Insights for Remote Professionals

What questions to ask during a remote work interview

Cedric Jackson

July 02, 2021

Getting ready for an interview requires a lot of preparation. You likely spend plenty of time thinking about how you’ll answer questions. But what should you ask interviewers? 

Asking the right questions serves several purposes.

You’ll show interviewers that you’re prepared, enthusiastic and thinking about your future at the company.

You’ll also confirm for yourself whether this company is the right fit for you.

Learn what to ask when interviewing for a remote work job. 

What Are the Hours? 

Some remote work jobs let you pick your hours, but not all.

In some remote jobs, it’s a requirement to work during normal office hours. Or to at least work during a range of hours. 

If there are set hours, find out if there are exceptions. How much overtime is required? What time zone are those hours in? 

If the hours are more flexible, ask about that. Are there certain hours you need to be available during? When are meetings usually? Do people work across time zones? 

What’s a Normal Day Look Like in the Role?

Asking about a typical day in the role lets you know what to expect.

It also gives you a better idea of how you’ll collaborate with others and communicate remotely.

Ask what time folks start, and when they leave.

Ask how many meetings take place during an average day.

Ask what the expected outputs are for an average day.

Is the Job Full-time, a Contract, or Freelance? 

Each of these has unique advantages. The important thing is that you know your position from the start. The answer also affects your taxes. 

How Much of the Team Is Remote? 

It’s also smart to ask about the portion of the team that works remotely.

If you are the only remote employee, you’ll likely have some struggles.

The company will still be adapting to remote as you work, and might require you to work under more in-office conditions (ie: schedule, and being in more synchronous meetings). 

Even if you aren’t alone, you can expect some challenges if there are fewer remote workers. You may need to work harder to stay in communication. 

The answer to this question shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for a job. After all, they have to start somewhere. It just lets you know if you have to pay extra attention to other questions. 

How Does the Team Collaborate and Communicate?

This is perhaps the most important question. You want a clear answer and established methods. Most importantly, you want to reach your boss and teammates and have them reach you. 

This is also the time to ask about meetings. How often are they? Are there one-on-ones with your boss in addition to group meetings? Will you get a chance to get to know your coworkers remotely? 

Of course, you also want to consider how familiar you are with the collaboration tools. Ideally, you won’t have a big learning curve. But that’s not a reason to turn down a job. 

Do You Provide Training on the Remote Tools? 

Whether the company uses common or unique remote tools, confirm whether you’ll get training on them. This is especially important for more unique ones that you haven’t seen. 

How Do You Provide Feedback? 

In traditional offices, it’s common for the boss to pop by and quickly give you feedback. Maybe they’ll congratulate you on a great job. Or maybe they’ll let you know an area that requires improvement. 

You’ll still need feedback when working remotely, but that same method won’t work. 

The answer might be that it’s done via regular emails. Or maybe you have weekly or biweekly meetings. It varies, but there should be a method in place. 

Will I Ever Have to Go Into the Office or Travel? 

Most remote work jobs are fully-remote. Some, however, have exceptions.

Maybe you have to go to the office for training. Or maybe you’ll have to attend an annual conference or something else.

Ask about these requirements from the start. After all, having to be in a specific place at a specific time will hamper the flexibility you get from remote work. 

Do You Provide Any Office Supplies and Equipment? 

Some companies provide the equipment you need to work. Others offer a stipend that you can put towards some of the costs. Yet others expect you to pay for everything yourself. 

Do I Have Opportunities for Growth? 

This is something you should ask in an interview. It becomes even more important for remote work because of the lack of personal connection.

Confirm you can still take on leadership roles remotely. If you want a promotion, would you have to switch to in-office? Would you have to move? 

How Will My Role Contribute to the Company’s Mission? 

This is another question with multiple goals.

You get to find out your position within the company and how important your role would be.

You also get to show the interviewer that you're enthusiastic about the work and the responsibilities you can take on.

How Have You Overcome Remote Work Challenges? 

Few companies will incorporate remote work without any challenges, however small.

Asking how the company handled these hiccups tells you how well they handle issues that arise when you work there. 

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