Remote work isn’t just about rolling out of bed and strolling across to your laptop for eight hours a day. It’s a job that requires self-discipline, focus and lots of motivation to keep your spirits high and get the work completed to the best of your ability. Besides dedication, you also need excellent communication skills to work with colleagues across the globe.
Lucky for you, we’ve listed the 10 most common remote interview questions below, with examples on how to answer them.
1. Have you worked remotely in the past?
To gauge how serious you are about a remote role, the hiring manager will usually pose this question. If you’ve worked from home in the past, you’ll be more likely to stick to the role without missing the office environment and will already feel comfortable in a remote position.
If you’ve already worked in a remote role, offer a detailed response of how you succeeded in this position. If you haven’t, however, don’t stress! Explain that you’ve not worked in a remote role before, but you are very disciplined and organised – you could even use an example from your university days when you had to focus on writing your dissertation.
2. What types of communication and collaboration tools have you used before?
Being able to communicate effectively is an essential aspect of working from home – you need to be able to use various communication methods to liaise with your coworkers and get your work down.
It’s likely that you’ve worked with various collaboration tools in the past like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello or Asana. So, be sure to explain what you’ve used with and how these tools helped you communicate with your teammates.
3. How do you maintain effective communication with the rest of your team?
Working remotely can often create a few obstacles when it comes to communication. Sometimes, there can be misunderstandings via email, while vital information might get lost through instant messaging.
When explaining how you maintain effective communication, you could detail the steps that you follow on every project. For example, I always create a shared task on Trello with detailed instructions and a checklist before conducting a meeting with my colleagues whom I’ll be working with. I also use Google docs for any shared work so that we can all track comments, changes and any other edits that have been made.
4. How do you stay motivated while working from home?
Being at home with lots of distraction is often a cause for concern when it comes to employers, especially if you’re a new employee whom they don’t know very well. You don’t have the pressure of your boss looming over your neck or your colleagues peeking over your shoulder. That said, most companies use other methods like monitoring software to track remote employees’ performance.
To tackle this question, explain what methods you use to stay motivated while working from home, whether it’s using at timing technique like the Pomodoro method or switching off any distractions like the TV and locking your phone in the drawer. You will need to prove that you’re capable of disciplining yourself during working hours and that you have a good routine.
5. How do you ensure a project is successful while working from home?
Seeing a project through successfully is essential regardless of whether you’re working from home or in an office. Hiring managers want to know that you have the experience to communicate effectively and get the job done.
To show that you have the skills that it takes, explain how you place a lot of emphasis on asking the right questions to get a clear understanding of the task. You then create a timeline and a to-do list to ensure your work is completed in time.
6. How do you adapt to change?
Being adaptable is important in any workplace setting, but hiring managers place an additional emphasis on this skill when you’re dealing with a distributed team. With colleagues working on different time schedules, you’ll need to show that you can amend your schedule when needed.
A good example would be when a colleague fell ill and had to take an extended period of time off, so in their absence, you needed to step up to the plate and ensure their duties were covered too. You could use examples of how you distributed the work among the team and oversaw it until your colleague returned back to work.
7. How do you resolve or overcome a challenge in the workplace?
During an interview, an employer will want to see that you’re a problem-solver. When working in a remote setting, it’s sometimes easier for problems to arise, whether it’s a lack of communication between coworkers or some kind of technical issue.
When answering this behavioural interview question, use an example from a past experience to show how you have adapted to a workplace-related situation. First, list what the problem was, then explain what you did to overcome and resolve it. For example, I was once working on a VIP travel booking when I realised that a colleague had booked concert tickets for the wrong evening. To overcome the issue, I had to contact a third-party seller and purchase even better tickets which were given to the client free of charge.
8. Why do you want to work from home?
Employers pose this question to identify whether you want to slack off and work in your PJs all day, or whether you feel more productive in your personal environment. For example, some workers will want a remote job to look after a family member, which could affect their productivity or ability to work.
So, when answering this question, you could explain how you feel more productive without any office distractions, and also don’t want to be restricted by geographical locations. This could help you reach a wider circle of opportunities and career progression that you would have otherwise not been able to obtain.
9. How do you switch off from work?
When working in your home environment, it can be challenging to switch off from work and focus on your family life. Employers will want to see how you plan on managing your day so that you don’t get burnt out.
If you’re naturally an organised person, then the answer will be simple! You can explain how you will set yourself working hours and work in a designated area – for example, a home office or your desk. Once it’s time to log off for the day, you won’t return to your work area until the next morning.
10. Do you have a specific morning routine?
Although this might seem like an odd question, employers will want to see what you will do now that you don’t have to commute. The most successful people in the world follow a particular morning routine – and they will want to see if you follow suit.
If you’re already working from home, offer a de-brief of what your morning routine looks like. For example, do you wake up and exercise or spend your morning hour reading the news or catching up on industry news? These types of examples will show that you place importance on self-care, which will also put you in a good mood for the day.
Besides common interview questions, it’s essential that you know how to answer those concerning remote work, too when you’re hoping to land a role whilst working from home. With the help of this guide, you should be able to showcase why you have the skills to work-from-home and why you’re the best fit for the job!
Have you interviewed for a remote role before? Which of these questions did you answer? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.