How to Decide if the Job is Right for You During Remote Interviews
With technological advancements, more opportunities have opened up for remote work. Given the right circumstances, you can have a lot of job offers to choose from different parts of the world. In the course of your application, remote interviews are expected to happen.
Typically, when you are offered a job, you meet with HR or the hiring manager and have a face-to-face interview. During this interview, the hiring manager will gauge your interest in the job based on your answers to his or her questions. But what if you can’t have a face-to-face interview where you are not physically present to observe the actual workplace and the people? Here are ways on how you can tell if the job offer is right for you during remote interviews.
1. Research about the company before the interview
Here are several ways on how to learn more about the company you’re applying for:
- Job adverts/Classified ads – Take a look again at the job advert that caught your eye? Notice the language that the company uses. Does it give you an indication of how would it be like to work with them? What does it tell you about the organisation? Do they give the impression that they are inclusive and accessible? When they talk about the job responsibilities, is it clear and aligned to your expectations of the role? Read between the lines in the job advert to give you a better idea of the offer and a clearer image of the company.
- Company website – In the digital age, no organisation is without a website. Take full advantage by learning more about the company. Is their vision and mission aligned to your values? Based on what they feature in their website, does the company give you a sense of security and stability? Are they updated in terms of inclusivity and diversity policies?
- Social media platforms – If they’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms, take time to check their posts. How they communicate also reflects how they are as a company. If there are employees of the company who are in LinkedIn, take a look at their profiles, particularly their organisational activities. This can give you an idea of how it feels to work within their company culture. If they have a YouTube channel, watch their videos to give you more information on what they’re all about.
- Reviews and news – Enter the company name in your search engine and go through any reviews and news that appear about the organisation. These will give you more insights about the company, based on feedback from employees and other relevant stakeholders.
- Company material – The hiring manager might provide documents before the scheduled remote interview. Take time to read and review them. The information will give you sufficient background on what are the key priorities of the company and what they’re committed to.
2. Look for company culture cues
As a job seeker, it’s understandable that – aside from compensation and benefits – you’d like to know how it would feel to work for the company you’re interested in. Don’t hesitate to ask the recruiter or hiring manager about the company culture. How does a normal day go about in the office? What would it be like to join the team that you’re interested to work with, or the projects that they’re involved in? How do they keep their employees engaged, not just with the work but with the company itself?
You could even pick up some cues during the remote interview itself. What’s the environment like in their workplace? Does the hiring manager give you a sense of what would it be like to work with them? If they’re conducting the interview at home, does it reflect the flexibility of the company’s approach to work? Be observant during the interview and ask for any clarification on what you’ve noticed.
3. Ask the interviewer the right questions
Whether it’s remote or face-to-face, a job interview goes two ways. This is your opportunity to ask the interviewer for more information or any clarification about the job offer and the company. The interviewer’s answers will also help you to know if you will be able to work comfortably within their company culture. Here are some sample questions that you can ask the interviewer which will help you to decide if the job offer is right for you:
- “What does a typical day look like for this job role?”
- “What constitutes success for the team and for the company?”
- “What’s it like to work here, from your perspective?”
- “Are there learning and development opportunities available which will allow career growth?”
- “Will there be opportunities to work flexibly should the need arise?”
Pandemic-related questions, for example, will also help you gauge on how the company will respond to a crisis:
- “What were your key learnings from the pandemic so far?”
- “What support will I receive when working remotely or WFH or in a hybrid set-up?”
4. If the hiring manager will be your future boss, try to see if you would work well together
Having a good working relationship with your manager is also something you should consider when applying for a job. Check if the hiring manager conducting the remote interview will be your immediate supervisor. Use this time to get an inkling on whether you and the manager will gel well. A good interview will sound more like a conversation than an interrogation. If you feel at ease with them during the interview, it’s a good sign that you’ll feel comfortable with them.
During the interview, assess how they are able to clearly communicate their expectations from you in the role that you’re applying for. Notice if they’re really listening to your answers, based on how they respond. It’s also a good idea to ask about their own career with the company. If they sound enthusiastic and if they take pride in working with their colleagues, then it’s an encouraging indicator of their company environment.
5. Take note of their body language
Remote interviews may seem limiting. But you can still tell if the interviewer is invested in your application, based on their voice and movements. During the interview, if you notice changes in their body language – facial expression, tone of voice, gestures, or behavioural shifts – ask if they have any concern with your responses. This will give you a chance to understand their perspective. You’ll also have the opportunity to make clarifications with your answers. That way, you’ll be able to see if your personal viewpoints fit in with the organisation’s.
6. Assess how the interview went
After the remote interview, do a self-assessment on how it was handled, what you’ve learned about the company, and how you’ll fit in. This will help you to determine if the job opportunity is still worth pursuing. Here are some questions to guide you:
- Did the company appear well-organised?
- As the candidate, did you feel that you were the centre of the process?
- Did the interviewer clearly communicate and provide detailed feedback on your concerns?
- Is the job offer aligned to your skills and your career development?
- Will you be able to manage financially with the salary and benefits?
- Are you genuinely interested in the company and does their mission, vision, and work culture appeal to you? Will you feel valued, engaged, and included?
- Do you see yourself working with your future boss and colleagues? Will you be working in a good, supportive environment?
Don’t forget to trust your gut. During or after the interview, you might discover potential red flags. Don’t ignore your intuition. You would know best if the job offer only looks good on paper or if it’s really right for you.
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As a permanent recruitment consultant in Vietnam, The Talent Consultants offers an exceptional talent pool of highly skilled candidates across Southeast Asia. We are the trusted experts in talent acquisition sourcing in Ho Chi Minh City that offers a variety of job opportunities — from junior to c-suite level — in multinational businesses.
You can benefit from our free online resources to help you manage your remote team or to guide you in your career journey. Read more virtual interview tips for candidates and managers. For job seekers, feeling nervous about your upcoming interview? Here are some useful tips to help you prepare and ace that interview.
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