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Hiring + recruiting | Blog Post

The Definitive List of Remote Software Engineer Interview Questions

Wes Mitchell-Lewis

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One of the fastest ways to uncover non-technical skills is through strategically tailored software engineer interview questions that are relevant to the unique demands of remote work. Not everyone has the same skill set and it is important to find the person that will complement the rest of your team. Be careful when screening both technical and non-technical skills.

There are a number of traits to consider when hiring remote developers – organizational skills, adaptability, self–discipline. The skills we focus the most on are:

  • Autonomy
  • Resourcefulness
  • Proactive Collaboration
  • Self-Motivation
  • Strong Verbal + Written Communication

It is necessary to ask the right questions during the interview so that you can gauge a candidates abilities and measure these characteristics.

Here is your definitive list of interview questions for remote software engineer hiring –  these are the five non-technical skills to look for that our global sourcing team seeks in stellar remote candidates. 


This skill is critical in remote work, from the ability to navigate a complex project without significant oversight to proactively overcoming roadblocks, you do not want to hire someone that needs to be told every minute of every day what they should be working on.

What to ask:

  • Can you share some specific examples of how you have thrived working autonomously on past projects?
  • How have you been creative in independently advancing your work without your manager’s close supervision?
  • Tell me about a time you had to define and lead a project with minimal direction.


Being resourceful means creatively and proactively seeking the right resources and support needed for any presented situation. Whether it is reaching out to another team member or finding the answer on Google from some forum – you need to ensure they can stand on their own two feet.

What to ask:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a project obstacle on your own.
  • Can you walk me through the steps and thought processes you used to come to a solution for a recent problem you faced?
  • What is an example of a time when you found a non-obvious solution to a problem at work on your own?

Proactive Collaboration

With so many moving pieces, proactive collaboration among team members is essential. You need people working together to succeed in your team goals and the better they collaborate, the more efficient your team will be.

What to ask:

  • Tell me about successful team collaboration at your last job, and how you specifically contributed to the process.
  • How do you define your collaboration style as a team member?
  • What are your favorite ways to foster remote collaboration with fellow team members when working asynchronously on a project?


A self-motivated team member will often show signs of having a natural curiosity and love of problem-solving. Whether at the office or at home, workers will have off days and also sprints of inspiration. The workers who are able to self-motivate will always be working to find their next sprint of inspiration and solve whatever problem is ahead of them.

What to ask:

  • What is the last thing you learned? Why did you pick this, and how did you go about learning it?
  • How do you keep yourself ahead of the game? How do you stay informed on the latest trends in this industry?
  • Can you share an example of when you had to self-motivate through a long and challenging project?
  • In the past, how have you remained motivated on a difficult project with minimal oversight from your manager?
  • During your career, what was the last project you worked on where you spearheaded the initiative without previously being asked to?

Strong Verbal + Written Communication

Responsiveness and the ability to explain questions and concerns with clarity make communication essential for remote team success. Many people are used to face-to-face and that is ok – but in this world of remote, strong communication skills are more important than ever to stay on top of projects to hit your goals and is a critical software engineer interview question to ask.

What to ask:

  • Can you share an example of when your clear communication made a project flourish?
  • How about a time when poor communication hindered the success of an initiative?
  • In retrospect, how would you go about this differently today to achieve a better outcome for that project?

The Best Software Engineer Interview Questions Focus on Strengths

The interview process can be nerve-wracking for candidates. Try to let the conversation flow and insert these questions throughout the interview, seeing where the conversation goes. You do not have to ask every question above, but these questions are extremely relevant to finding the best remote employees. 

We hope you were able to learn today! Keep exploring the rest of Terminal’s content offerings and if you are interested in learning more about how we can help you accomplish your growth goals, please

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