Before COVID-19 drove the need for remote work, there was already a lot of data proving that remote workers deliver productive results to organizations. There has actually been conclusive evidence that employees who spend the bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.
Recent research from Gallup shows that 43% of workers already work some of the time remotely, and an in-depth study conducted by Gallup in 2017 showed that those workers who spend about three to four days of the week working offsite are substantially more engaged in their jobs than their traditional counterparts who are stuck behind desks all day. The logic behind this productivity boost is actually quite easy to understand; by giving workers more control over their personal lives and permitting them to schedule their lives accordingly, companies are making them happier and more fulfilled.
Interested in positioning yourself as a top remote candidate? Leverage our tips below.
Highlight your skills as a remote worker.
The most successful remote workers possess certain qualities that help them succeed in their unique work situations like self-motivation, communication, autonomy, interpersonal skills, independence. Reflect if you have the below skills and be sure to highlight them within your virtual interview.
- Self-motivation. When you’re removed from an office – and your boss –you have to be able to motivate yourself to get your work done. Taking the initiative is important. Emphasize a bias toward action in both your cover letter and interview.
- Communication. Individuals who are looking to work remotely, especially for the first time, must be able to provide examples of how they are currently successfully communicating with email, video conference, and online chat programs. Think in advance about how you go above and beyond to ensure clarity and skirt any digital misunderstandings.
- Visibility. Even though you’re not in the office, it’s essential to be visible. Whether that’s taking on new projects, collaborating with different teams and team members, or driving visibility into your work and value it generates for the business. Consider highlighting examples of when you’ve raised your hand in the past to volunteer for an extra responsibility – especially if you’ve done so from a distance.
Understand your potential employer’s brand.
Top remote candidates, wherever they’re located, know the importance of understanding their potential employer’s brand. Before you have your virtual interview, be sure to read up on the organization’s mission, values, company culture, perks, and benefits and speak to why you’d fit in their organization to make a positive, memorable impression on your interviewer.
Brush up on your virtual interviewing skills.
Remote work jobs may come with their own set of interview questions. According to Marie Romero, director of talent acquisition for Blue Shield of California, companies may focus on topics that include “the ability to collaborate, drive for results, and self-motivation,” and ask questions such as, “How have you established/maintained collaborative relationships with colleagues despite geographic differences? How did you keep the momentum of the project going? Tell me about a time you handled a difficult interaction in a remote setting?” In your virtual interview, you should also focus on proving that you have the skills needed to be a remote worker, such as being a self-starter, being visible, and having good communication skills.
Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.