An Advanced Guide on How To Land a Remote Job

As more companies transition teams to remote arrangements, managers and employees are learning firsthand that it takes a different skill set to work from home. And for those that are hiring right now, they’re looking for employees who can show that they’ve got what it takes to work from home right out of the gate.

These are five skills remote employees need to possess, as well as how you can prove to an employer that you’re a good candidate:

1. Organization

When you work from home, you have to be more disciplined in your organizational and scheduling skills, says Angela Hall, associate professor and associate director for graduate programs at Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. “You need to be able to set a schedule and work, even though you have distractions,” she says.

Hall recommends setting up goals at the beginning of the workweek as a way to stay on track. “Knowing how long this will take can take trial and error,” she says. “Things that might take a long time to complete in an office might go quicker at home, and conversely some things take a lot longer at home.”

You can demonstrate these skills in an interview by talking about how you built a schedule for yourself when you worked at home, says Hall. “Talk about your successes,” she says. “Even if the job wasn’t remote, you can share a time when you had a long-term project and you had to self-manage and organize. Self-management and self-organization are the big keys when working remotely.”

2. Self-Motivation

Remote employees need to be proactive and take initiative to get things done without being constantly reminded, monitored, or pinged for progress updates, says Wang. “In an office setting, your manager may sit next to you and can monitor you or help you throughout the day,” she says. “In a remote setting, you need the person to be able to do things on his or her own with a lot more independence.”

Remote workers need to be self-starters, says Hall. “Employers want to know, does this person require a lot of direction? Does this person keep their deadlines? Can this person set goals and achieve them?” she says. “Employers often structure interviews with behavior-based questions that post hypothetical situations, asking how the employee would approach a project.”

Be sure your answer demonstrates your motivation by including the methods and systems you use to get the job done. “You can say, ‘This is what I would do in this situation,’” says Hall. “Share how you would structure a task and prioritize important work. Show the employer how you get things done.”

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