Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies have been moving away from full-time, in-person staff out of necessity or convenience. This is great news for people who want to spend less time commuting, but it does present some new challenges.
Communication can be more difficult when working remotely. It’s a different vibe from working in the office and you have to be even more proactive about connecting with colleagues about the projects you’re working on.
Hiring practices are different too. If you’re looking for a remote job, you must be prepared for different questions than you’d be asked in person.
Here are some questions you might come across when interviewing—and how to ace them.
1. Have You Worked from Home Before?
Obviously, a company is going to feel more comfortable hiring someone who’s already got a track record of success for working from home. If you have experience, talk about how you managed your tasks and maintained communication.
If you haven’t worked from home, be honest. However, you can play up your communication, tech skills, and time management abilities to impress your interviewer.
2. Which Tech Tools have You Worked with?
Most remote teams use task management software to track projects. For remote jobs, working with tech will be an important qualification. Be prepared to talk about different software tools you use and why your team chose to use them. If you can find out which tools the company already uses and get familiar with them before the interview, all the better!
Employers are looking for people who have skills that are relevant in the digital world. Showcase those skills on your resume, then tie them back into the interview questions and discuss how you’ll use them in a remote work environment. Remember, you might have to use your tech skills for troubleshooting when things go wrong because IT won’t be just down the hall!
3. How Do You Stay Motivated and Focused When Working from Home?
It’s harder to micromanage people at home (which is a good thing) but there are also lots of distractions at home that don’t apply in the workplace. Give this question some serious thought, because you’re almost certain to be asked some variation of it. It’s best if you can give specific examples instead of broad answers.
4. How Do You Approach Communication When Working Remotely?
Since communication is more difficult for remote teams, companies will prioritize people who are exceptional communicators. If you haven’t worked remotely before, show that you’ve put some thought into this issue and talk about how you would approach communication and collaboration with the rest of your team.
If You’re Offered the Job…
Most people are thrilled to be offered a remote job for the flexibility it offers. However, it’s important to remember that it’s still a job like any other. You should be negotiating the terms of your employment and advocating for yourself. If you aced the interview and got an offer, it means you have some negotiating power!
Remember: Preparation is Key
Preparing for a job interview is always a challenge, since you won’t know exactly what to expect. However, if you can anticipate the kinds of questions you’ll be asked for a remote position, you can prepare as much as possible. Shift your mindset from the traditional office and remember that the interview process will be quite different. Good luck!
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