Interviewing for a Remote Job? Ask These Questions

If you are interviewing for a remote job, the company’s culture becomes even more important. Why? The culture at the company will play a big role in how successful a person will be in such a job because collaboration, communication and teamwork become that much more important when everyone works remotely.

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Here are some important questions to ask about the job to make sure the company is providing the support you need to be successful.

  1. What kind of hours will you be working?

Most people assume if they are working remotely that they would have greater flexibility with their hours, being able to decide when they work. But the opposite tends to be the case. You will need to establish a regular schedule, one that coincides with the rest of your team.

Another thing you need to take into account if everyone on your team is working remotely across different time zones is the communication set up among everyone. If the time zones are different, it may require you to work at times outside of traditional work hours.

  1. How many people are working remotely?

You need to determine how common remote work is within the company. Is everyone working remotely, or will you be one of just a few people who are working from home? If everyone is working remotely, you will be working under the same conditions as everyone else, with the same opportunities as everyone else.

If, however, you will be just one of a few who are working remotely, it is more likely that you will have to make the effort to ensure you remain connected and are not missing out on any opportunities.

  1. How do people communicate?

It is important to ask about your supervisor’s management style because this acquires even greater importance for remote workers. Your supervisor cannot just drop by your desk to fill you in on something or give you an update. So, how they plan to keep everyone working together and informed is of primary importance.

You also need to find out what kind of access you will have to your manager. Ideally, you want to have the same kind of access that you would if you were working in an office. How often does he or she have meetings, and what kind of network platform does the company use? Do managers communicate often individually with the people on their team? How often do team members communicate with each other

If you ask how the supervisor plans to keep you connected and informed while working remotely, and he doesn’t have a good answer, that should raise a red flag. This is exactly the kind of thing that should have been worked out. If it isn’t, it shows the company doesn’t value their remote workers as much.

  1. How would you get feedback?

Ask them how they plan to give feedback to remote workers. If they have no procedure worked out, you can suggest one to them, such as getting together every few weeks to talk about goals and performance. If they balk at this idea, this is another red flag that they are not ready to invest in the growth of their remote workers.

  1. How is the company improving the remote work environment?

Working remotely presents its own unique kinds of challenges and obstacles. The hiring manager should be able to describe how the company is responding to those problems and what they are doing to enhance the remote work environment.

If you’re looking for work – whether it’s a remote job or not – make sure to check out Helpmates’ latest job opportunities. If one or more appeal to you, apply online or contact the Helpmates branch nearest you.

When the Job Interview is Going Terribly Wrong

It’s every job candidate’s nightmare – you’re at a job interview and things are not going well at all. You are a little more nervous than usual because this is a job that looks really good and one that you really want. But you are having trouble gathering your thoughts and articulating them clearly and cogently. You have stumbled through a few answers and begin to feel a little dampness from the sweat clinging to your collar. What can you do to get things back on track?

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We did some digging and found a few suggestions. We also came up with some of our own. Take a look below.

  1. Keep calm.

Yes, easier said than done. But if you want to recover, you need to stay cool and poised. Take a few deep breaths, maybe pop a breath mint. Put the past behind you. Don’t rerun previous answers in your mind or obsess over the way you answered them. You need to give your complete attention to what is going on now and the questions yet to come.

Don’t get spooked by the demeanor of the hiring manager either. Some people are not as emotional as others, so if the interviewer isn’t very responsive or emotive, it could just be the person’s personality. Don’t automatically take it as a sign they’re unimpressed with your responses.

  1. Mirror the interviewer’s mannerisms.

For example, the interviewer may be someone who tends to use their hands more when they talk and raises their voice from enthusiasm. Or, conversely, the interviewer may be someone more phlegmatic, talking more slowly and staying on an even keel.

In either case, take your cue from the interviewer’s demeanor, and try to push the tenor of your responses in a direction that is more in line with theirs.

Body language is also important. Lean forward slightly to show enthusiasm. Make eye contact with the person, and avoid actions like fidgeting or toe or finger tapping, as this can be distracting and give the impression of insecurity.

  1. Connect to your strengths.

As part of your preparation for the interview, you should have a few anecdotes and examples of your strengths, skills and accomplishments. Try to work these stories and examples into your answers.

  1. Acknowledge a misstep and move on.

If, for example, you begin to answer a question and realize that it is not the approach you want to take, don’t be afraid to admit the misstep and start over. The larger error here is to be so fearful of admitting you took a wrong turn that you continue plowing ahead with your original response, even though it’s not where you want to go.

Admitting you made an error may actually impress the hiring manager because it demonstrates a maturity and self-awareness about your performance.

  1. Make a phone call afterwards.

If you leave the interview still feeling that it did not go well, all may not be lost. If there was a third-party involved in helping to arrange the meeting or make an introduction, call them and explain your situation. They may be willing to advocate on your behalf by providing additional explanation or information to the interviewer/hiring manager.

  1. Use the thank you note.

You can also take advantage of your thank you note to ameliorate your situation. If there is some particular information you failed to provide during the interview, make reference to it in the thank you note and provide it there. Or if you feel you botched an answer to a particular interview question, use the thank you note to take another stab it.

Whatever you do, don’t apologize or otherwise call attention to what you perceive to be a poor performance. For one thing, your perception of your performance may be completely different from that of the hiring manager. Focus on being positive, correcting errors, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview, and your interest in the job.

If you feel your interview went poorly, talk to your Helpmates recruiter soon after. We may be able to talk to your interviewer to get their feedback and, help plead your case.

Don’t have a Helpmates recruiter yet? Call the branch office nearest you and make an appointment to talk to us.

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