4 Things to Consider When Applying for Remote Tech Jobs

Remote work seems firmly entrenched in corporate consciousness; for many companies, the chances of going back to the old way (i.e. in the office five days a week) seem slim. This means that your next career move could easily involve an entirely remote position.

But if the past few years have shown anything clear, it’s that successfully landing a remote role requires changing the way you approach the job search process. From questions about time zones and expected availability to remote interview details, here are some handy tips to get you started in your search for the perfect remote role.

Make sure the “remote” part is permanent

For Jim Johnson, senior vice president and director of field practices at Robert Half Technology, you need to consider whether a particular role will remain permanently remote or whether the company expects you to transition to a job eventually. full time office.

“Do some research to see if the company has extended their remote period by six months, but it could become on-site work later,” he warned. “Are they going to have to go to a head office? Make sure you are comfortable with what this remote definition means for each organization – some may require you to be in the office from time to time.

Truly flexible hours

Samantha Lawrence, senior vice president of human resources strategy at Hired, noted that candidates for remote positions should consider the usual things like compensation, benefits and work-life balance, but also ensure that the remote work schedule fits their needs.

“For example, if you live in New York but the job you’re applying for is on a team in San Francisco, could you work EST hours if you wanted to?” she said.

Whether the work is remote or in the office, employers expect candidates who are technically competent, reliable and in tune with the culture of the organization. “That said, applicants should be prepared to explain how they transitioned from in-person to remote work, if any, what challenges and opportunities this change brought to their work processes, and how they overcame them. ,” she added.

Applicants should be prepared to provide examples of their ability to work autonomously and asynchronously; an employer might be willing to talk about ultra-flexible hours, but they’ll want to know you can deliver on time.

Prepare for a remote interview

During the interview process, it’s important to talk about how you adjusted to previous periods of remote work and how you overcame any challenges that came with working remotely. “They’re going to ask you how many remote roles you’ve had and what you’ve done to be successful, so that’s a key thing people need to be prepared to answer,” he said.

The interview process for remote work will likely be entirely remote as well; if so, candidates should prepare for the virtual interview by ensuring they are in a quiet location with a good WiFi connection. Your experience should be interview-friendly and not distracting.

Johnson added that in many ways, a remote interview is more personal than the traditional type of in-office interview. “I’m letting you into my house, so to speak, so you’re going to see what my office looks like,” he said. “It’s important as an employee and employer to be aware of what’s showing when you turn on your camera, not just to make sure you’re dressed appropriately, but to know, what are the things you hung on the wall. What are the things behind you?

It’s also essential to ensure that your maintenance app (whether it’s Zoom, Teams, or another product) is downloaded, installed, updated, compatible, and otherwise ready to go. “If I’m a tech interview and the tech lead doesn’t know how to answer the call and as an employee or candidate I can’t, that might create a little bit of discouragement,” Johnson said. “Find a quiet place, ideally your home office, where you will be working, so they have an idea of ​​what it will be like to work with you.”

Express your needs

Lawrence said candidates shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about a company’s work-life balance or flexible working hours, nor should they be afraid to voice their own needs. and requirements in a new job.

“Remember that jobs also need to be a good fit for the candidate, and getting insight into a company’s culture and way of working is an important step in determining the fit,” Lawrence said. “I recommend talking about it in the early stages of the interview process to set expectations accordingly.”

It is also the responsibility of job seekers to ensure that they ask potential employers about the expectations of remote employees. For example: Do they have to work specific hours or time zones? are they entitled to all company benefits as a remote employee? If they move to another region, will their compensation change with the new location?

Johnson also pointed out that in the IT world, there might not necessarily be that five-day, eight-to-five, or nine-to-five job, remote or otherwise. “It’s important to ask yourself what those expectations are and even ask your interviewer how they themselves are handling this work-life balance in this new world,” he said. “It’s about asking the manager you’re interviewing about their availability and off-peak expectations, and how they’ve handled that with their team and personally.”

Like Lawrence, Johnson also raised the issue of time zones. “If I’m in New Jersey and I’m interviewing for a job in Austin or Las Vegas, what will those expectations be for people who aren’t in the same time zone?” he said. “From the candidate’s perspective, you need to be honest about your availability and set those realistic expectations.”

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