Remote Work – How to Interview For It

Like many areas of life, fundamentals will take you a long way, but there’s still a need for specificity to fine tune the nuances beyond those fundamentals. For example, John Wooden, probably one of the most famous college basketball coaches of all-time leading UCLA to a record-setting 10 NCAA championships over a 12-year period, is noted for having his players spend an entire practice session putting on and taking off their shoes and socks.  His logic?  Less blisters in a season means more focus on other things necessary to win ballgames.  With that particular fundamental covered, he could then move on to other skills and strategies needed, including the painstaking detail in preparing for each individual opposing team.

The 5 P’s of Job Interviews

Interviewing for a job is no different.  Here at Crossroads Career, we talk about the 5 P’s of job interviews: Pray, Prepare, Practice, Perform, and Post-mortem.   Within each of these areas are a host of things to be aware of and to put into play. When you add in the component of interviewing for a remote work position, some new filters need to be added to the fundamentals of the 5 P’s that you’re hopefully already working on to be ready for that ‘Wow Interview!’ experience.

Proverbs 24:27 says, “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.”  As with many proverbs, it is a guide for wisdom, and here it’s referring to preparation and prioritization.  How does that apply to remote work?  I interpret it to ensure that you have the fundamentals of interviewing well in hand. Then you can move on to the nuance of putting in the remote work filter to accomplish two things: to put your best foot forward in promoting your skills and abilities and to discern how the organization is handling remote work positions.

Interview Questions

Here are 5 questions to prepare for as you seek to put your best foot forward in an interview for a remote position:

  1. How do you manage your time and stay organized differently while working remote?   
  2. What is your approach to building relationships with other staff while being remote?
  3. What types of technology tools have you used to stay connected with others on a team?
  4. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with another remote co-worker.  What was it and how did you get it resolved?
  5. Tell me about a time when you weren’t sure how to get something done?  How did you figure it out using the company’s resources and your relationships?

On the flip side, here are 5 questions for you to ask in an interview to best discern how they’re handling remote positions:

  1. Will equipment be provided for me, or will I need to provide my own?
  2. What is your organization’s view on hybrid work, and how do you differentiate between those positions and remote positions.
  3. How is communication handled in the company, and how should I expect to stay abreast of what’s going on in the organization?
  4. What are the work hours you expect me to keep?  Are they flexible based on the work needed to be done, or are they hardwired for me to be online and working during them?
  5. What have you experienced as the biggest challenges in managing a remote workforce?

As you probably picked up, some of these questions could be viable whether the role being interviewed for was a remote position or not.  Good fundamentals usually transfer well, so if there’s carryover from other preparations you’ve made for in-office or hybrid positions, then you’re that much better off.  

Keep first things first.  Prepare using the fundamentals.  But then get laser-focused on the details to both differentiate yourself and to gain insights.  Go get em! 

Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People.


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Comments 2

  1. Hi there,

    Please pray for my daughter Samantha, 16 years old Junior, who says she doesn’t believe in the Lord anymore and is not sure what she believes. Junior year just started and she’s dyed her hair black, wears black nail polish, and I just found a vape juice box when taking out her trash from her room (apparently you don’t need a vape anymore to use it.) I’m doing more research and walking through this trying to express to her calmly how bad this is for her.

    I’m looking for a job, that’s why I’m here reading this blog. Thank you so much for all you do to help job seekers everywhere. God bless you Crossroads Careers.

    1. Hi Laura,

      Thank you for reaching out to Crossroads Career. We will definitely be praying for your daughter that she is led to Jesus and will see his beautiful light.

      We are also praying for you during your job transition. If you would like personalized support, we have Crossroads Career Guides available who would love to talk with you more about your specific needs. They can pray for you and encourage you, as well as assist you with networking, interviewing and resume help. If you are interested in having a free consultation (up to 45 minutes) with one of these experienced Guides, please click this link and fill out the form.

      Crossroads Career Support Team

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