Remote work is on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. As a company, you save on the overhead fees of an office space rental, electricity, supplies and more. As a remote worker, you eliminate your commute and get to work on your own schedule. You can make time during the day to run errands or for emergencies, or you can work at night when you’re most productive.
Before you land your ideal remote job, you have to master the art of remote interviews. Preparing with common questions and understanding the interview from your potential employer’s perspective will give you an advantage.
What to Expect
Companies with distributed teams want to know a few things, including how well you work remotely. They look for five key characteristics in their employees.
Accountability: Employers look for a remote worker who takes responsibility for their projects and tasks. This means they understand what has to be done and take the initiative to do it.
Communication Skills: These are vital when working remotely, because you won’t be in the office with your peers while you work. Instead of asking your colleague something one desk over, you’ll have to proactively communicate when you have questions or need clarification. Without body language or the cues from in-person interactions, good communication skills are needed to avoid miscommunication.
Technical Skills: These are the skills you need to do your job well. If you are applying for a design job, your technical skills will be the ability to create graphics, portray messages and meaning, and balance colors and typography to achieve the look your client wants.
Proactive Reporting: Remote workers need to send comprehensive reports so that managers get clear insight into the work being done. This includes time reports for any employees who are billing hourly, and status reports on projects.
Care: Remote employees may feel more disconnected to the company, since it’s harder to build company culture in a distributed team. Because of this, employers tend to want someone who cares about the business and their mission, in order to keep remote workers motivated. For example, if you already use the company’s product or service, it can show that you’re invested in the business.
What is your schedule like? – Employers want to know when you will be available, and how many hours a week you can contribute.
What’s your remote work experience? – This is to gauge how well you can work remotely, which is a skill in itself.
Are you seeking a full-time job or just a side project? – This is to determine the type of setup your business will have.
What is your office setup like? – It differs from person to person, but you may not be as productive working exclusively from coffee shops as you would be working with a dedicated office.
What tools do you use? – This question leads to two discussions; whether any of the tools you use overlap with the tools that their team uses, and whether you are willing to use their tools. For example, they may ask if you’re willing to use a time tracking tool, if you aren’t already.
Below is an infographic on remote interviews with valuable tips from Hubstaff, which is a time tracking software company whose team is 100% remote.