How to skirt around an online  job interview; or, working from home is the (better) new normal

Most people are treading their way through working from home for the first time. Under this condition, there is no shame in admitting struggle and difficulty. It is tough to make a decision to quit the physical workplace for good. It is even fearful. When asked, how to face this unconventional setup, highlight your flexibility. Talk about the steps you’re taking to deal with this drastic decision. Throw light on your personal resilience.

Also, there is nothing wrong with being upfront. Speak like you have nothing to lose. Take a step further by slapping back the same question to the interviewer. Note how he or she answers.

Meantime, you may want to expound on awkward and volatile changes you have had since working from home—along with changes you had to make to ease into your work-from-home situation, your career, and your home life. You’d sound more convincing (and certainly more emphatic) if you’re able to cover loneliness, or how the new normal has changed your working hours. Talk about how you have turned things around to your advantage.

The hiring manager is probably just as worried—if not physically detached– as you when it comes to their own job and corporate connections. By answering this question honestly, a recruiter or hiring manager is gaining perspective into what the job search looks like for candidates.

The thing is, a lot of organizations are hiring remotely for the first time. They are onboarding remotely for the first time. They are building new teams—for the first time—on an entirely remote basis. Which is why we expect all sorts of glitches throughout the hiring process. This has encroached even into the workflow.
When asked how you have learned to deal with “office time” under the WFH scheme, talk about your best hacks for managing your day, what you’ve learned about yourself over the last three years, and how you plan to slug it out while working from home. Focus on the new WFH skills you have acquired, your productivity hacks, books you’ve read, or what you’ve learned about your own resiliency through this. It all feeds into who you are.

On the other hand, while some folks yearn for daily human connection, other more self-attuned professionals prefer communication to be concise and infrequent. If you’re being interviewed for a remote position or if you’re looking to negotiate a flexible situation, talk about where this experience is going in terms of work setup and conditions and how the company manages remote employees.

In spite of and above the naysaying, the WFH arrangement has proved to be a near-ideal setup for people who speak less and do more. They’re people who can work wonders with enough time on their hands so they’d have more time for intangible things.

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