Many would-be home-based workers don’t know that work-at-home jobs are just like traditional jobs. Not only do you need a professional resume and cover letter to make potential employers take notice, but often, an interview is involved.
In most cased, the interview takes place over the phone or Skype (sometimes video Skype). Just like in traditional job interviews, telecommuting interviews can be stressful especially when confronted with challenging questions. Planning how you will answer common questions will help you feel more confident and will convey that you are a professional. In this week’s “From the WAH Experts,” I ask successful experts:
What are common telecommuting interview questions and how can candidates best prepare for a telecommuting job interview?
Nathan Barber, digital advertising Works
Show that you have discipline to work from home. Explain a time in your job or life that instilled this discipline that has given you the mental strength to work at full capacity without supervision for a full day. Show an example or two of how you have toiled through a project without much help or direction. While you have team members, you are pretty much going to be solo for a telecommunicating job so you have to show that you are capable of working independently.
My second tip is to show that you can be timely in your internet communication exchanges. Explain times when you had to maintain online contact for one of your jobs, school, or any other time in life that can relate to experience keeping communication remotely. Since you are alone, it is vital that you can keep a close relationship with your coworkers through your work.
Cain Richards, seoWorks
Why do you want to telecommute? The obvious response is to list the reasons that might be beneficial to yourself (No commute, flexibility, childcare) but it’s important to frame your response in the terms of how telecommuting will compliment your work ethos and lifestyle, enabling you to deliver the best possible performance for the hiring company.
Jeff Lipschultz, A-List Solutions
One of the most common questions in an interview is “Tell me about yourself.” Actually, it is not even a question–it is an invitation. It is an opportunity to share with the interviewer whatever you think is important in their hiring decision. More importantly, it is your chance to differentiate yourself. In most cases, most of the standard questions allow the same.
With advanced planning and practice, you can know your target employer and how to sell yourself for the job. “Tell me about yourself” then becomes a positive and fun exercise in demonstrating your value and getting one step closer to winning that great new job!
Pamela Skillings, Big Interview
A good answer will demonstrate a knowledge of the company and industry. That means you must do your homework so that you can identify specific reasons for wanting to work for the firm.
You can probably think of other reasons that would also work. Please note: “It’s close to my house” is not a good reason.
Jeff Gillis, Jeff and Mike The Interview Guys
This is incredibly common question and it gives you a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and really show the hiring manager how you can help the company.
The key thing to remember here is: be specific.
Leverage your company research and the job description to find exactly why the company is hiring someone for this position. What problem/pain points does the new hire have to solve? You need to show that you are the perfect candidate that can solve those problems/pain points.
Tony Lee, CareerCast.com
The economy has pushed many talented professionals into the workforce, so don’t be ashamed to simply explain that you were a part of a downsizing. If you were fired for performance issues, it’s best to merely say you “parted ways” and refocus the discussion on how your skill set matches the current position. If you currently have a job, focus on why you’re seeking greater opportunity, challenges or responsibility. If you’re transitioning to a new industry, discuss why you’re making the transition and tie it into the new job responsibilities (make sure that you have very strong references regardless of why you left, or are leaving, a position).
Note from Leslie:
These experts have excellent tips. The main thing to remember when interviewing for a work-at-home job (or any job), is that you need to focus on how you can help the employer. Employers don’t care about your childcare hassles or long commute. They’re looking for someone qualified and trustworthy to do a job. So your answer should show your expertise, experience, and ability to work independently, with focus on how all that benefits the business.