If you’re looking for a new job during the coronavirus pandemic, chances are you’ll be scheduled for remote interviews, through Zoom or other video sharing services.
- Soft skills are paramount
- Working from home presents its own challenges
- Asking about benefits and perks can be done with HR
Hard skills, such as being a technical manager or CRM management expert will get your resume looked at because they meet the hiring manager’s requirements. While holding certifications or professional credentials may help you get your foot in the door for an interview, there are other things that will likely be looked at in an interview. There are more than just hard skills that you need to have, and that you will need to highlight.
Soft Skills or Life Skills
Soft skills, or life skills, are another important part of the interview process. So what are some of the questions you can expect in your remote interviews?
Remote Working Experiences
It seems obvious, but you have to go into your interview knowing that you’re going to be asked about previous remote working experience. The world of work has changed, and many places are staying remote through at least the first quarter of 2021.
Have you been working from home? Have you worked remotely before the pandemic? Is it different when it’s a more permanent situation? You can answer simply, and although not having worked from home isn’t unheard of, it helps if you’ve already had proven success working from home, whether you set up Solo 401(k) plans or work in a call center answering customer service questions and requests.
It may seem simple, but working from home experience is a plus, although in many instances it is not strictly required. If you have worked remotely before, you can also mention hardware or software you used, whether it was Microsoft Sharepoint or Cisco Webex.
Many prospective employers will want to know how you keep in contact with team members. Especially in the world of COVID-19, the idea of working from home is something that will come up in remote interviews. This is an opportunity to share what your best methods are for keeping in touch when working from home. If you don’t have work from home experience, you can explain how you would do so, utilizing email and instant messages, calling on the phone or through a conference video call.
Keeping team members up to date on what you’re doing so work isn’t duplicated can be especially important on teams with multiple moving parts. Project management can help you organize what you’re up to, and help keep your superiors abreast of your progress. This also ensures that all team members are actively working towards to achieve the same goal.
Motivation and Organization
Maintaining motivation when working from home can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never done it before, and have never had that type of autonomy in your work. Getting organized and staying that way can make a big difference in your productivity level and your motivating force.
The interviewer will likely want to know how you motivate yourself, and it’s important to have an answer prepared so you don’t hem and haw when responding. Are you better with steps broken out so you can check them off on a to-do list? Or do you place motivating Post-It Notes with steps, tricks, and techniques on your computer? Are you a planner user? Or bullet journaler?
When you’re looking to ace remote interviews you’re really looking to make connections, much the same as if you were at an in-person interview at a company. You want to make a professional, clean, and organized impression on your interviewer or interviewers. And you should be prepared for more than one person to be in the interview as well. This means you may need to tailor your answers to respond to each person. An HR generalist will want to make sure your soft skills are up to their standards and technical managers may want to know more about your hard skills.
Getting yourself organized before you start the interview will help you remain confident and focused while you’re talking about the position you’re interested in. Printing out a copy of your resume, and perhaps preparing anecdotes that might come in handy from your previous work experience can help make all the difference.