For many, our ways of working and the environment in which we work has changed drastically. Whilst our ability to work remotely was typically not a question at interview previously, it is a key requirement for many employers and has become a more realistic prospect. With more and more companies extending their work from home policies every day, we are already seeing an increase in hiring for remote positions.
Your ability to work independently and remotely are big positives and can be incorporated into any interview responses to show how you could work remotely and reliably in an independent location. As with any interview, it is essential to remain fully engaged.
Be willing to talk about where you work from remotely or where you will work from. If you have not set this up yet, do it properly as it will only help you with your job search and when you get the job.
This should be a dedicated space with a desk and a chair, a desktop or laptop, high speed internet and a phone.
Familiarize yourself with how you set up your computer configuration. You should have apps and basic tools installed and try to become more competent in using these tools as this will only aid your chances. Of course qualifications are important, soft skills can only aid to seal the deal.
Ensure you are able to navigate platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Skype, ensuring you have them downloaded properly and can use them as you may be interviewed through one such platform. Check well in advance, that your background is set, whether virtual/green or your surroundings are clean and tidy, the microphone and audio is working and the lighting is good. Run a couple of TEST calls with friends or family to verify all is in working order.
Having mastered these tools will allow you the opportunity to shine in your answers by expanding on your depth of knowledge of the products.
Being a great communicator is so important. You need to be able to maintain your presence, be actively engaged, and be a team player, even if you are outside of the office.
Even if you are not asked directly, weave examples into your answers about how you have been able to work independently without a large amount of oversight. This will tell your future potential employer about your ability to work independently without someone there to constantly shadow you.
The key differentiator in any interview is giving behavioral examples of results you have delivered in the past. If you choose examples where you were able to deliver these results independently, that will make an even stronger case for hiring you as a remote worker.
Keep in mind that once you accept a job, your overall remote setup may change. You may need to move for the job, requiring a new physical space. Or your new job may provide a laptop with a specific software configuration required to do the work. However some of the above may only be applicable to you as you conduct your job search. Having both the physical setup and the personal competencies to work remotely will pay back dividends to you well into the future.
Knowing that you have not only the physical ability, but also the personal skills and competencies needed for being able to work remotely will remove one of the potential objections an employer may have to hiring in these new normal times.
While some employers are still hiring to start in an office environment, conduct in-person training and work a traditional desk job, many employers are actively shifting to a more remote workforce. Instead of being pulled along with this shift, do your best to be a leader in preparing for this paradigm change.
At FK International, we have over 20 years’ experience in assisting our clients and our candidates. We are here to support and advice and we would be happy to have a confidential discussion about how we see the market, your recruitment options and any career advice.
Director – Business Development & Operations