Part 3: From Nada to Nailed it!
So here we are– the third and final installation of How to Land a Remote Job! In Part 1 I touched on life before remote life and I shared the top 5 remote job sites I used in my quest to land a remote job. Part 2 was a little more personal as I recalled how long-term traveling leveraged my remote job search AND I dished a few embarrassing remote job fails.
Now that we’ve waded through the mire of getting ourselves established and ready to land the remote job of our dreams, it’s important to make sure you have the tools and technology in place to nail the interview–and I’ll show you how to get a little stalker-y online too!
No, you don’t, but that’s ok! Most companies hiring for remote positions aren’t necessarily looking for people with previous remote experience, however, they definitely want to see that you’re familiar with the tools of the trade– all the tech that makes remote work possible.
At my remote job we use Slack for team chat. Zoom and Google Hangouts for meetings and video chat. Trello for project management, and Google Drive for cloud storage and collaboration. You can get a better idea of some of the other great productivity apps and tools by checking out the Skillcrush post on this exact subject!
Also, if you are traveling internationally and need a local number you can purchase a Skype phone number for around $20 for 3 months. I purchased a Portland number and used it to conduct U.S. based phone interviews while in Europe and Central America, without a hitch.
This should go without saying, but make sure your online presence is projecting the best version of yourself! If your email address is still McDreamygurl69@aol.com then stop what you’re doing right now and upgrade to a Gmail account and keep your email handle simple: firstname.lastname@example.org or something to that effect. Social media gives potential employers a sneak peek into your life, and your online presence is their first impression of you, so make sure that the content you post is something you wouldn’t mind your future boss seeing.
Good-natured online stalking (that’s totally a thing) goes both ways– now it’s YOUR turn to check out the companies you are applying to–get a better feel for their overall engagement with customers and check out what previous employees have to say about working for them. Any company I have interest in or have applied to, I connect with on Twitter and Instagram. If it’s a company I really, really want to work for I’ll be sure to research their website and subscribe to their blog. This gives an even better insight on company culture and the topics their clients need help with.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out Glassdoor. Not only can you search for jobs but you can read real reviews from previous employees, as well as scope out salary details for the position you are applying for. In my third and final interview with my current remote job, I decided to bring up the topic of “bad reviews” on Glassdoor and we ended up having a really good convo about salary expectations and how they felt about previous employees leaving unsavory reviews. This was a golden move because it showed my managers that I had done my research and it was a memorable question to bring up when they asked, “so, do you have any questions for us?”
Congrats, future remoter, you’ve made it to the interview round! Let me tell you right now, making it this far is a BIG DEAL. Remember, there are hundreds of people applying for this position, and you made a big enough impression with your resume and essay questions and LinkedIn profile to land an interview with your dream company. Whether you’re traveling through SE Asia or hanging out in your sister’s living room, there are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your phone/video interviews.
First: Internet connection. It better be good and strong. Not sitting outside of a closed coffee shop WiFi, but reliable WiFi that will not falter or cut out during the impressive crescendo of your interview answers. Second: Practice your delivery. Do a practice interview with a friend via video chat or record yourself from your computer or smartphone. This Help Scout article shares 9 tips for successful video interviews and it is GOOD. It also touches on environmental control– like, don’t do your video interview in weird lighting or in a noisy place.
Each company is different and some prescribe to the standard interview process, while others will take a more progressive approach by asking you some really interesting interview questions or have you complete a ‘project’. Make sure you have solid answers for 20-30 interview questions. YIKES! I know, that seems like a lot, but hopefully, you have several interviews lined up and you will be super prepared, relaxed, and ready for any zinger they throw your way.
The interview process for my remote job went like this: 1) initial contact online and first phone interview with one manager. 2) 48-hour project deadline, answering work-related scenario questions 3) second phone interview with both managers 4) video interview with both managers 5) phone call with the job offer!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! Here’s a great Skillcrush post to help you start preparing for your interview: 18 Questions to Answer to Land a Remote Job.
Congratulations! You now know how to leverage your no-remote-experience with your tools-of-the-trade knowledge. Your online presence is fun yet professional and you’ve connected with many of the companies you’ve applied to through social media, AND you’ve scoped out what previous employees have to say about the companies you really want to work for. You’ve curated an arsenal of interview questions you could answer in your sleep– you got this!
Do you have remote job interview advice we need to know?? Let us know in the comments! xo