Work-From-Home Interview Questions Hiring Managers Love To Ask
And What They're Looking for In Your Answers
You've been itching to ditch your office job for months and now you've finally been offered an interview with an amazing remote company.
But to make your dreams of working from anywhere are about to come true, you need to nail the interview...
So what can you do to stand out? In addition to all the typical job interview prep, make sure you're ready to explain why you'll be good at working from home. Especially if this is your first remote role!
Remote hiring managers want to know that you work well independently, have good time management and communication skills, and that you have a realistic understanding of what it's like to work from home.
To help you knock your interview out of the park, we asked some of our partner companies to share work-from-home interview questions they love to ask in order to assess whether someone will be successful working remotely. (We decided to share one of our own favorites as well!)
1. What boundaries are you going to establish between your work and the rest of your life?
Chris Severns, hiring lead at engineer hiring platform G2i, likes to ask this question to make sure candidates won't burn out.
"When you work onsite with a company there are certain natural boundaries already established (space, time, relationships etc) Working remotely changes that dynamic. It gives you a lot of freedom, but also can lead to suboptimal working conditions if you don't setup boundaries well.
This is especially poignant when you work from your own home. I'm looking for a candidate to tell me about how they are going to protect their time and energy from being overrun. Some examples: I turn off Slack notifications on my phone so that I can't be interrupted while I'm off the clock. I stop work everyday at 5pm to make it to my Crossfit class. I don't answer emails before 10am and do heads down work instead.
It doesn't really matter as long as they have a plan and now how to stick to it."
Think you'd be good at separating work and play? Check out G2i's remote roles here.
2. If you were in your current manager's position, what would you change about your role?
Hannah Spellmeyer, Global Talent Acquisition Manager at blockchain analysis company Chainalysis, likes to ask this question to make sure candidates don't require too much handholding to succeed.
"Working remotely requires a lot of self-management and autonomy. Even in our offices, we're growing so quickly that we simply don't have the time to micromanage!
It's important to us that remote employees are capable of prioritizing effectively and escalating issues only when necessary.
If a candidate relies heavily on detailed instructions or has never thought about how their job might be accomplished more efficiently, they may not be ready to work from home."
Good at managing your own time and optimizing processes? Check out Chainlysis' remote roles.
3. How do you communicate with your coworkers and how do you prefer to work?
Thao-Nguyen Le, People & Operations Partner at decentralized computing platform Blockstack, likes to ask people who have never worked remotely this question in order to understand "what kind of work environment they're comfortable in."
4. When was the last time you had conflict in a team and how did you resolve it?
For folks who have worked remotely, Thao-Nguyen likes to ask this behavioral question to better understand candidates' communication skills and approach to teamwork.
Already a remote work pro? Or confident you'd excel in a flexible work environment? Check out Blockstack's remote roles.
5. How do you like to receive feedback? What’s that hardest piece of feedback you’ve ever received and how did you handle it?
At PowerToFly, we love feedback, so this question is a must for anyone who might join our team. Our Senior Manager of Marketing & Community, Lauren Hagerty, explains:
"When you work remotely, communication can be one of the biggest challenges, and it's challenging enough to give feedback in-person, let alone from the other side of the world. At PowerToFly, we consider all feedback a gift. This question gives the interviewee the opportunity to prove that they, too, see feedback from a growth perspective and not something that should be taken negatively.
The more vulnerability they show in admitting to an actual problem that was tough for them to deal with, the better. Then you can talk them through how they took it, how they responded etc. You're looking for whether they were able to fix the problem."
Do you love feedback, any way you can get it? Check out our open roles!
6. Short (Paid!) Projects
Okay, so this isn't really a question, but it is a very common ask in interviews for remote roles!
DuckDuckGo is working towards creating the world's most trusted search engine... but they're also growing their fully remote team. And they know that one of the best ways to see whether someone will do well working from home - or anywhere - is just to see how they work!
As William Connor from DuckDuckGo's People Ops team explains:
"Here at DuckDuckGo, we have a unique hiring process that assesses each candidate by evaluating all of our must-have candidate criteria via short paid projects instead of interview questions or quizzes.
We like to let the work speak for itself, which includes asynchronous communication, meeting timeline expectations, and project management.
If a candidate succeeds during these project phases, they move on to running their own project internally, which gives both the company and the candidate the insight necessary to determine if they can be successful working from home and fit within our organization."
Want to let your work speak for itself? Check out DuckDuckGo's open remote roles.
At the end of the day, all of these work-from-home interview questions are just a way to gauge whether you'll excel as a remote worker. So walk through them and practice giving your honest answers!
Before you throw yourself into the world of remote work, you want to make sure it's for you.
Ultimately, you need to be able to answer "Why do you want to work from home?" And it should be for a better reason than just being able to stay in your pajamas all day. It should align with your skills, preferred work style, and career goals.