As a millennial, remote working is not anything strange, and it might just be the way as we advance. We are beginning to see more interviews holding for people to work remotely. This is, of course, a good thing for many reasons. However, there are certain things that you need to put in place before you take up a remote job.
Firstly, you have to understand the culture of remote working, but more importantly, you should understand the company culture you’re interviewing. This should be your priority. The reason for this isn’t far-fetched. There are many benefits that you can get from working remotely, according to experts. You get to choose your work environment; you don’t have to commute every day to work, etc. However, you also have to make sure that you can do well in your role, work with your manager and teammates, and also develop your career wherever you are working.
The setup of your company or organization also determines the look of things for remote workers. It doesn’t have to be the same way for everybody everywhere. For instance, if you are the only one working remotely or part of a very small group, you might feel more isolated from the larger company than feeling fulfilled working for the company. On the other hand, if almost all the employees are well-grounded remote workers and you use tools such as Asana, Slack, etc., then it’ll be easier to work as a remote worker, as a teammate, and you’ll feel fulfilled.
This is why, as a millennial, you must dig into the company culture during the interview process. This will help you assess how well you will work, so you don’t end up in a situation where you’re isolated from the larger group. Even if this would be the case and you are willing to take the job, at least you know what you are signing up for and can prepare yourself psychologically.
The interview process is essential for you as a remote worker to sort out a lot of things. Apart from deciding on the company’s remote work culture, you can decide on a fitting role and position, salary, etc. Therefore, it is pertinent that you ask some questions while interviewing to ensure some clarity. This will also set you up for success in the company.
1. What are the daily work hours?
Working for a company as a full-time employee and having the flexibility to work anywhere doesn’t mean that you can work at any time. You have to ask about time schedules and what time you’re expected to work or deliver on your work.
There’s this misconception that remote workers can choose their work hours, but this isn’t true. In most cases, remote workers have to work within regular and consistent hours, depending on their remote team’s schedule.
If the company has a strong remote working culture, and most people work remotely, you should ask the interviewer how the remote team works across different time zones. This way, you’ll know if you’re required to work from 9-5 or within other work hours.
2. How much of the team is remote? Is it fully distributed?
It makes a lot of sense to ask questions about the team’s makeup that you’ll be working in because that will determine a lot of other things. Again, this is how you find out if the company’s culture is suited to remote working. How many of my team members are remote? Am I the only one? Is there a mix?
You could find yourself in a situation that requires you advocating for yourself, so you’re not left out on opportunities to boost your personal growth because you’re a remote worker. It would help if you advocated that you’re kept in the loop. That’s effective communication. That’s an essential factor for remote working and will let you know how well the company treats or works with remote workers.
3. What tools are used to communicate with and among remote workers?
It would be best if you always tried to understand team dynamics and management style during interviews, which is more important for remote work interviews. Your colleagues or boss can’t simply walk up to you to share ideas or give you updates on anything as a remote worker. This is because you don’t share the same physical space. How does the company get people to be on the same page with assignments, projects, updates, etc., that they share? So you should know what tools are used for communicating beforehand, how often your video meetings would hold, etc. These are minor details you have to trash out.
4. What challenges with remote work have the organization overcome, and how?
The truth is, you can hardly get a company that has a remote work setting or environment that’s flawless. It takes time to build such a remote work culture and structure. So, there will be challenges that the company faces at different times, and you expect the leadership, managers, and workers of the company to acknowledge and try to overcome them. The interviewer should be able to answer this question with reasonable steps that they take to counter specific difficulties. Then that will be a good sign that they’re able to handle future challenges should it arise. When asking this question, remember that you’re a team member, not a judge, and ask accordingly.
5. Who do I talk to if I have any issues to discuss?
Your self-esteem is a significant priority for you, and issues might come up at different times that you need to sort out. You must be clear on who to contact in such situations. For instance, you could feel underpaid because of the volume of work you’re doing, and you want to ask for a pay rise, who do you contact? Who do you discuss it with? This is something that you have to be clear about from the point of the interview.
6. Are there growth opportunities for me to work remotely in this role?
This is one of those questions that help you realize how much the company cares about your personal and professional growth as their employees. It is easy to leave you out of many things since you’re working off-site. So this allows you to determine the company’s perspective on remote work and their remote workers. You know it’s a red flag if they don’t have anything lined up for you. You should be able to lead teams and handle large projects as a remote worker. If you’re not able to move forward in your career in that company, you shouldn’t stay.
7. Does the company host any social events for the team?
There are team-building activities that you would expect organizations to host for their workers. Ask the interviewer if their organization does this or has it in the plan. If they do, how frequent is it? Does it involve the remote team? Again, this will help you assess the company’s remote working culture and how well they treat the remote team. If the company is willing to put in the remote workers’ effort, then that’s a good thing.
There are a lot of companies adopting the remote working model and looking for remote workers these days. So if you’re interviewing for a remote job, be sure that the company is a good fit for you. Take advantage of the interview to find out about the company’s remote work culture and see if you fit in.