Job Interview Tips

Questions to ask in a remote job interview

Questions-to-ask-in-a-remote-job-interview

Remote operations have become a prevalent aspect of employment culture. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have given this a boost, the rise in this method started long before. Still, this may be your first foray into this method of employment and it can take a little getting used to. This isn’t just from the perspective of day-to-day working from home, either. You’ll usually find your interview will take place online, too.

In many ways, a job interview for a remote position is not so different from an in-person version. While you’ll be appearing over a video call, it’s still your best chance to make a great impression on prospective employers. You should also be aware of the fact it can be an important assessment tool for you. It’s a chance for you to ask questions about the role and the company from the perspective of remote operations. This allows you to make informed decisions about whether it’s right for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the question areas you should focus on during a remote job interview.

Culture

Remote working can be advantageous in that it can provide you with some independence and the ability to function from the comfort of your home. But it often means there isn’t quite the same solid culture you might find in traditional working environments. As such, this can negatively impact the quality of your work life and potentially your productivity. So, it’s worth asking questions during your interview about the remote culture of the business.

These could include:

  • What components are in place to help the team bond?

Remote working can be a relatively isolating experience. Not to mention that a close team makes for more pleasant and effective collaborations. Asking this question provides you with insights into how much care and effort is in place to create a strong team culture.

  • Are there any employee recognition programs?

Employee recognition programs are an important component of a thriving business. It shows the company values the talent, commitment, and contributions of its workers. A company that overlooks a transparent and supportive recognition program can be a sign of a one-sided relationship.

  • What protocols or measures are present to support workers’ mental health?

Remote work can be a positive independent experience. It can also be more difficult to handle work pressure, long days, and even loneliness when you’re not in a dynamic environment. Asking this question gives you more than a practical understanding of the mental health resources available. According to a recent American Psychiatric Association report, only 28% of employers provide access to sufficient mental health coverage. So, it’s important to establish the presence of these resources.

Management

Remote working is still a relatively new approach for many businesses. As such, there can be some inconsistencies in how they approach management practices. It’s important to gain an understanding of the company’s remote management as it can impact your working atmosphere, your autonomy, and your ability to be productive.

Some questions to ask here include:

  • What is your policy on employee monitoring?

There is a certain amount of legal allowance for businesses to monitor the activities of employees. This is usually to ensure workers aren’t accessing inappropriate websites or using work email to harass others. Though it has become commonplace for some businesses to monitor all activities of remote employees. Asking for details of the policy gives you insight into the justifications for any monitoring and the potential for uncomfortable micromanagement.

  • How do members of management engage with remote workers?

You may enjoy the independence of remote work. But most people don’t want to feel as though their managers are ignoring them. Asking this question can give you a good impression of the frequency with which your boss will check in with you and the various forms of communication they’ll use. It also helps you to understand what your relationship on a day-to-day level may be like.

Security

Working from home necessarily requires a certain amount of reliance on digital tools. Indeed, you may well be using some of your personal equipment and your home internet connection. Unfortunately, businesses can be a target for cybercriminals, which may put you and your family at risk.

As such, it’s worth asking some security questions, including:

  • What cybersecurity recommendations do you make to remote workers?

Remote workers are vulnerable to various cybersecurity threats and you need to know how to address these. Some of the common threats like malware and phishing can be presented by both the prevalence of devices and the behavior of users. By asking about recommendations in the interview you gain more than valuable tips for maintaining safety. You can also get insights into the types of hazards you may be confronted with when working with the company.

  • What protection does the company provide?

This is more than simply a question about the practical elements of cybersecurity protection. It shows you are a candidate that has considered the potential risks involved with remote work and how important it is to keep company data safe. They might provide access to virtual private networks (VPNs), password management platforms, or virus protection. In either case, their response can also show you how committed they are to keeping your personal equipment safe.

Conclusion

Remote working has distinct challenges. Your interview can be a vital tool in understanding how your potential new employer is addressing these. Not to mention it can highlight you as a candidate with the intelligence to consider such issues. The questions we’ve detailed are useful jumping-off points for discussion. Take the time to prepare beforehand and even adapt some of them to be more relevant to the position you’re applying for.

About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.

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