Aatul Palandurkar

Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category

If you’re looking for a remote job, eventually you will have a remote job interview. And, while interviews, in general, are a little daunting, it can be more intimidating to interview virtually — especially if it’s your first remote interview.

As a Career Advisor, the standard advice I give to clients and individuals is to prepare and practice for a remote job interview. Doing so helps calm nerves and increases confidence. How’s that for a win-win?

Plus, it makes for a more successful interview. On average, you’ll be up against four to six other professionals once you make it to the interview round of hiring.

The best way to get a job offer is to interview better than your competitors. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it can be if you plan ahead and prep answers to common remote job interview questions in advance.

Preparation is Key

As a job seeker in general you’ll face common interview questions. These are the same ones we all come across regardless of job type, industry, or position. But, as a remote job seeker, you’ll likely have to answer remote-specific questions that will help a hiring manager determine whether or not you’d be a successful remote worker.

This is how you can help yourself stand out against the competition. Remember, the four to six candidates being interviewed all have similar skills and abilities — that’s how they got the interview. But as a savvy job seeker, you’ll get the job based on how well you present yourself as a remote job seeker.

Make yourself seem like the perfect hire that you obviously are by coming up with smart answers to common remote job interview questions.

7 Common Remote Job Interview Questions

1. Do you have experience working remotely?

If you do, great! This is the perfect chance to highlight previous remote work experience. Someone who has already successfully tackled remote work is a ‘safer’ hire than someone without any remote experience.

However, if you’ve never worked remotely a day in your life — don’t panic. You can still answer this question in a positive way.

Explain that while you don’t have direct experience as a remote worker, you do have the skills needed to be a successful remote worker. Then highlight the common skills needed to work remotely related to communication, technology, organization, and time management.

From there, you can mention specific programs you’ve used that remote teams commonly use like Slack, Google Drive, and Trello.

The more you can demonstrate you’ve got what it takes to work remotely, the better.

2. Why do you want to telecommute?

If you’ve never worked remotely before, the hiring manager will want to know why you’re drawn to remote work now. Someone who has had a successful office-based career for years that suddenly pivots to remote work will need a solid answer to this question.

Maybe you’re more productive when working from your home office. Perhaps you live in a rural area where job opportunities are limited. It may even be as simple as the company/job you’re applying for just happens to be remote-friendly and you are excited about the opportunity.

Don’t overthink your answer to this one. Simply state what it is about remote work that appeals to you. Remember, there are tons of remote work benefits to choose from!

But never ever mention what you hate about office work — annoying coworkers, office politics, cubicle dwelling, daily commutes, fluorescent lighting, etc. This just makes it seem like you’re looking for an escape rather than a new opportunity.

3. What is your home office setup like? Can you describe it?

Whether or not you have worked from home previously, your interviewer wants to know you are serious about remote work. A candidate that has an existing home office or has considered how they will create a home office is already a step ahead of most.

Be sure to note anything that will contribute to your overall productivity and efficiency like a quiet and private workspace and high-speed reliable Internet.

4. How will you communicate and collaborate effectively with your coworkers?

One of the most important traits companies want in their remote workers is the ability to communicate effectively. That’s because you won’t be able to collaborate in the same space with your coworkers or have in-person sessions.

Instead, remote workers rely on collaboration tools and written communication to manage workflow and work together to get things done. Needless to say, you have to be an effective communicator in order to work well as a remote employee.

As an aspiring remote worker, you should be aware of common ways to keep in touch with coworkers. These include Trello, Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive. It’s also a good idea to mention traditional communication channels like chat, phone, email, and video.

5. What do you think your biggest challenge will be as a remote worker? How will you deal with this challenge?

You probably already know the dreaded interview question, “What’s your greatest weakness?” Well, this is the remote interviewer’s equivalent of that.

Let’s be honest, remote work comes with unique challenges. The person interviewing you wants to know that you’re aware of this and ready to overcome them if and when they happen.

Distractions, technical problems, engagement, motivation, and productivity are some common pitfalls of remote work. Think of ways you will combat these as a remote worker.

When you have answers prepared you to come across as an honest and realistic aspiring remote worker. If you fail to answer this question or try to spin this into a positive, i.e., “My biggest challenge as a remote worker is that I will get lost in work since I’m more productive at home” you come across as disillusioned about remote work or dishonest.

6. How do you handle distractions?

Distractions happen as a remote worker. Your doorbell rings. Dogs start barking. Neighbors come and go. Spouses, significant others, and kids may be in and around your workspace.

How you handle these common distractions tells a lot about your work ethic as a remote worker. Your interviewer wants to know that you are aware that distractions are going to happen and are already prepared to tackle them head-on.

7. What are some ways you prioritize tasks and stay motivated?

Before you’re hired, the company wants to know you’ll put in a full day’s work even when no one is looking. To build that level of trust during the interview, you will likely be asked how you manage your time and stay motivated.

Now is the time to illustrate just how you manage yourself and stay on top of the task.

Think about your own preferences when it comes to staying organized, focused, and productive. Be sure to note how you prioritize tasks and manage to get things done daily.

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember, these are just some of the most common interview questions remote job seekers face. Of course, every company will have its own set of questions they’ll ask potential hires.

But you can expect to encounter some of the above questions or similar variations. That’s because remote work is unique and it is not for everyone. Companies want to make sure they hire someone who will thrive as a remote worker and fit in with the current remote-friendly culture.

To position yourself as this perfect hire, prepare answers to the questions you’re more likely to come across as a remote job seeker. And while it’s good to be prepared don’t be overly robotic or rehearsed.

Interviews are also a time to let your personality shine. Your answers should perfectly showcase your professional abilities and demonstrate you’re a great fit for the position.

After you’ve landed your first interview for a tech position, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to not only say the right things but to avoid saying the wrong things. There are lots of things you can say wrong in an interview; let’s dig into some things to avoid.

 

Top 5 job interview mistakes: How to Avoid

 

5 job interview mistakes:

 

Don’t assume the person interviewing you is non-technical and doesn’t know the answers

I made this mistake eons ago in my very first interview out of college. I assumed the guy interviewing me was some mid-level manager who had no technical skills, and I thought I could outdo him. Wrong. He asked me if I had ever used any tools belonging to a certain toolset, and I said yes, thinking that would be it. He asked, “Which ones?” I was unable to answer and it made for an awkward moment… and also a lack of job offer.

Don’t criticize the questions

Fortunately, trick interview questions are beginning to go by the wayside; however, there’s still a possibility you’re going to encounter them at unexpected moments. (Specifically, “trick” questions are puzzle-y ones like, “How many gas stations are there in the country?” Google was a big fan of these, back in the day.)

The problem with these questions is they’re typically difficult to answer correctly without being given a lot of additional data; alternatively, many (such as the infamous “Why are manhole covers round?” question) hinge on whether you’ve happened to memorize a correct answer at some point. In general, though, trick questions are designed to see whether the applicant can logically work their way through a problem.

People interviewing for senior-level positions with 10 or 15 years of experience might get away with being arrogant during questions like this and pointing out their absurdity, but if you’re interviewing for an entry-level position, don’t respond with anything other than sincerity. Don’t say how ridiculous the question is, and don’t criticize the interviewer for thinking that such queries can actually determine how you think. Instead, take the question seriously, and give it your best shot.

 

No, you are not their savior

I’ve interviewed many young software developers who seem to assume that our shop is in total shambles, with problems so insurmountable that we need them (and only them!) to save the day. But they’re wrong. In fact, at many companies, things are usually going okay, if not splendidly. Please don’t go into an interview thinking that, if you hadn’t swept in at that moment, the whole place is going to collapse. It isn’t.

 

Don’t be too “unconfident.”

While overconfidence (not to mention outright arrogance) can ruin an entry-level interview, underconfidence can be just as bad. Although nobody wants to work with somebody who is arrogant towards other people, we also don’t want the other extreme: somebody who is scared to even take one step forward and needs their handheld constantly.

Go into the interview with confidence. Yes, you do know Python well for somebody just getting started; yes, you do know how to spin up an EC2 server on AWS. No, you’re not an expert with 15 years of experience; but you do know what needs to be done, and you know that you’ll have lots of opportunities to learn even more.

 

Don’t brag about things that all your classmates have also accomplished

When I was just out of college, I thought that I could brag about the sheer number of programming languages I knew and that the interviewers would be astounded by my knowledge. But what I failed to recognize was that virtually every college student who graduated that year also knew those very same languages.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, surviving your first tech interview means walking a very careful line. You’re still green, and the person interviewing you will see through any attempts to act like you’re on the same skill level as a seasoned professional. But you also don’t want to appear meek and frightened. You want to have the confidence of an experienced technologist, but with the humbleness of somebody relatively new… who is ready to learn whatever it takes to move forward in the profession.

To your unlimited success…

When you are ready to step into the professional world, you need to compile all the necessary information about yourself in the form of a document. This document allows recruiters to understand if you are eligible for a job position.

There are two ways of creating the document, with one being a CV and the other a resume. You may have come across job postings where some employers ask for a CV while others ask for a resume and few of them accept both.

If such posts made you question how a CV is different from a resume, then you are in the right place. While both the documents are used for job applications, there are some key differences between them. Learning these differences will enable you to prepare an appropriate document for your job application.

 

What is a CV? CV Vs. Resume – Know the 7 Difference

The CV stands for Curriculum Vitae, a Latin phrase that means “course of life”. A CV is a comprehensive document that enlists every little detail of your accomplishments rather than presenting a simple career overview. A CV includes details of your education and professional career along with any other achievements like special honors, awards, and publications.

A CV, typically written in chronological order is usually two or three pages long but can be extended to more pages if required. CVs remain constant and do not change for different job positions. When applying for jobs using CV, your cover letters should be written differently according to each position.

 

What is a Resume?

Resume comes from the French term résumé that means “to sum up”. Resumes are concise documents that summarise your educational background, skills and talents, and career history. The objective of a resume is to share a brief outline of your professional history with employers.

A good resume is no more than two pages long as the intended recruiters will not spend the document for very long.

A resume, unlike a CV, is not static. It is targeted at a specific audience and needs to be adapted to every job that you apply for. While resumes do not have to follow a chronological order, many applicants often list their work history in reverse-chronological order with the most recent job at the beginning.

A resume usually includes sections like contact information, a summary or an objective, education, work experience, skills, etc.

 

Usage Per Region

The usage of the documents varies from country to country.

If you are in Canada or the US, you will find a resume as the preferred document for job application across disciplines. In these countries, a CV is used for only two scenarios: applying for jobs abroad or applying for jobs in the academic or research-centric positions.

In mainland Europe, including the UK and Ireland, as well as New Zealand there is no such thing as a resume. In these countries, the term CV is equivalent to the content of a resume with a concise, targeted document used for job applications.

In India, South Africa, and Australia, CV and resume mean the same thing. The term CV is used mostly for a public service job application while a resume is common when applying for private companies.

 

What are the Differences?

At first glance, CV and resume might look similar to you.

Format

CV

  • CVs contain exhaustive details of each aspect of your achievement including education, skillsets, and career history
  • CVs are much longer and can go beyond two to three pages

Resume

  • Resumes are short descriptions of your professional history
  • Resumes highlight your work experiences and skills and mention specifics only when needed
  • The purpose of a resume is to help understand the recruiter whether you are eligible for the role
  • Resumes typically do not exceed more than two pages

Order of Events

CV

  • A CV follows a chronological order where your achievements are listed according to the time they took place
  • A CV allows an employer to follow your professional growth curve

Resume

  • A resume can be designed in three ways: chronologically, functionally, and combined order

 

Choosing CV and Resume According to Usage

A CV provides an in-depth understanding of your current position in your career. This makes it the best candidate for use in the academic sphere. The exhaustive list of your educational qualification, skills, publications, awards, and work history allows academic institutes to evaluate you better.

Resumes, on the other hand, are best suited for the private sector companies, especially when you are applying for positions in IT or technology industries. These sectors receive numerous applications throughout the year making it impossible for a recruiter to go through the detailed CV of each applicant. Resumes being crisp, to the point documents tailored for specific jobs are a popular choice for recruiters and employers.

The points mentioned in this post are all you need to know about what a CV and a resume are and how they can be used. If you are still unsure of which one to go with, you can always reach out to the recruiter for more information. In case that is not possible, sticking to resume is a safer option since it is a concise document highlighting your skills.

Hope you found this article useful. If yes, hit the like button and share it.

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In this video, you will learn how to use RemoveR Android App to remove background or specific content from images. Follow me for more such videos coming up soon and Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks. Contact me for Training, Workshops, Webinars, and Seminars.

 

Aatul Palandurkar

International Trainer and Author

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