Skip to main content

Interview Question Database

Working Remotely

QUESTION INTENT

Going forward, it is likely you may have the opportunity to interview for positions that will require working from home. Employers will want to know if you are comfortable working remotely and how you will handle being productive in a distant environment.

TIPS FOR RESPONDING TO WORKING REMOTELY Q'S
  • Emphasize your time management, communication, and self-discipline abilities to adapt to remote working.
  • Be prepared to answer why you would be the best person to excel at working remotely by highlighting your strengths.
  • Share what your remote working strategy will be for handling challenges related to working at home.

Describe a time when you pursued an ambitious project by yourself while working remotely.

This question intends to see if you can demonstrate initiative and being pro-active while working remotely.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Highlight your self-motivation and commitment to independently work on projects in a remote/online setting where your supervisor won't be consistently in contact with you to keep on track. Explain how you created a challenge for yourself but remained focused despite distractions or problems.

What worries you about working remotely online, as opposed to an in-person office community?

This questions intends to determine how self-aware you are about the challenges of remote working.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Some common challenges of working remotely include:
  • Time-management difficulties
  • Difficulties separating your work and personal life
  • Online miscommunication
  • Technological problems (i.e. wifi cuts out, hard drive full)
  • Difficult to obtain bigger opportunities (i.e. projects or promotions)
After naming a potential issue or two, explain how you have and will adapt to these challenges.

How do you plan to schedule your working day and prioritize your work while working remotely?

Working remotely means adapting your productivity strategies for online work. Remote working isn't as rosy as it seems and it's important to demonstrate how you will keep on track while working online.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Check out these articles for more on how co-op students have been organizing their time and productivity and see what works for you: Then, in the interview, explain a strategy that has worked for you and how you will use that strategy while working for the employer.

How would you address a situation where the rest of your team is offline and you have a time-sensitive problem?

This question is asking if you are able to independently solve problems and make decisions in a stressful situation.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Make sure to address how you will:
  • Self-manage your stress when addressing unexpected challenges like this.
  • Independently try to troubleshoot the problem as much as you can.
  • Record the problem and its details clearly for your team to access when they are available.
  • Make sure to appropriately contact the team so they are aware of the problem when they come back online.
 

Describe your communication style while working with a remote team.

The employer intends to see if you are self-aware of how you best communicate and how you intend to use your interpersonal skills in an online setting.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Make sure you can explain how you intend to openly and clearly communicate to avoid miscommunication.

How do you avoid miscommunication working with a remote team.

This questions intends to see if you have both the problem solving and interpersonal communication skills for online communication.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Emphasize that you are proficient in:
  • Clear written and verbal communication skills.
  • Taking the time to check over written communication to avoid vague messaging.
  • Advocating for regular team meetings.

What concerns do you have about remote working?

This questions intends to determine how self-aware you are about the challenges of remote working.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Make sure you mention how you will address these potential issues:
  • Overworking and burning out
  • Difficulties in prioritizing work
  • Dealing with distractions
  • Maintaining interpersonal interactions online
  • Miscommunication

How do you switch off from work to maintain a work-life balance when working remotely?

It is up to you how much you want to reveal about your personal life. This questions intends to see if you likely to burn out from not setting boundaries while working remotely.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Explain how you will set up healthy professional boundaries such as:
  • a structured work schedule
  • communicating such boundaries
  • dedicating a workspace just for working
  • taking a lunch break to decompress
  • self-care strategies
  • transitioning strategies to finish work day

What skills do you think are important to succeed at remote working?

This questions intends to determine how self-aware you are about the challenges of remote working.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Make sure to mention at least one of the following in-demand skills:
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Time-management
  • Self-motivation
  • Fast learner (ability to learn new technology skills)
  • Moderation (ability to balance life and work)

How familiar are you/What is your experience working with [productivity tool*]?

* Productivity tool examples that could be mentioned: Google Drive and Docs, Office 365, Dropbox, Google Meet, Zoom, Asana, Trello, Gmail, Slack, Skype.

Make sure you are familiar with most of these tools in terms of how they work.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

For a tool they mention you have used in the past, explain that you are familiar and experienced with using it. For a tool that you haven't used, mention that while you haven't had the opportunity to use it yet, you are quick to learning new productivity tools on the go. To gain familiarity, check out each tool by searching "[tool name] (and) guide (or) how to get started" in your search engine or YouTube. Some tools have their own video channels that guide you like Trello or Asana.

Describe what your ideal home office set-up is like.

Note: You can politely decline interviewers who demand a full Zoom tour or photos of your private home space because that can be an invasive question to ask.

Answer Tips

Answer Tips

Take this as an opportunity to showcase your organizational skills by demonstrating how you have office essentials like your laptop close by your printer. Demonstrate you have adequate space to work out of (a table, a chair, wifi connectivity, light).

When do you work the most effectively?

Because remote working allows for people to be working on teams geographically dispersed, it's important for the employer to know if they can accommodate your availability when the organization need synchronous communication.

Answer Tips