Do you have an interview coming up for a remote job? Whether it's a virtual interview or in-person, it’s important to be prepared to answer questions specific to remote work, no matter what field you’re in. These questions are asked to uncover how tech-savvy you are, your communication skills, your work style, and much more. Hiring managers are looking to see how cut out for remote work you are.
As a staffing agency with over 50 years of experience, we work closely with our client organizations and know exactly what they are looking for in candidates. At JOHNLEONARD, like most of our clients, we have transitioned to remote work. With experience and insight, we know what interview questions are being asked to gauge if a candidate is qualified for remote work. Here are questions you may be asked and suggestions for what you should include in your answer.
Do you have any experience working remotely?
If you’ve worked from home before, even if it wasn’t full-time, provide in detail where, when, and your overall experience. You can talk about any challenges you faced and how you overcame them. If you haven’t worked from home, don’t worry. It’s not expected that you have, given that remote jobs have just become increasingly popular due to obvious reasons. Simply explain you haven’t had the opportunity to work remotely but you have similar experiences. Maybe you’ve had to work remotely with a team while in school, set up an event via social media, or coordinated a gathering online. Try to avoid just saying, “No, I haven't.”
How do you organize and handle your calendar and schedule?
Working from home requires you to be very organized. Employers want to know how you keep organized and structure your workday. You can answer this question by explaining what type of calendar app you use (Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or Outlook Calendar) and how you organize it. Do you color coordinate different tasks, is it open for all to see, do you set daily reminders, do you set aside extra time for unexpected calls or emails, or do you include personal and professional tasks on your calendar? Give details about how you coordinate your days during the week.
What is your communication style?
Communication is key when working remotely. You must be proactive in keeping the lines of communication open with your coworkers and bosses. Give examples of different ways you’ve stayed in touch with your team throughout the day and how you’ve prioritized scheduling check-in meetings to help strengthen connections.
Explain that you’re adaptable to the organization’s various collaboration tools. Ask yourself, am I comfortable using email, video conferencing tools, phone, real-time instant messaging, etc.? If not, how do you plan to learn and stay up to date with these technologies?
Why do you want to work remotely?
When answering this question you want to avoid mentioning you like the idea of sitting in pajamas all day. Explain that it’s the organization and opportunity that excites and interests you the most, the remote aspect is just a plus. You can talk about why remote work is your preference; no commute, flexible schedule, easier to care for the family, or maybe you just perform your job better working from home. Be sure to reiterate that your reasons why you like working remotely focus on the company and the job itself.
How do you stay motivated?
Working remote means no office distractions, no small talk with co-workers, and no micromanaging from bosses. But it also means you're accountable for being productive and getting your work done. When answering this question, you want to explain how you're capable of self-motivation and keeping engaged. Define your communication style, explain how you organize your day, manage your tasks, give yourself breaks, and share different ways of how you stay on track.
What do you need to create an effective home workspace?
Hiring managers are looking for two things by asking this question. One, what equipment do you need that the organization will have to supply. Do you need a desktop, an extra monitor, a keyboard and mouse, or maybe a standing desk? Are there any essentials you need in your physical workspace?
Hiring managers also want to know how you plan to create a distraction-free (as best you can) work area. Do you plan to work at the kitchen table, in an extra room, or at a coworking space? Do you have access to reliable WiFi, a printer, a working web camera, or a phone? These are all important points to mention, as they will help you succeed while working from your home office.
During your interview, you want to try your best to present yourself as an organized, driven, and communicative professional. Be sure to share your remote experiences, if any, and show your enthusiasm about the opportunity and organization. Prepare for your interview with these tips and you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream remote job!
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