Be prepared for your work from home job interview
On top of all the pointless questions some job interviewers throw at you and the traditional hardball interrogations, interviews for work from home jobs hold additional pitfalls. Be prepared before you fire off your first resume or reach out to that potential remote boss.
Test your video and audio setup
Not all interviews happen over the phone and few remote employers pony up the cost to fly you out to corporate HQ – often there isn’t one. You may be required to jump on an audio conference over Skype or attend a video conference on Google Hangouts. I don’t hire a remote employee without one. As soon as you start the application process, test out your computer’s audio and video setup. Arrange to do a video conference with a friend or family member who has a decent connection to the internet. Have them take a screenshot or, better, record your session and send it to you. Don’t be the schlub who lost the job because you couldn’t handle an online audio or video conference on short notice.
Know your work from home facts
Bandwidth, computer details, network, cell phone, software – be prepared to discuss whatever technology you need to use to get the job done. Some remote companies will send a computer or IP phone and others will even pay for a fatter pipe into your house, but most don’t. If you can’t rattle off your bandwidth stats, prove that your computer is up to the job requirements or even know how to describe your home’s network, get those facts and make a list. If your computer is on its last legs and remote Santa isn’t going to Fedx you a Macbook Pro, then decide on a plan before the interview. I once had a candidate tell me that the first thing she was going to do if she was hired was place an order for a brand new computer. We discussed the model and options which told me that she was serious. I hired her.
Know your work from home habits
Be prepared to talk about how you successfully work from home. What are your top habits and strategies? Don’t be afraid to talk about how often you step away from your computer or desk to clear your head, it’s the sign of an organized producer. If you’ve never worked from home, think about how your successful work habits can be adjusted to working remotely. If you can honestly say that your work habits need some adjustments, spend some time on this site and search Quora before your interview. You’ll be glad you did.
Know what to say and what not to say
Of course, there is practically an infinite number of things that you could forget to say that would have landed you the job; and a true infinity of things that you might utter that will vaporize your chances immediately. Don’t fail to read the related, more detailed articles below because they really will save your bacon. In general, don’t mention anything that will sound like a potential distraction at home – your future work environment. Potential distractions include, but aren’t limited to: the 4 children under 5 that you will be taking care of at the same time, your elderly dog that requires you to instantly drop what you are doing and carry him outside 50 times a day, the frequent power outages, etc, etc. You may or may not know at this moment how to handle complications like those, but YOU, the reliable remote employee, are going to research methods to prevent any of them getting in the way. Therefore, they aren’t the business of the employer, unless YOU mention them. Instead, fill in the voids left by all the things you aren’t going to say by talking about all the ways that show you are a motivated, focused, self-starter who know how to manage distractions and keep in sync with the rest of your team. That’s what your future boss 4,000 miles away is waiting to hear so don’t keep it a secret.
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