main all-remote page.