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6 Tips to Ace Your Remote Job Interview

By: Emily Gregor
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This post originally appeared on Fullstack Academy's blog.

With more and more people working remotely and the consistently strong demand for engineering jobs, there have never been more promising remote job opportunities as a developer.

You’re no longer limited to job opportunities in your local city. You can find remote engineering jobs across the nation and even the world.

In addition, these opportunities will continue to grow, as work-from-home trends accelerate. Some companies are already fully remote, some are making the transition, and others will land on hybrid models. Needless to say, there has never been a better time to find remote engineering jobs.

Employers want to know you have what it takes to succeed in a remote role. The University of San Diego Tech Bootcamps help you prepare for remote jobs by helping you develop a routine, collaborate and pair program with others remotely, and learn valuable professional skills that will set you apart—whether you choose to learn coding or cybersecurity.

Here are six tips for acing a remote job interview.

1. Work With a High Degree of Autonomy

When remote, you don’t have managers who can look over your shoulder and make sure you’re headed in the right direction. You can’t walk over to someone's desk and ask for help.

The best remote workers are able to take a project and successfully complete it. They’re able to overcome unforeseen obstacles that can come up midway through a project.

Make sure you can talk about how you can independently complete projects. Discuss the importance of asking the right questions from the get-go and getting buy-in on your development approach from the start.

Employers want to know they can trust you to successfully complete projects with minimal oversight. Constant hand-holding in a remote environment is time-consuming, and employers want to avoid that.

2. Focus on the Importance of Communication

The lifeblood or remote teams is communication. Often, in a remote setup, if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind. Important tasks or information can slip through the cracks. You’re not going to bump into a colleague and be prompted to share critical information.

The best remote workers have processes that ensure their managers and team are aligned with their work.

In a remote job interview, make sure you talk about what you think are ideal communication frameworks. If you believe sending an end-of-day email is great for team alignment or an early morning Slack stand-up, explain why.

In addition, make sure you emphasize the importance of upholding team processes, whether that’s by updating your project management tools appropriately or using agreed-upon coding standards.

Managers want to know you’re thoughtful about communication, both for their benefit and for the team’s. Nobody wants to fish for information.

3. Manage Your Time Well

While working from home can save you time by avoiding a commute, it’s easy to blend home and work life. You can find yourself drifting toward finishing a game you started the night before during regular work hours or getting distracted by the news.

Employers want to know that you can manage your time well. USD Tech Bootcamp students who are able to manage their time not only have an easier time succeeding in the rigorous bootcamp environment, but they’re also better set up to succeed professionally.

Be prepared to talk about how you would manage your time as a remote worker. Perhaps you want to mention how you block off five minutes every few hours to take a break and stay fresh. Or you might mention how you’ll plan and mark in your calendar when you’ll eat lunch so your team knows when you’re around.

Remote workers who can manage their time are productive workers.

4. Create a Thoughtful Home Office

Successful remote employees are able to physically separate their home life and work life.

If you can, talk about your home office setup and the thinking behind its design. Mention how you added lights and plants because they helped create a comfortable environment to focus. Perhaps talk about how your home office is intentionally set up away from distractions, like the TV, so you can stay productive.

Employers want to hear that you’re thoughtful about your home environment and that you’re always thinking about how your physical setup can help you stay on track.

5. Share How You Stay Motivated

Humans are social creatures, and when you’re not physically around employees or company leadership, it can take a toll on your motivation. While you may be excited to start a new opportunity, in a few short months, the lack of in-person social interaction can take a toll on you.

Make sure you talk about how you plan to stay motivated when working at home. You can talk about the importance of scheduling breaks or exercise, for example, as a way to reflect on your work and to keep your mind fresh.

Also, don’t be afraid to say that you want regular one-on-ones with your managers or leadership. Employers love hearing this. They want members who actively take an interest in the company and its mission.

6. Flip the Interview

A good candidate will do their research on a company and will take the time to ask questions. It makes you stand out and shows you're interested in the opportunity. The Career Success team at the USD Tech Bootcamps helps students navigate these questions and be strategic about their remote job interview preparation so they get hired at top companies.

Be sure to ask questions related to remote work. For example, what processes does the company have for communication? What challenges have they faced with a remote staff? How have they addressed them?

Darshan Somashekar, the CEO of Solitaired, explains, “When candidates ask questions about how we approach remote engineering, it shows they understand successful remote work takes planning and consideration. We want candidates like that.”

Up next: Learn how to ace the top three behavioral interview questions with Fullstack Academy’s Director of Career Success, Lesia Harhaj.