Remote work. The term we hear day in and day out. Let me tell you, it’s not overrated. As someone who has been working remotely for some time now, I can tell you that if you’re thinking of applying for remote jobs right now, go for it. I was skeptical before I took the plunge, not because of the move to remote work but because I had no idea what I’d be asked in my interview. It was a scary situation. I didn’t know how to answer work from home interview questions because I had zero work from home experience. Let’s save you from that fear and confusion.
Here, we will explore 15 work from home interview questions (I’ll tell you about what I was asked too) and their answers that will give you an idea of what to expect in your next remote interview. Once you get a gist of the kind of answers and things you need to be ready with before your interview, you’ll be more confident too.
How To Prepare For a Work From Home Interview?
First things first, before we get to the questions, you need to be ready with a few basic things that are required for any work from home interview.
- You need a properly functioning laptop with a good enough webcam and microphone. If your interviewer can’t see or hear you properly, you won’t even get to the questions. Remember that remote work will be all about virtual communication and collaboration. You need your device to be in good shape to be able to work in a remote team.
- Pay attention to your attire. You’re working from home, but you’re working. A professional attire is suitable for a remote interview. Avoid casual clothing and maintain a neat appearance. Your interviewer can tell a lot about your professionalism from across the screen. The first impression is the last impression.
- Clean up your room and desk before the interview. A cluttered background and surroundings can be distracting.
- Make the interview space/room noise-free. Let your family or roommates know that you’ll need some quiet time.
- Turn your phone notifications off. You don’t want it to beep and ring while your interview is in progress.
These are just a few simple things to keep in mind before your work for home interview. Keeping the dos and don’ts in mind can help you have a seamless remote interview experience.
What Are The 15 Most Common Work From Home Interview Questions?
In the interview, you can expect all the questions related to your field of expertise. However, this is a work from home interview and there are many questions that will require you to showcase skills specific to remote work. Let’s explore such work from home interview questions.
- Do you have prior remote work experience?
- Why do you want to work remotely?
- Do you have a home office setup?
- How do you plan to stay self-driven and motivated in a remote setting?
- What could be your biggest challenge while working from home?
- How will you communicate and collaborate with your coworkers?
- What’s your personality type? Do you like to be around people or do you like to work alone?
- How good are you at time management, and how do you organize your work?
- Are you good at adapting to change? Give an example of when you did it in the past in a professional setting.
- How do you resolve your conflicts with coworkers?
- Are you comfortable with virtual meetings? According to you, how many times a week is it okay to have them?
- Are you good at learning new tools and technology?
- Will you be able to maintain a work-life balance in a remote setting?
- What are your interests and hobbies?
- Do you have any questions for me?
15 Remote job interview questions and answers
1. Do You Have Prior Remote Work Experience?
This question can be almost always expected. You don’t have to worry if you have no prior experience with working from home. The idea is to be completely honest. If you’ve worked remotely before, talk about that. If you have no experience of full-time remote work, you can let the interviewer know of the same. You can talk about freelance projects that you may have worked on for clients from another city or country.
While answering this question, it is great to show a keen interest in remote work even if you haven’t worked from home before. You can do so by answering your interview questions while keeping an energetic and cheerful disposition.
2. Why Do You Want to Work From Home?
This question is a tricky one, even if it doesn’t look like it is. The interviewer is trying to gauge the real reason why you’re choosing remote work. Are you really interested in working hard from your home just like you would in a brick and mortar setting, or are you taking it up because you think remote work is “easy”?
You already have a gist of your answer by now. To elaborate, you could consider this sample answer:
A: “I dislike wasting time commuting to and from my workplace, and I feel like I’m more productive at home.” Also, if you’re living in a region with lesser opportunities, you could talk about the fact that you don’t have as many opportunities with good companies because there are very few of those in your area, which is why a remote job is the best route for your professional growth.
Whatever reason you give for taking up a remote job, it needs to have weightage and has to be valid. Refrain from anything that makes remote work sound like it’s easy, and you’re taking it up for the sake of running personal errands.
3. Do You Have A Home Office Setup?
This one is usually asked to understand your seriousness towards a work-from-home job. An ideal answer would be a “yes.’’ You can describe your workspace at home for the interviewer to be assured that you’re not going to be working from your bed. While you have all the freedom to work on your bed or couch, doing so tends to blur the lines between your home and work life. It is best to have a home office setup, even if it’s just a desk where you work. Remote positions don’t expect you to come with a whole room of devices but you’re expected to have the basic equipment like a computer, camera and microphone. If you aren’t ready with the basics, you might get rejected.
If you don’t have a home office setup yet, you can let the interviewer know that you’re planning to set it up soon. Don’t let them think like you’re okay merging your personal and professional life.
4. How Do You Plan To Stay Motivated in a Remote Setting?
While remote work comes with benefits like saving commute time and global opportunities for you, it also comes with some loneliness, especially if you like to be around people. That’s why this question is a common one in work from home interviews.
The best way to answer this one is to talk about your self-driven nature and attitude. You can talk about how you take small breaks during your workday. Maybe reading or taking a walk helps you rejuvenate your energy and mental blocks during challenging tasks and projects. You can also talk about how virtual conversations with coworkers during breaks will be a good option for you to collaborate and co-motivate during important projects.
This answer helps the interviewer understand whether or not you’re okay with the lack of an in-office environment.
5. What Could Be Your Biggest Challenge While Working From Home?
When asked this question during your remote interview, don’t say an unrealistic “I won’t face any challenges while working from home.” We all face challenges, whether working from an office or home. Be realistic with your answer, but also provide an idea of how you’ll combat this challenge. This enables the interviewer to see that you can overcome the challenge and won’t become a deterrent in the long term.
For example, you could talk about being unable to disconnect from work owing to which you might end up spending extra hours working each day. About combating the same, you can talk about how you’ll use a time tracking tool for yourself to disconnect after your working hours are over.
No matter what your biggest challenge is, make sure that it is something that can be solved and you’re able to suggest a solution.
6. How Will You Communicate and Collaborate With Your Coworkers?
For those who have worked only in a traditional office setting, there are no more coffee breaks with colleagues in a remote setting. Or there are? Virtual ones, of course! When asked this question, you can talk about how you’ll take advantage of technology to have virtual meetings with your colleagues. Whether it’s a project or just a break, tools like Skype, Zoom, and Slack can help you host video calls and chat channels with your colleagues.
Remember to learn a little bit about virtual communication software before your interview so that you can answer his question properly.
7. What’s Your Personality Type? Do You Like To Work Around People or Do You Prefer Working Alone?
This question has no right answer. You can be an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. It doesn’t matter because remote work can work for everyone. So, what’s your interviewer trying to understand with this one?
This question is asked to understand your work style. Will you be a good team player or better with individual tasks that don’t require much direction? The interviewer wants to know the role you’ll fit in. No matter the answers you give, don’t appear “needy” for physical presence. That’s the one thing that will showcase that you’re not comfortable without the physical presence of people around you when it comes to work.
If you do like talking to a lot of people, you can always express that you’ll make good use of the virtual platform to get in touch with your coworkers to plan team activities!
8. How Good Are You At Time Management and How Do You Organize Your Work?
Working from home can have its own set of problems. For example, personal tasks can end up interfering with your work. There can also be multiple distractions during the day. Maybe your pet or kids demand more attention from you. The interviewer is asking this question to understand if you’re able to organize your work and deliver in time despite all of the challenges that come with remote work..
To answer this one, talk about any organizing or planning apps (Evernote, Trello, etc.) that you use. About time management, you can talk about how you prioritise your work tasks. If there are multiple tasks, it’s best to prioritize the most important ones first and taper to the least important ones during your workday.
Let the interviewer know that you dedicate your work hours only to work without any external distractions.
9. Are You Good at Adapting to Change?
If you’re applying to a remote position for the first time, this question needs to be answered carefully. Any resistance to changes or sign of rigidity could let the interviewer think that you won’t be able to adapt to a remote role.
Flexibility is a virtue that is expected in remote workers simply because the remote working model itself is a revolution of sorts. Are you ready to change your work style, tools, apps, workspace, attitude, communication style, and more to adapt to remote work for the long term? This is what the interviewer is actually asking. You know the answer has to be a yes. Follow it up with an example of how you dealt with a big change in a professional setting before.
10. How Do You Resolve Conflicts with Coworkers?
In a brick and mortar setting, you have the water cooler, the cafeteria, your colleagues work desk, and other places to talk with different people. You talk face to face and resolve any issues you may have with your coworker. What about remote work? You can’t meet the person face to face but you have your virtual communication tools to interact and talk it out.
Let your interviewer know that you’re comfortable using virtual software like Zoom and Skype for video conferencing to resolve any conflicts with your coworkers. Make it apparent that you’re not the one to shy away from approaching the matter in a respectful and professional manner while humbly having a chat to tackle conflicts. You address the issue from both perspectives. Making the interviewer aware of your neutral, calm, and composed approach towards such challenges will be a great way to show that you’re a good team member to have.
11. Are You Comfortable With Virtual Meetings? According to You, How Many Times a Week is Okay to Have Them?
If you’re applying for a remote position, you can’t be uncomfortable with virtual meetings, so the answer to the first part of the question is a yes.
When it comes to frequency, the interviewer isn’t necessarily looking for a higher one. What they want to understand is your ability to see the necessity of meetings to decide the frequency. The best way to answer this question is to base your answer on the field you’re in.
For example, if you’re a journalist or a writer, a once a week meeting is enough for discussions and brainstorming. On the other hand, if you’re a sales professional, the frequency of the meetings might increase to discuss any potential clients that the team gets in touch with during the week. You could need these meetings to discuss possible closures and negotiations.
While answering this one, keep in mind that you don’t just have to blurt out a number for the sake of it. Instead, the frequency needs to be a practical one that is necessary for the nature of work you’re in.
12. Are You Good at Learning New Tools and Technology?
Remote work requires you to use a lot of different software. Some could be for communication and collaboration like Slack and Zoom, while others could be for daily tasks and tracking work like Basecamp.
In order to be a good remote worker, you should be able to learn new technology faster. To answer this question, you can go ahead with giving previous examples of how you learned new apps or tools quickly to accomplish some task.
You can also showcase your keenness on learning new tools by letting the interviewer know that you’re always looking for new apps and software to enhance your work. You’re always on the lookout for upgrading your tech knowledge in order to simplify your work.
13. Will You Be Able To Maintain a Work-Life Balance In a Remote Setting?
Remote work does help with a better work-life balance for most. However, things like not being able to disconnect after working hours because of the virtual nature of the work can become problematic for some.
To answer this question, you can say that you’re capable of self-monitoring your work timings and keeping that part of your day separate from your personal life. You can express how remote work is just like traditional work in most aspects. In fact, remote work saves you time because you won’t need to commute to your workplace. This leaves you more personal time with your family in the mornings and evenings.
14. What Are Your Interests and Hobbies?
This is a question that I was asked in my remote interview. A simple question with a simple answer. When asked this, let your interviewer know of all the things you like to do when not working. From reading to watching movies, playing games, and gardening, anything that is your hobby takes place in this answer.
What you might not realize is that this question isn’t just a regular “get to know you better” question. The interviewer is trying to gauge if you’re a good cultural fit for the company. Even though you’re applying for a remote job, there will be other people in your team and organization that you’ll interact with on a daily basis. Knowing your interests helps the interviewer understand if you’ll gel well with other employees in the company or not.
Don’t make anything up. If you’re not a reader, but you say reading is your hobby, a follow-up question will be, “what are your favorite books?” You’ll get stuck if you’re just saying things to create an impression. Be honest about your passion and hobbies, even if you think they’re unusual.
My answer was simple. Reading, playing musical instruments, and playing MOBA games. Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty was the book I was reading at the time and League of Legends and Mobile Legends were the games. What followed was an interesting conversation on games and books.
Being honest will help you hold this conversation longer with a discussion on common interests with the interviewer. At the same time, this will enable the interviewer to know if you’re someone who fits their organization well.
15. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
You’ll not just be sitting and answering questions but also asking some questions yourself in the end. Most remote interviewers allow the candidate to ask any questions they have. This is your chance to gauge whether or not you want to work in the organization you’re applying to.
Here are 5 work from home questions that you can ask your future employer.
- How many days a week are workdays?
- How many paid leaves can I expect to receive in a year?
- What’s the growth opportunity? Will I be able to contribute to other departments as well?
- What activities does the company organize for the remote employees?
- Can I expect a fair salary offer, or is it lesser than the industry average owing to the remote nature of the work?
You can always add more questions that are specific to your needs.
Be Honest, Confident, and Professional
While most answers to common work from home interview questions can be rehearsed in advance, some questions will be specific to your field and to the organization. Honesty is always the best policy, and there’s no better attire than confidence. Maintain your professionalism throughout.
If you want to brush up on your answers, bookmark this page and come back here before your remote interview.
I don’t know whether you’re better than others or not, but you must know that you’re better than you think you are.
All the best!