5 Questions to Expect at Your Next Remote Job Interview

If you’re interviewing for a remote position, not only can you expect to field a variety of questions about yourself and your experience, but you should also come prepared with a battery of your own inquiries about your potential future role. While your interviewer may be curious about your previous responsibilities, your work ethic, or how you manage your time, you might want to know things like how the company maintains its culture in a distributed workforce or what kinds of tools and technology you’ll be expected to use in the role.

Remote jobs bring with them unique circumstances, perks, and challenges that you’ll need to navigate if you end up landing the role, so knowing what things to consider and what questions to ask during the interview process can help you better understand what you’re getting into and determine if this position is the right fit for you. Today on the blog we’re discussing some things an interviewer may ask you when interviewing for a remote role and some questions you can ask during the interview process to ensure this job is the right fit for you as well.

How do you work best?

Remote work requires self-awareness. You should know the time, location, and materials you need to work your best. Some employers may give you a stipend to outfit your home office or they may order everything and ship it to you. They might be willing to pay for a coworking space if that would be the best option for you. It’s a great idea to paint a picture of your working style during the interview process so your interviewer can determine if the way you work best is in alignment with the rest of the team.

Ask the interviewer about team communication styles:

Do they have a weekly status meeting? A “water cooler” slack channel? Planned retreats? Maybe they want an update daily of the projects you’re working on. All of this goes a long way towards feeling like a team when you’re physically apart. Understanding expectations around the type and frequency of team communication up front will help you seamlessly transition if you decide to accept the job.

What hours can you be available?

One of the great benefits of remote work is flexibility. However, your employer or manager will still want to know when you’re available for calls. Maybe you know that you’re an early bird, so you’ll be available from 7AM to 3PM. Consider potential scheduling needs like catering your day around childcare availability–-while you don’t need to share specifics, detailing a realistic synopsis of your daily schedule will help your interviewer know what they can expect from you.

Ask if the team works on the same schedule:

Do all team members log in at 9AM? Or do they work in shifts when it’s best for each employee? The overall team schedule can provide valuable insight into the company culture.

What organizational tools do you use?

Remote work requires a high level of tech fluency, and this question allows you to shine. Your personal process will give your employer the confidence that you’ll fit seamlessly into their own organizational process. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of popular platforms and tools that may prove valuable to team communication and productivity.

Learn about their project management tools:

As a candidate, you should ask what tools they use for their remote workers. Google Drive? Dropbox? Microsoft Teams? As they describe what they use, respond with your own experience with those tools or similar products you’ve tried for those tasks.

Why do you want to work remotely?

This question offers a great opportunity to say that you know you work best at home, you have a system that works for you, and you’re confident you work best outside the office. If you have caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to disclose those as reasons for wanting to work remotely. However, a long, unnecessary commute is a valid reason to work remotely, especially when you have the tools and capabilities to work at home.

Ask why the company is looking for remote employees:

Maybe the team just wants the best talent available, or they feel the job description doesn’t need team interaction. Either way, learning why the position is remote can reveal the priorities of the team and the value they place on the role.

How do you prioritize work?

Without a manager checking in and asking for a project every half hour, you’ll be prioritizing tasks on your own. That means you need to assure your future manager you won’t let projects slip through the cracks. Lay out a system you have in place, like looking over deadlines on Monday and scheduling time to work on projects, so they can see how you problem solve when it comes to scheduling.

Ask how the team decides on project priorities:

You can also ask how the team prioritizes: you might learn that they “put out fires” often, which translates to constant emails or less time for big picture projects. If you don’t thrive under pressure, you may find a company like this isn’t a great fit for you.

Wrapping Up

Part of what makes you a great hire is your work ethic, and that doesn’t change whether you work on-site or from a coffee shop. Asking the right questions and knowing ahead of time how you’ll respond to common remote job interview questions will go a long way in helping you land the role.

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