Answering Interview Questions about Your Remote Working Skills
As more companies look to hire remote employees, common interview questions have expanded to also include questions about how employees work remotely. Certain characteristics and habits make some people more qualified than others to work remotely, and employers want to feel confident that they are hiring those capable, disciplined, and organized enough to handle the unique challenges that remote work presents. When interviewing for a remote role, here are some questions you may be asked and some sample answers you can provide to show what makes you an effective remote worker.
How is your day scheduled?
Some people are more productive in the morning while others are more night owls. Be honest with yourself and figure out what routine works best for you. Think about how you best utilize your time (meaning perhaps you do the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning or instead you do them later in the day when you are more focused) and create your ideal schedule. Factor in breaks and unstructured time as well. Unstructured time is important because you can address work concerns that may come up in your day, that you previously hadn’t factored in. During the interview, showing the employer that you have given thought to how you organize and structure your day will ease their concerns and show that you’re an employee who can manage their time.
What is your home office environment like, and what do you need to be successful?
For most, having a productive at-home office environment means one with distractions kept to a bare minimum. During the interview, detail your office set up and if it’s a virtual interview, show them the environment. Additionally, companies need to know what tools and resources remote employees need to best do their work. Some companies have the budget to give their employees stand-up desks, multiple monitors, etc. so it’s important to ask for what would be most beneficial.
How do you communicate and collaborate with a distributed team, and what tools do you use for different situations?
One of the challenges with remote work is not being able to quickly pop over to someone’s desk or office to ask them a question. Thankfully, with remote work, there are a lot of different tools available. When answering this interview question, it’s important to show your varied approach to communication and knowledge of how the different communication platforms best serve your needs. For instance, email is great when you need it in writing or to have something that you’ll want to reference later. Chat is good for simple, quick questions or to provide an informal update about something. Video meetings are great for collaboration and brainstorming, important company/team updates or kick-offs, and new employee orientation.
If you would like more common remote interview questions and answers, there is a great article on Dice that can be a further resource for you.