By Jessica Chapman
Working remotely is different than working in an office. First, work is completed through a screen, which can take away from personal input. Second, your team accomplishes tasks on Zoom or Skype, so the overall experience can be more isolating than collaborative. If you’re an extrovert, working online might not be your favorite option. However, when circumstances require it, you must do it. If you’re about to interview for an online job, here are the most essential questions to ask.
1. Would I be working normal hours or is my schedule flexible?
The first thing you want to find out is whether you’ll be allowed to set up a flexible schedule. Ask about your work hours and what is expected of you. Ask about your team’s schedule and whether you must participate in specific events. Sometimes, you don’t get to choose your working hours; and if that could intervene with your daily schedule or priorities, it might become a problem.
Usually, you have to maintain some sort of a schedule. You might be designed hours or asked when you can work. However, working remotely does not mean freelancing. That being said, you might not be allowed to work whenever you feel like it. You might have to set up a schedule and follow it.
However, if you’re considering freelancing, things might look better for you. When working independently, your schedule is more flexible. In the end, it all depends on what you want.
2. Is the entire team working remotely?
Another good question to ask your prospective employer is whether your whole team will be working remotely. This is important as it will help you figure out your team’s makeup and dynamics. How is your team organized and most importantly, is the culture of the team traditional? If not, how does it differ from that? And how will it affect you?
Asking whether you’re the only remote worker is essential – if you are, your demands and obligations might differ from the rest of the team’s. Knowing this is crucial to understanding your position within the team. You might have to advocate for yourself more than other employees. You might have to struggle to stay updated on what’s new. These things could interfere with your results. Therefore, finding out what’s expected from you is a must.
3. What tools does the company use to facilitate collaboration between employees?
The interview is a great opportunity to find out more about team dynamics and communication between employees. Since you’re applying for a remote position, things might look different than before. The manager in charge must ensure that you’re updated constantly. Will you interact with them on a weekly basis? If yes, where will you meet? Who will ensure you’ll be updated and how?
If you’ve got questions, who will you contact? Will the manager be available to answer any questions? Is email their go-to when it comes to information exchange? If the company uses other platforms, are they also providing training on this topic? If the interviewer has no answers, this should raise some questions for you.
4. How can I get feedback if I’m working remotely?
Same goes for feedback. How will you stay in the loop, feedback-wise? How will you receive constructive feedback? Is the meeting going to be remote and if so, what channels will they use? More than that, how often will you and your manager meet, and what system will they use to track progress?
Ask your future manager if they’re comfortable with being asked for feedback. If they don’t have a plan for how they’ll handle this part, ask them to. Remote or not, your position is valuable within the company. Thus, you must be respected and treated accordingly. Their input is as valuable as your work is.
5. How can I get to meet my co-workers?
Social activities are important since they’re helping you connect with the rest of the team. As a new hire, you must be given the chance to connect with other employees. Therefore, it is important to ask your prospective employer about any team-building activities, especially since you’re working remotely. According to Australian Writings employees, you must not feel isolated or separated from the rest of the team. Socialization can still happen, even online.
Pay attention to their answers. If they don’t have any idea on how to help you integrate, you should rethink getting the job. Socialization and inclusion are extremely important in the workplace, especially if you’re working remotely.
6. How does the company manage remote work-related challenged?
With the new requirements and regulations pending, it’s close to impossible to set up a friendly remote environment so quickly. If the company does not have all the answers, give them a second chance. Maybe they haven’t thought about it (however, great companies usually do). This is their second chance. Ask them about the challenges that you might be experiencing and how they can help you overcome them.
Working remotely can be difficult, especially in an era where everything is mostly handled in-person. Ask them about their struggles and how they’ll be able to handle your issues, were you to experiment any. Check to see how open they are about it, even if they might not yet have a solution. Their attitude is what matters eventually.
7. How can I grow in this remote role?
Remote roles are usually more static, so being able to grow in your role is essential. Ask them how they see remote work, and what are some projects you could work on in the future. How will these projects help you grow? More than that, do they have anything planned for future workshops or webinars? How are they planning to deal with your role? In a nutshell, how will you grow?
A wide number of companies are moving online today. That means, there will be an increasing number of remote positions available. Make sure you’re asking the right questions and getting the answers you’re seeking. Don’t let your guard down. Find out if the company meets your expectations from the very first start. Good luck!
About the Author
Jessica Chapman is the essay writer if you’re living in the Chicago area. She is into sport and politics, enjoys travelling, and is always ready to write high-quality work. She’s been working for the best essay writing service for a while now. Her next step is opening up the best essay writing services practice in her hometown.