How to find the perfect remote job (and ace the interview)
How to Ace your Remote Job Interview
The life of a remote worker is the envy of millions, but it’s hard to find the perfect remote job. Remote workers can avoid traffic, spend more time with their family, and take charge of their lifestyle. That is perhaps why recently, many people have made the switch from being a regular employee to becoming a full-time remote worker. In fact, Switzerland-based office provider IWG states that 70% of professionals telecommute at least once a week based on their studies. Unfortunately, due to the rise in this number, the competition for jobs is also becoming more tougher. Scammers also know how popular the topic is, so it can be hard to even find legitimate remote work opportunities as a freelancer or for employment. Nowadays, the chances of getting a job on websites such as Upwork may feel like an attempt at winning the lottery. So many people are trying out for a single job, the chances of you getting picked seem so futile it’s ridiculous. Even if the odds may seem against you, however, you shouldn’t give up. It might be time to review your profile and see if you are marketing yourself right out there.
- Analyze your Goals
Is remote work really your ideal job? Not that we’re promoting self-doubt, but the actual life of a remote worker is not as glamorous as it sounds. You may have to adjust to unusual work hours, pull in more than 8 hours, and get along with people from different cultures. Sure, it has its rewards, but to earn these, you really have to work hard. The reality is, remote working is not for everybody. This kind of job requires good time management, self-discipline, work independence, and an unwavering passion in your chosen field of work. You would also need to be updated on the latest innovations and trends in your industry. A strong grasp of basic computer skills is also essential. In case you want to improve your computer knowledge first, try out quick online courses such as this one from Udemy. If you have a more specific idea of which field you want to work in, check out our posts on marketing, language or design skills to help you broaden your skillset and find the perfect remote job you didn’t know you could do. Is remote work really what you want? If you’re actually just trying this out for curiosity or desperation, you may not have the right motives in your job hunt. The wrong attitude and intentions actually show in your work profile and interviews. If this is the root of the problem, you might have to work out something first with yourself.
- Customize your Profile
If you’ve thought about it and are still dead set on becoming a freelancer, welcome to the club! Now that you’re about to start looking for that golden opportunity, it’s time to put your best foot forward. The first thing that you need to do is tailor-fit your profile to capture your ideal client. List down your educational background, your work experience, and your skills. If you’re fresh out of school and cannot come up with any previous work experience, don’t fret. Instead, highlight your skills with a wicked portfolio and a creative introduction. Make absolutely sure your profile is free of typos. Try using a tool like Grammarly, even the free version will do. Many freelancer websites already include profile templates which you just need to fill in. Ensure that the information that you provide in these is accurate. You’ll be surprised at how cunning some clients could be in checking out your details, so it’s best to just tell the truth rather than tell a tall tale. If the job is of higher quality, the employers will also check your LinkedIn profile, so make sure to have that optimized as well.
Consider creating different resumes for each of your specialty. For example, if you’re a business analyst who happens to practice as a self-taught web designer on the side, make two different profiles for these skills. Your chances of getting hired increases significantly with a focused and relevant resume. You want to find the perfect remote job, and employers want to find the perfect remote employee, so make sure to appear like you’re the right fit. If you have the know-how and time, you could also add some extra features to your profile to make you stand out. Add a video resume through websites such as Animaker. You can also put together a well-organized package of sample works through Crevado or Wix. Clients always appreciate effort. In addition, a well-presented profile is the key to making a good first impression when you can’t meet the client personally.
- Know Where to Show Yourself
Even with a stunning portfolio, you won’t be hired for a job if you don’t know where to share your work. As mentioned, many remote working websites have their own profile pages, but you can also create your own website and distribute a link instead. Behance is a popular, free website for UX/ UI designers, artists and photographers looking to showcase their work. Many potential employers search through it looking for the next talent to hire. Coroflot is another website where designers can share their work and be updated with industry standard rates. Best of all, it has a job board where large companies such as LEGO and the International Trademark Association (INTA) look for designers to join their team.
Did you really find the perfect remote job? Spot Remote Work Scams
Unfortunately, there are a lot of scam job posts on the internet. You need to be on guard when applying, as you want to make sure that you’ll earn money, not lose it, when applying for a job.
Nowadays, scammers are very clever in enticing potential victims. There are common red flags, however, that should warn you immediately of fake employers.
- For one, if the requirements and benefits seem too good to be true, look them up on the internet to know more about the company. If the employer was the one who contacted you, check out his or her contact details. A legitimate recruiter would have a professional email address from his company website and not the free services you can easily sign up for.
- Look out for typos, inconsistent information, and vague references when reading through an offer. A legitimate company would have hired professionals to create their messages, so if you notice grammar mistakes, chances are the offer is fake.
- Most importantly, never give out your personal information when applying for a job through an offer. If the employer is asking for your credit card details, address, phone number, or photos of your valid IDs, run away. You may become a victim of identity theft if you’re not careful.
Apply at the Right Time
As the old adage goes, strike while the iron is hot. Opportunities are born by being at the right place at the right time. In the case of remote work, this means being online when job posts pour in. While you don’t have to stay awake 24 hours every day, it’s best to seek work that has just been recently posted. If you’re on websites such as Angelist and We Work Remotely, you know that hot jobs can be posted and seized within minutes. You are competing with people all over the world, and timing is essential. Apply for new posts immediately. If you’re lucky, you can even catch the potential employer online and be interviewed on the spot. Meanwhile, if you respond to a job post which was created months ago, chances are the position has already been filled. You should also apply during the waking hours of your budding clients. For example, if you’re keen on working for American clients, you should anticipate job opportunities during their daytime. Not only do you increase your chance of getting new work, but you also send a message to your potential employers that you have the capacity to work with their time zone.
Ace that Remote Job Interview
So after all that hard work in applying for a job, what do you actually do when you finally clinch an interview? The first step would be to pat yourself on the back. Out of a sea of applicants, you’ve managed to stand out or at least, be shortlisted. Great, you’ve found your perfect remote job, but the work doesn’t end there.
Determine how you will be interviewed and prepare for it.
- Video call: Dress professionally. You should dress the same way you would when applying for a traditional office job. Also make sure that the acoustics in the room are fine, there are no distractions in the background. Family members barging in can be somewhat cute, but are usually not helpful to appear professional.
- Online call: Make sure that your interview environment is not noisy. Public places are not ideal, so if you’re the type who often works in a café, it would be wise to save your favorite workplace for the actual job. There are apps like Krisp that can help with background noise.
- Live chat: Be professional in your messages. While not all jobs require good writers, being one tells your potential employer that you won’t pose any problem in terms of communication. If you need help, consider using Grammarly.
Ask the client what platform will be used during the interview. Before the actual meeting, try to familiarize yourself with the tools and features of the program that you will be using. Common platforms include Skype, Google Hangouts, Trello, Slack, and Zoom.
Be Bold , but friendly
Be courteous and humble during your interview. It pays to be confident in your skills, but overselling yourself can make you look like an arrogant applicant. If the employer subjects you to an on-the-spot test, listen carefully to instructions and work methodically.
If you have to bargain with the offered rates, explain your side politely and listen to the client. An employee who is too focused on getting a high pay is a big turn-off. At the same time, don’t sell yourself short. Before the interview, you should have an idea already how much is a reasonable rate for the work to be done.
Try looking up the standard rates of your industry, and make sure you are paid accordingly.
Lastly, explain your limitations to the client. While this may seem counter-intuitive to job applicants, it will put your employer’s expectations at bay. If you can only do part-time work, this should be clear to the employer from the very beginning.
Clearly stating your availability will help you find the perfect remote job. Otherwise, you might end up with more work than you can manage and risk disappointing the client.
Overall, applying for a telecommuting job is not a walk in the park. It takes some effort, good timing, and a capacity at marketing one’s self. It’s not an impossible task, however, and it’s the first step toward scoring your dream job. Are you ready to sell yourself out there?
A huge advantage for employers is that they can recruit worldwide if they offer remote work. That puts you in the situation that you don’t just have to compete with regional talent, but people from all around the globe. That’s why you have to make sure to appear in the best light and show that you’re outstanding.
Note: We are inspired to use this content from various sources of Internet. This is for student’s learning and motivation purpose. We do not claim this to be our own.