5 Tips for Interviewing for Remote Positions
Remote positions are on the rise. As telehealth and remote jobs continue their steady climb throughout the American workforce, those who have transitioned to remote work remark that they have been able to establish a better balance between their careers and personal lives.
While working in a remote role does not come without its challenges, employers and employees enjoy many benefits of transitioning their work environment to a fully remote or hybrid operation. Let’s delve into the benefits of remote work before we share remote interview tips for securing your ideal job.
What Is Remote Work?
In a remote work environment, employees complete tasks outside a central office or employer’s headquarters. In such scenarios, employees (or self-employed contractors) can work from home, a personal office, a communal space, a library, or virtually any location with a secure internet connection.
Employees can even go to the park or a cafe down the street for tasks that don’t require online access. Many people in remote positions can manage their priorities while traveling out of state or even outside of the country.
Benefits of Remote Work
When employers switch to remote or hybrid work scheduling, all organizational stakeholders can reap the benefits. Based on survey data, we can see evidence of worker satisfaction. Nearly 60% of U.S. remote workers want to continue working from home, and 90% of that cohort plans to remain in remote positions for their careers. Telehealth, in particular, is witnessing significant gains in employee productivity and employer satisfaction. What explains telehealth’s appeal across so many industries?
- Increased Productivity & Efficiency: With the elimination of work commutes, many organizations have found that switching to telehealth operations results in greater focus and reduced employee distractions.
- Greater Access: While set office hours can make it difficult for clients to seek in-person treatment for various illnesses and injuries, telehealth services allow people to meet with health professionals on evenings and weekends, for example. This means that people may be more likely to seek care when needed, and telehealth meetings can even include other family members or advocates in cases where clients require additional support.
- More Sustainable Work/Life Balance: Telehealth workers may also enjoy the ability to work at preferred times. By having the trust of their employers and autonomy to create their own schedules, they have more freedom to spend time with friends and family, exercise or devote time to hobbies, pursue continuing education, or simply relax. Families, in particular, may benefit from the flexibility a telehealth schedule provides.
- Trust and Collaboration: It’s true that, in some cases, employees and employers may struggle with fostering camaraderie upon shifting to remote positions. Such an operational change can be a positive move, challenging workplace leaders to innovate more creative ways to build strong rapport within their organization.
- Reduced Spending: Employers have significantly reduced the associated costs of business travel, office expenses, and increasing rents. Of course, telehealth workers may require specific medical devices and equipment; however, establishing agreements with other telehealth companies to share resources can result in reduced waste and spending.
When interviewing for remote positions in telehealth, there are certain best practices to keep in mind. Attending to these suggestions before and during an interview for a remote position may help you stand out among other highly qualified candidates.
There’s nothing that can derail a remote interview like a technological hiccup. You might be the best fit for a position, but if you appear to flounder when confronted with an unsecured internet connection, unfamiliarity with video-conferencing functions, or the dreaded frozen screen, your credibility may be undermined.
For these reasons, checking your remote equipment before the interview is best. Make sure your video camera and microphone are working, your laptop is fully charged, and your video-conferencing log-in credentials are saved on your device.
While the flexibility to work from home is appealing, our personal spaces may not always reflect the level of organization or cleanliness we’d like to project to our potential employer. Sometimes, working from home means working out of a nursery, an office/guest bedroom, or a kitchen. Clutter or personal items in the background can be distracting, and a remote interviewer may make inaccurate assumptions about an interviewee’s aptitude based on their video-conferencing background.
Many online video-conferencing platforms allow users to select a background while keeping the speaker in the forefront. Formal examples include office settings, classrooms, or libraries, while users can also choose informal contexts like outer space, the beach, or a park. For your first time interacting with a prospective employer, choose a more formal setting, which may offer fewer distractions and enable the interviewer to focus on you and your qualifications.
In most cases, interviewers for remote positions will ask questions assessing your knowledge of their organization’s mission, programs, and desired outcomes. Prior to your interview, you will want to visit their website and/or social media pages to explore the company’s values, mission/vision statement, and competitive landscape.
Additionally, conducting an online search to see recent press releases or announcements may be valuable. Your ability to integrate this information in your responses can convey to an interviewer that you are genuinely passionate about joining their team. Doing so is a great way to stand out from other candidates.
At the end of your interview, the interviewer may ask if you have any questions they can answer. Preparing a list of questions ahead of time shows that you are curious and knowledgeable.
Suppose this is your first time pursuing a remote role. In that case, you might ask questions about expectations for remote positions, best practices for communicating within a remote team, and desired etiquette for interacting with patients. Other potentially helpful questions include inquiring about the types of challenges clients most frequently encounter with telehealth services, common mistakes to avoid, and what to do in emergencies.
We previously mentioned that some employers and employees find it challenging to foster collaboration in remote and/or hybrid work settings. This issue is certainly not unique to the telehealth industry, and many employers share that video conferences and phone calls are not always the most organic way to get to know someone.
You can use your remote interview to build rapport with the interviewer. Ask your interviewer about their experiences with the company and learn about how the organization is currently striving to cultivate a team atmosphere outside of a physical building. Once you get hired, check in with co-workers about their interests, hobbies, and weekend plans, as appropriate.
Now is an excellent time to pursue a career in telehealth. According to expert estimates, the U.S. telehealth market is expected to grow from $23.8B in 2021 to $309.9B in 2030, increasing at an incredible 45.1%. With such growth, you can expect an increased demand for qualified healthcare workers.
The benefits of transitioning to remote operations or simply increasing the number of remote positions for employers and employees are clear, and the promising news is that teletherapy jobs are available throughout the country. Search teletherapy jobs online to discover opportunities best suited for your skillset and ideal lifestyle.