Remote work has never been as popular as it is today. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of companies have shifted to remote work, and although some of these are aiming to go back to an office setup once the pandemic has eased, remote work is already here to stay for many companies.
Even before 2020, the number of remote workers around the globe has risen steadily. Despite having less supervision, 91% of remote workers said that they were able to get more work done. Given the economic climate today as well as benefits such as skipping commutes, remote jobs are highly sought after.
However, applying for a remote job doesn’t quite work the same way as applying for a regular job. Here are four steps you can take to land a remote job:
1. Look at the proper job boards
The first challenge that people encounter is looking for fully remote work in the first place. There are several job boards specifically tailored for remote workers, including:
Aside from these, you can go to regular job search websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed, then include the keywords “remote,” “telecommute,” or “work from home” when you look up jobs. “Remote” and “work from home” are typically synonymous, implying that you can do your work anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection. “Telecommute” implies that the company offering the role only accepts applicants in nearby areas.
Before applying, make sure to check whether the job is completely remote or whether you’ll be required to meet up every now and then. Since companies can also be located in other countries, try to see if the job description mentions specific working hours, which might be different from the usual if you’re collaborating with people from other timezones.
2. Establish your workspace
Having a workspace ready for remote work while you’re still applying is essential. Recruiters will always want to know about your remote work setup, such as whether you have a stable internet and a quiet space in your home where you won’t be distracted. Aside from asking you about these directly, they’ll be able to gauge it for themselves when they do phone or video interviews with you. It’s also ideal to have earphones or a headset ready.
Since internet or electricity problems can always happen, come up with a backup plan–do you have a power bank for your laptop, or is there anywhere that you can move to, such as a coffee shop or coworking space nearby? Recruiters will want to examine your readiness to work remotely, especially if it’s your first time.
3. Prepare for assessments
Remote jobs often receive applications from several cities or even countries, so recruiters have more CVs to look at than in regular office jobs. This means that remote jobs tend to be more competitive since recruiters have a larger pool of choices to consider. Since they’ll only have time to interview a few applicants, it’s likely that they will ask you to go through several rounds of screenings first.
Most recruiters will have you take assessments, where you will be evaluated in terms of skills that you will be using on the job. For example, you might have to create a sample campaign, make a presentation on video, or point out errors in a product. Alternatively, they might require aptitude tests instead, such as diagrammatic reasoning tests or inductive and deductive reasoning tests. These assess your critical thinking in a specific area.
Although questions are in multiple-choice format, they can be tricky to answer within the time limit. Either way, if recruiters let you know in advance about a specific assessment, research on it and spend time practicing.
4. Rehearse video interviews
You might never meet your entire team face-to-face when working remotely, but that doesn’t mean the remote hiring process is less rigorous. In fact, phone and video calls will be a huge part of your life once you get a remote job. Likewise, recruiters will almost always ask you for at least one video interview. Whether it’s your first time doing a video interview or not, how prepared you are for it can make or break your application.
Make sure that you’ll be in a quiet environment where you won’t be interrupted–preferably your workspace. Check that your background looks pleasant on camera, and make a trial call on the video app that you’ll be using so you know your audio is working. Even better, get comfortable with the app by calling a friend. Finally, on the day of the interview, set up your app and be ready ten minutes early. Being late or fumbling with the app are frequent mistakes, and you’d want to avoid them as much as possible!
Applying for a remote job might take extra steps, but it’ll be worth it once you get an offer. Remote jobs will be more common than ever in the future, and the extra convenience afforded by working from home can be life-changing.