A remote working interview can be an intimidating experience for any job seeker. But don’t worry, we have you covered! We’ve compiled a list of the best questions to ask during your next remote work interview and what you should know about the company before going in. Remote Working Interview Questions: How To Ace The Job Interview? is here to help you ace that tough interview!
Remote Working Interview Questions
1. Do you have any experience working remotely?
Answer: I’ve had a lot of experience working remotely. A lot of companies are moving in that direction because it liberates an employee to work. The employee can easily work on different projects for multiple employers without being tied to any specific location. It enables an abundance of flexibility, not only with their time but also with finding jobs (or taking jobs) from any part of the globe.
One important thing for the employer and the employee is to have agreements about what type of work can be done remotely. Apart from that, how it should be communicated if there’s an issue or a question (platforms, like Skype, faxes, phone calls), and what guidelines need to be followed as far as accounting. In order for this model to succeed–and make sure you get your best people working.
2. What are your thoughts on the best way to find coworkers for a remote position?
Answer: Get personal recommendations from people who have experience with the position, as well as those who have done remote work before.
The best way to find coworkers for a remote position is by getting recommendations from someone you know personally; if not, then look for the experience he has for the position you are hiring. Apart from that, you can also try connecting with people on LinkedIn or Twitter and ask them for advice and their thoughts on the best way to find coworkers for a remote position in your field of choice.
3. What productivity apps do you use most often when working remotely?
Answer: The apps I use most often are Trello, Slack, and Skype.
Using these three apps allows me to stay connected and well informed about my team member’s activity. It avoids frequent interruptions or conversations which can be carried out at a more appropriate time.
I also find that these three apps allow me to motivate and encourage peers who are far away!
4. How do you stay social while working from home/the office regularly?
Answer: Remain connected and be active.
The first thing you can do is to connect with others online or in the office by using a Skype video call or join a conference call if the phone no longer suffices. However, you can also join social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram where many people share photos and posts within their networks.
Another option for being social is to find a virtual co-working environment that provides day/night offices and virtual meeting rooms. Here, you’ll have access to others who are working from home too. These options will help keep you plugged into what’s going on around you without having to completely disconnect from work just because of geography. This way it won’t feel like your peers are “gone” when they’re not working under the same roof.
5. How do you manage your time with work and family obligations when remote working is part of the job expectation?
Answer: Remote work is awesome, and you can opt for a remote working lifestyle (or not) based on what’s best for your personal life.
Neither working in the office nor being in one place at all times is better than the other. It just depends on which arrangement best suits your needs – maybe it’s an afternoon off here or there, or more time to work during evenings and weekends. Take into account what’s important to you–your family, your own sanity, and productivity when deciding how much flexibility you want with this arrangement!
More often than not, people tolerate burnout in their job because they feel they don’t have any other options while their partner manages childcare responsibilities from home. Some manage splitting days between childcare and work responsibilities.
6. What do you see as the best part of remote work?
Answer: Aside from the ability to work without a boss breathing down your neck, there are other benefits.
The freedom and flexibility of remote work lets you explore aspects of your business that might have been impossible in a more constrained environment. Being able to thrive at home is easier than ever with things like high-speed internet that enables video calls.
People who follow the remote route will become experts in what they do by necessity. Because they are required to rely on themselves for support and logistics management 99% of the time. Whereas an office dweller could live their whole life without ever being exposed to any responsibility outside their own immediate function or specialty. Thus developing stronger skills and more personal responsibility as a result.
7. If you had the choice, would you rather work in a traditional office environment or at home full time in front of your laptop?
Answer: You will need more discipline in a traditional office environment, so if you’re reluctant to work without supervision it’s better for you.
However, the trade-off is that your mental agility and innovation will be less at the end of every day. It is so because there are fewer interactions with other professions (colleagues) during multiple hours of desk time and isolation with music or YouTube videos. This reduction can have dire consequences on one’s social life, too. For example, I’ve seen some people sitting up late playing video games while their significant other is sleeping right next to them! So whenever possible we should balance our “at home” and “in an office environment” days so that we maximize our cognition rather than wearing down any one area.
8. What is the number one factor that depends on when it comes to deciding whether or not to take on remote work?
Answer: The number one factor that manipulates the decision to take remote working or not is location. If you can’t be in a different geographical setting, and it’s financially viable to do so, the answer to the question would assume that geographic location is not an issue.
Many people think there’s no difference between being at home and working remotely because everything they need for their job is online anyway. But much of remote work relies on human interaction and building relationships with people—not just emailing, texting, or video chatting. And if you’re in a noisy environment at home (perhaps with kids), there’s often less focus and productivity on tasks that require deep concentration too—all of which are equaled out when your office is only five minutes away from your front desk.
9. How do you balance everything while remote working?
Answer: Maintain a set work schedule.
You will likely need to adapt your working patterns to you and your circumstances. But as long as you have a workable routine during the day, what you do outside of that very much depends on the daily commitments in your life. For example; cooking, housewifery, fitness routines etc., can easily be adapted to suit this flexible way of working.
Maintaining a set work schedule helps maintain sanity and focus since it’s not harder when we’re working from home. A lot of people find they produce better quality if they stick to their hours each day, and it keeps them motivated and coming back for more.
10. Can seeing people less often lead to feeling out of touch and lonely?
It’s been shown that people need to be seen often by their friends and family in order to maintain a high connection with them. A lack of contact may lead to the feeling of being left out, lonely, or even completely forgotten about. It also makes it harder for you and your friends or family members to communicate the things they care about most too.
What do you think causes this? One possible factor might be that our meaning is fundamentally relational now. The personal is political and there’s an “I’m not me without you” vibe that pervades everything we do, so when we lose touch with someone it feels like losing some part of ourselves.
11. What motivates you?
Answer: Keeping to my values, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and feeling like I’m contributing positively in my own way.
Isn’t it strange how some days we have an endless supply of energy. Like, no excuses in sight for why you can’t make it through that 8 hour workday, or why you don’t feel like staying active when you’re off work? Other days we’re powerless to forces beyond our control that seem stacked against us at every turn. That doesn’t mean the whole day is lost. We just need to find what “powers” us on those tough days so everything doesn’t overwhelm us.
There are a few ways to get going again, and most effective could be, lean on your loved ones and friends close by or back home.
12. What are some of your biggest fears or worries in the workplace?
Answer: Here are four of my biggest fears/worries in the workplace:
- I fear that my boss is setting me up for failure (for example, not giving me enough time to do what’s needed or asking too much of me at once)
- I worry about getting pulled into some drama between co-workers.
- Often, people who are higher on the food chain will throw politics at us and expect us to just follow suit instead of listening to our gut feeling.
- On a personal level, one thing that always makes me nervous is working from home because it takes away a sense of peace and can seem like you’re never “off” work if you have your laptop set up next to your bed.
13. How do you deal with failure and what are your thoughts on risk-taking?
Answer: Around 40% of people fear that they will lose their job. 21% of people are worried about the prospect of getting laid off. Another 20%-25% are afraid that their income level won’t be able to support them and their family, which happens for a variety of reasons like losing the ability to work due to health issues or an injury, being out-competed by advanced technology replacing jobs, or outsourcing in another country.
And then there’s at least 10% who worry about the other 90%. They’re worried that they’ll see someone else get laid off and let down across from management because there will be no one left to replace them if it’s their turn next.
All challenges are risks that have potential rewards. Knowing this helps create perspective and enables you to see how even the most challenging situations often end up turning out better than expected because trial-and-error can lead to many good outcomes as well as bad ones. Choose those tasks with great care, but also coach yourself through them without too much anxious negativity so that you don’t let fear stop you from being who you want to be in life!
14. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Answer: The answer was about a career, but I want this to just be a short-term goal.
I don’t want you to think of me as someone who is set on their goals and bettering themselves for my own sake alone; I could be doing terrible things and you wouldn’t know because I’m too busy working.
However, some are not as considerate as their carefree attitude allows them to be. They put all this work into their future without thinking about others, like it’s none of your business.
It may not have been their intention whatsoever when they did it, but the thing is that they simply can’t afford that luxury with such a casual attitude.
15. What motivates you to work remotely?
Answer: Working remotely is great because it allows you to have flexibility in your life. Take off at noon for an errand or to eat lunch with friends, not worry about staying long after office hours. It also saves the money on gas and wear and tear on your car.
Working remotely also gives you a lot more living space – you can live outside of the city where rent is cheap, or work from home if that’s not available. It cuts down on all the time wasted commuting back and forth, which increases productivity.
In addition, working remotely also lets us spend more time with our loved ones. We no longer have to wake up early so we can make it in before 8am and then watch a movie together over dinner at night.
16. How will remote work achieve your personal career goals?
Answer: Remote work can help you achieve your goals by allowing you to spend more time outside of the office.
Remote jobs lend themselves exceptionally well to entrepreneurs, home workers and freelancers, those who are in search for inspiration and life balance. You’ll be setting your own hours and direction with this type of job. So make sure that it’s an arrangement that is going to work for you in the long run.
Remote work can help you and your team grow without needing any physical infrastructure. That is, if your personal goal is to “grow”, remote work allows for dramatic expansion of both skill sets and capacity without intense resource commitment. In doing so the business becomes truly like a virtual company – not just because people might not ever meet each other but also because turnover rates will likely drop drastically too!
17. What are your thoughts on managing the balance between professional and personal lives while working from home/abroad on a regular basis?
Answer: As long as you enjoy your work, have a strong personal network, and are mindful of the time difference then the living-at-home lifestyle shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You’ll want to start by identifying what’s going on in your life that is causing the chaos – usually some kind of major change (moving to a new area or state, break up, death in family).
Think about stress points. What makes you feel stressed out at home? Can you do something to mitigate those stresses? Get an apartment with friends instead of getting a house alone if household chores make you feel bad. It could be something seemingly small like being able to stop cooking for yourself after coming home from work.
18. Are you able to successfully separate professional and social media lives while living comfortably in one location or more for extended periods of time?
Living comfortably requires a person to separate their professional and social media lives, especially in the age of Facebook (professional) & Pinterest (social). What I mean is that you should use Twitter for what it’s designed for- short status messages about your day. Most people who spend all day on Twitter post about five times a day, but if you’re not posting more than 15 statuses a day then don’t make it your only form of communication with friends. Remember to keep some boundaries between what you do at work and who you are outside of work, too!
Others may like the overlap as they find it thrilling to see how they interact differently in both domains based on their level of comfort or skill.
19. What are your thoughts on the future of remote work?
Answer: Virtual collaboration has been steadily on the rise in recent years, and it’s poised to become an integral part of working life. In a decade or so, the distinction between remote work and normal work may be obsolete.
The number of people who telecommute is growing at 3 times the rate as those traveling for business trips. As more jobs become more mobile-friendly (ex: clerk positions) we’ll see even higher levels of telecommuting. In addition, given that practically all forms of communication are portable now. Wi-Fi enabled digital theater lobbies to show first-run films; Facebook can be accessed without any form of connectivity while you’re on an airplane; Skype is used by millions worldwide to video conference with loved ones.
20. Have you ever felt as if you were being treated differently for interviewing with a company over Skype?
Answer: Yes, but when you’ve got a positive attitude and focus on the interview in front of you, it won’t matter.
21. If given the opportunity, how do you think employers and employees would communicate in a fully remote workforce world?
Answer: Based on industry norms and word-of-mouth, the most common communication patterns for remotely located employees include things like weekly check ins, bi-weekly standups, open door policy for walkups & calls. But these are just conventions that may or may not work well with your specific profession.
However, it’s best to discuss any communication preferences you have both before the start of employment as well as during periods of job searching and negotiation. The key is finding something that works for everyone so there’s equity in what they’re contributing to one another.
Be sure to explicitly address a few more tangible remote working policies in your contract such as setting out hours of operation (e.g., 9am – 5pm IST).
22. Is it ok to do conference calls for job interviews while at work?
Answer: Of course not!
It’s often frowned upon for candidates to wear overly casual attire for job interviews, so it should be assumed that the same logic extends to your mood and attitude. If you’re on a call with potential employers, they’ll communicate better with you. If they can hear that you are alert and engaged on the call. And if you’re busy dealing with a customer crisis while talking to them, they won’t see you as someone who is as committed or reliable.
23. Which companies have the most remote friendly work environment?
Answer: This is a difficult question to answer. There are many factors one has to take into consideration when deciding on the best remote friendly company to work for. It can be even more difficult if you have multiple priorities. However, to list some names as remote friendly work environment, I would say following names;
- Automattic– The company has more than 1700 employees with only 95 working in an office setting.
- Atlassian– All of this company’s engineers and half of their customer service staff work remotely.
- Cisco Systems Foundation– All the executives for this non-profit organization work from home 15% of the time. In addition, the core development team is also split between contractors and remote workers with 75% of them being remote staff members.
- Microsoft Offices–Some Microsoft employees are lucky enough to have a flexible environment in their offices that practically lets them work from home if they feel like it or just get over there once a week.
24. Would you be scared to accept a remote position since you wouldn’t have the immediate support of an office space or other workers nearby and would only be in contact with those workers through phone, email and chat apps if needed?
Answer: There’s a sense of independence here that you might not want to give up. The truth is, remote work means more responsibility—you’re your own grownup (or parent), and there’s no one to tell you what to do! You’ll have to make new relationships with clients and co-workers over the phone or Skype, learn how this all works on your own.
Do it for the experience. One of the greatest benefits of being a remote worker is that if things go wrong, you’re in total control.
25. What is a specific challenge you’ve experienced while remote working?
Answer: One of the challenges I’ve experienced is that as a remote worker, I’m disconnected from physical office spaces. This makes it difficult to be invited to meetings, go out for lunch with coworkers, or attend happy hours.
We need space where we can gather and talk about the day before we start our workday in the morning. We also want people of all expertise levels and roles to be present when meeting with peers who are newer or different outside a specific field you might know more about (we might not know anything outside this area). Lastly, we want people from all around so there’s some socialization since you’ll always interact mainly just with those in your company if working remotely.
26. Do you currently prefer remote working? Why or why not?
Answer: It helps me get more work accomplished for two reasons:
1) There’s less environmental distractions, and
2) I’m not tempted to browse Facebook, chat with friends or pet the dog.
I haven’t found anything that satisfies both criteria for me. People might think working from home would be better for productivity because of those two things. However, when I try it, there are a lot more distractions. Plus all the time I save not having to commute back and forth is mostly spent on mindless web surfing or chatting with friends anyway. So if you want to try it out just make sure you find either a really disciplined person or an office environment where somebody will pressure/kick you if you ever divert attention from work for too long.
27. What are your thoughts about workplace design and management in an age where remote work productivity is on the rise?
Answer: I would not recommend offices for remote teams, rather buy tables and laptops at a good price. This will allow you to work from anywhere and is more cost-effective. Plus it’s much better for the environment than having one office with multiple people who are constantly going back and forth between locations (like many Silicon Valley companies).
What do you think about meeting rooms? I don’t recommend meeting rooms if possible because they quickly make employees tired which slows down their productivity. And if your meetings are too long in a room, the audience may start looking around at everything that’s in there instead of staying focused on what the speaker is saying. The speakers might also try to cover too much material during their lecture because they’re nervous about not leaving any important point untouched.
28. How do you think that social media has made it easier for people to engage in remote work relationships?
One of the more positive consequences of social media is that it reconnects us with people from our past in a way that makes it easier to maintain long distance friendships, and convenient for former partners to remain friends. It can also be a very fast way to make business connections with people from both your personal and professional lives, which has been said to help facilitate remote working relationships as well.
29. What are your thoughts on the future of remote working hiring process?
Answer: The future of remote working in the hiring process is more and likely sooner than any of us anticipate. It’s not hard to imagine, as we grow into a completely global society- one in which there are hardly any borders between countries, states or even city blocks – that our office life will soon exist without space limitations.
Business leaders on the forefront of this trend have found that removing location restraints not only expands their talent pool but also actively cultivates diverse perspectives and innovative thinking in their creative teams.
Flexible working arrangements such as telecommuting can offer valuable cost savings for companies as well, by reducing operational overhead from rent to furniture purchases while still maintaining contact with creativity-driven people around the globe.
Remote working will soon grab the whole market and working trend around the globe.
30. Can you share an experience where you felt like it was difficult to describe your knowledge, skills, and abilities to a hiring manager?
Answer: Yes. Many times I have felt very nervous when asked “What are your qualifications?” In those moments, I find it difficult to articulate my background at the level of detail. Such as, a potential employer might want to know about. The truth is, in these occasions I’m actually not looking for a job (I am being proactively job seeking). Thus, instead just trying to make connections with various people in different sectors. So I can expand my network and learn more – a way for me to get exposed to new ideas or concepts which will hopefully lead me downtown independently.
Maybe this is why HR people put that question out there? It’s probably their first indicator of someone who has an interest in skills development but doesn’t know how or the right place to do so.
31. If you’ve worked remotely for different employers, is there anything in particular that one does differently than another?
Answer: Yes and no.
Remote working has its challenges, and it also comes with a few inherent benefits. For one thing, I don’t need to live in Austin anymore so I can live somewhere cheaper. Secondly, when the team is sort of scatter-exchanging remote people or getting into an area. Where we really need someone on the ground locally (maybe exploring new technologies), there’s always enough time for us to set up a visit as opposed to sending somebody over for a year full-time. Communication will never be perfect, but we have found ways around it with messengers like Slack and Google Meets.
32. What’s your best experience in a remote work environment?
Answer: My best work experience in a remote environment was when I was in a co-working space. There were people all around me who were doing similar things and talking about similar topics.
At the time, I didn’t know what co-working spaces were or how they operated. But after trying it out, this has been my favorite way of working remotely so far. If you’ve not had the opportunity to try out co-working yet then I highly recommend that you do. Because having other people around keeps your creative juices going and allows for some good ideas to pop up more naturally. However, if you are sitting alone at home trying to get back into what’s going on at work.
33. How do you think this job would suit your personality type?
Answer: Perception is the most important thing.
The most important consideration in any job, and any person, for that matter, is perception. For instance, a doer like me might want to be consulting. Because I care about solving problems and being able to come up with creative solutions on the fly. Someone who’s more empathic might enjoy teaching students on some topic of interest. Can might also be doing social work where they’re directly helping people solve their problems. What type of lifestyle are you looking for? A lot of introverts would do well as programmers or sales people these days. Which have largely desk-based workstyles (too much noise from others). You may not want too much contact with other people if your introvert tendencies start messing with your
34. Do you have any questions for me about the company or the role before we continue with the interview process?
Answer: The following questions can be asked in order to further understand the company and/or role before continuing with remote working interview process.
- What are the typical hours for this position?
- What is the overall company culture like?
- Who does this job work best with on a team and why?
- How would you describe your current role compared to previous roles? What was challenging about it, if anything?
- Is there an industry that’s more applicable than others for this role, or is any background relevant? Why or why not?
- Where would someone typically start out in this type of position and how long does it take to progress from one level to another in terms of compensation and responsibility, on average.
35. Why do you want to work remotely and not in an office setting?
Answer: Remote Working allows me to work on my own terms.
The benefits of working remotely are numerous. I get to choose the hours that suit me. There is no commute time which means I have more time for doing other things during the day. However, distractions from people can be managed better than in an office environment when all types of interruptions can occur at any point, anytime. To give you an idea about how remote the location is. It’s so remote that cell phone service stops at a particular point on a rural road!
The remote hiring interview process is vastly different and requires a unique set of skills. Here are some tips for how to ace the job interview when you’re not in person with your interviewer. So that you can succeed from anywhere. The first tip is to make sure your resume says ‘remote work available’ on it because many companies will only hire someone who does all or part of their job remotely. This way, if they have an opening for which this skill would be helpful, then they know about it already. Second, prepare questions ahead of time that show off what sets you apart from other candidates. As well as any specific knowledge pertaining to the company before going into the interview.
Hope you find these tips and above mentioned remote working interview questions valuable to crack your interview and impress the interviewer with your unique answers.