Anyone who has made the transition to work from home, or work remotely, will attest that it’s far different than working in an office setting. While there are certainly some perks (no commutes or traffic!), working from home does present some challenges. With less in-person interactions, getting work done efficiently takes a different set of skills.
If you’re job searching now, more than likely you are interviewing for roles that will, at least, begin working from home. Hiring managers looking to fill remote roles will want to understand from candidates their ability to produce quality work in an efficient manner. So, while preparing for interviews you’ll want to be able to answer questions around certain skills that working remotely requires, in addition to the usual interview questions assessing your skills for the job.
The following skills are all important in remote work jobs, and really focus on your work styles and habits (read: soft skills.) Typically, these are reasonably important in an office setting, but are heightened in importance when working from home.
Do you show up to meetings (phone, video) on time and prepared? Do you keep deadlines and update your co-workers with changes and progress? Showing reliability in a remote setting takes more work because there are fewer interactions with co-workers. In an interview, be ready to demonstrate with examples how you build trust with your team when not in the office.
Possible Interview Question: How do you keep yourself motivated and engaged while working remotely?
Can you express your ideas clearly and succinctly to avoid misunderstandings? How do you provide critical feedback in a positive manner, especially if you are in a supervisory/leadership position? This is perhaps one of the hardest things to manage well while working from home and conducting meetings through phone, video, or chat platforms.
Possible Interview Question: What is your approach to maintaining effective communication and collaboration with a remote team?
In a work setting, this refers to the ability to find answers and solve problems on your own without barraging co-workers with questions. You should feel comfortable asking questions, but certainly try to figure out issues on your own first. Be thinking about how you can demonstrate your resourcefulness.
Possible Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you weren’t sure how to do something, how did you go about seeking out information?
In a remote job, the hiring manager is wondering if they will need to micromanage you, or if they can count on you to take initiative on projects/tasks and check in with you periodically. They will likely ask questions to assess how you take the lead and first steps on projects, and how you raise concerns if you need help along the way.
Possible Interview Question: What is the key to making a project successful when working remotely?
In a remote setting, pulling up and aligning with your colleagues is quite a bit harder. Especially with so many video meetings, screen fatigue is commonplace. Be thinking about how you have included and collaborated with colleagues on past projects and initiatives.
Possible Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to change.
When working from home, it’s all too easy for things to slip through the cracks. Be thinking about how you organize and prioritize your tasks and regularly loop your team members in?
Possible Interview Question: How do you manage your time and keep yourself organized?
#7: Conflict Resolution
Conflict easily arises when working remotely, with emails and online chat being easily misinterpreted. How do you respond when this happens?
Possible Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker.
Remember, if you have any upcoming interview Career Services is here to help. You can schedule a Mock Interview with a career advisor to prepare and feel your best!