What NOT to say in a work from home job interview

What NOT to say in a work from home job interview

Don't say this in a work from home interview!

Working from home gives you a lot of perks that just come with the territory. Yes, you really can work in your pajamas, answer emails with your iPad at the park and take care of your sick kids when they can’t go to school. When interviewing for a telecommute job, however, you should at least pretend that the job comes first. Here are some things you should avoid sharing when interviewing to work remotely.

I want to spend more time with my sick dog/grandmother/kids

Depending on how you feel about your children, seeing them more during the day can either be a blessing or a punishment direct from Dant√©’s Inferno. Working from home with kids in the house is HARD. So is taking care of a needy relative or sick pets. Remote employers know this very well. If your kid or other loved one gets sick being around to help them cope is a wonderful perk. Seeking out a telecommute job so that you can do this all the time may not be the best choice. As the great employee that you are, you are going to keep the company’s interest first during company time, right? Therefore, you don’t need to discuss what else you’ve got going on at home. It’s your business, keep it that way. Allow the employer to judge you on what you have to offer and don’t complicate it.

I’m a visual learner

Did you really just say this during a telecommute job interview conference call? You are REMOTE. Yes some things can be demonstrated visually through video conferences and desk sharing applications but it’s not the same as being in the office next to the person. If you are a visual learner but know you can do the advertised work at home job then you’ll be fine. Just keep that to yourself.

I don’t like to be seen

You will hear very little in life more telling that the silence that will follow this statement. You may be an agoraphobe or feel uncomfortable with someone watching you through a webcam but very few 100% telecommute jobs stick to voice and email only. You may not have to communicate entirely through video conferences, Google Hangouts or Skype but it will happen. If you can’t do it, don’t apply. If you can stand it but hate it just tell yourself that it beats sitting in a gray cubicle any day.

I’m going to travel the country/world/galaxy while I work

Awesome! I’m jealous. You will hear me repeat again and again that telecommuting is not for everyone. There are dozens of serious reasons that some people can’t hack it. When a remote employer interviews a candidate their brain is constantly running through that checklist of reasons consciously or subconsciously. Part of your winning strategy is not to raise any red flags. Show me what a reliable team member you are for a while before you let me know that you’ve been couch surfing your way across Thailand. I’ll be impressed that I couldn’t tell and ask you for tips on how to do it. If you tell me this before you have proven yourself, I’m immediately going to wonder if you can hack it which means: DOUBT. Doubt is your enemy. Don’t invite it to the interview.

Do you mind if I work my current job at the same time?

Along with “what was this job for again?” the question about double-dipping in the job pool is one of my favorites? Why? Because I get to log off the interview early and catch up on email. In fact, if you are going to ask that question please ask it first so I can get the most out of the time I had originally set aside to talk with you. It sounds too stupid to mention but never tell an employer, remote or brick and mortar that you are going to work two jobs. You may be superhuman but I’ll opt for the regular human who knows how to take a job seriously. Do you have your own suggestions about what not to say? Leave them in the comments below. Want to know what you should say in an telecommute interview, the read it here.

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Gregory Sherrow


Entrepreneur, nutjob runner and remote employment advisor/trainer for individuals, managers and entrepreneurs.

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