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7 Personality Traits Organizations Look for When Hiring Remote Workers

Hiring the right people is a crucial step for the overall growth and success of any organization. But when hiring for a remote or distributed role, employers are not just looking for someone who checks off all the boxes in the job description.


With more people looking for flexible roles than ever before, the competition for remote jobs can be fierce. With competition comes the need to stand out, not just through a flashy resume or personal brand, but through your remote-ready skill sets.

So what exactly are these "remote-ready" skills that can help you stand out from all the other applicants?

When applying for a remote job, you will be evaluated on multiple soft skills apart from the actual skills required to do the job. Demonstrating these skills and personality traits during your interview can help you stand out from the pack and land the job of your dreams.

7 "Remote-Ready" Personality Traits

Working with a globally distributed team isn't easy. With technical hiccups, cultural barriers, and the need for extensive written communication, it's easy to see why not everyone can thrive in a remote environment.

But building & improving the following traits can increase your chances of getting that remote job -

1. Responsive

Your colleagues won't be able to walk down the hall to you when they need something, so it's important for an employer to know how quickly you address requests and communicate with others.

Promptly returning emails and phone calls is a good way to show that you have the discipline to be present for the team.

2. Self-starter

An ideal remote worker should be able to assign his or her own work. Because you might be in a different timezone than your boss and won't have them hovering over your shoulder, you need to be able to self manage your work and stay productive and focused throughout the day. You must also be able to manage your time well and prioritize tasks accordingly.

Your ability to solve problems and make decisions on your own to maintain workflow is essential when working in a remote environment.

3. Decisive

Time zones are complex, and it's often required for remote employees to make decisions with imperfect information, especially if the right person isn't around at the moment to make the decision themselves.

An ideal remote employee must be able to make decisions (even if they are temporary) and keep working forward.

4. Communicative

Good communication skills can go a long way when applying for a remote job. You need to be able to communicate quickly and clearly with your team members - and you want to demonstrate that you're capable of this during your interview.

Listening actively, summarizing points, and asking thoughtful questions are good ways to demonstrate your communication skills while interviewing.

5. Trustworthy

Building trust is essential for any remote team. The entire team is dependent on each member for meeting deadlines and completing projects. An employee that lacks integrity is likely to take the entire team down with them.

If you tell your team that a particular task will be ready by 1:00 and it's not, the entire team (and project) will suffer because of you.

6. Collaborative

Distributed workforces are no place for individuals who only look out for themselves and not the entire team. For efficiently working in a remote environment, you need to work well with the entire team in order to achieve common goals.

You can demonstrate this during an interview by mentioning times you worked as part of the team in the past, and highlighting your contributions.

7. Personable

Culture is very important for every remote organization as it is the root of efficient collaboration. You might not fit in with every organization's cultural values, but it's important for you to present your personality virtually for your employer to assess whether or not you will be a cultural fit for the organization.

Courtney Seiter (Director of People at Buffer) says that company culture is very important for Buffer and mostly all remote organizations. Every company has a pre-defined hiring process and understanding the culture increases your chances of getting hired.

Are you ready to work remotely?

Do you think you possess the above-mentioned traits? Having skills is not the same as being able to present them during an interview.

We can help you get inside the mind of the employer and know exactly what you need to do to land a remote job.

Join The Remote Work Summit 2019 and learn from over 14+ industry experts (including CXOs & HRs from organizations like Buffer, Zapier, Doist and more). The panel of speakers will help you understand how to work in a remote environment and give you insight on how hiring managers think & plan.

Become a part of the world's largest online summit on remote work today. Sign up for free now!

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Why Female Presidential Candidates Are Still Told to Be Chill, Not Shrill

The Dated, Everyday Tech Stifling Women's Voices Shows the Importance of Diversity in Tech

"You're not like other girls. You're so...chill."

I've gotten that "compliment" from multiple guys in multiple contexts — and I'm ashamed to admit that until a few years ago, I took it as one.

Occasionally I'd wonder why. After all, anyone who knows me well knows I am the Anti-Chill: a tightly wound stress ball, ready to explode into tears at any given moment.

So what was giving these guys the wrong impression? As it turns out, it was my voice. My cool, unnaturally-deep-for-a-woman, never-shrill voice.

And if I'm honest, I always prided myself on not sounding 'like other girls.' No uptalk or high-pitched squeals of glee from me. I thought I sounded smarter and more serious. Talk about internalized misogyny.

This isn't just me though. There is a societal double bind that forces women to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the right pitch and tone for each situation.

Just consider the advice that Democratic-debate coach Christine Jahnke gave female candidates to avoid being labeled as shrill: "… go slow and low. Very purposefully slow your pace and lower the tone a bit, because that will add meaning or gravitas to whatever it is you're talking about."

In a nutshell: try and sound chill, not shrill.

What I didn't know, until recently, is how this bias against women's natural voices is being reinforced and amplified by century-old technology. (Just one of many examples of how technology designed by and for men ends up hurting women in the long-run.)

Author Tina Tallon explains this little-known fact in her recent New Yorker article, summarized below:

How 20th Century Tech Is Holding 21st Century Women Back

With the rise of commercial broadcast radio in the 1920s, women's voices began getting critiqued. As Tallon explains, station directors asserted that "women sounded 'shrill,' 'nasal,' and 'distorted.'" So when industry standards were set, directors didn't take women's voices into account.

When Congress limited the bandwidth available to each radio station in 1927, station directors set a bandwidth that would provide the minimum amount of information necessary to understand "human" speech.

They used lower voices as their benchmark, so the higher frequency components of women's speech necessary to understand certain consonants were cut, making women's voices less intelligible.

  • Researcher J.C. Steinberg asserted that, "nature has so designed woman's speech that it is always most effective when it is of soft and well-modulated tone." He explained that if a woman raised her voice on air, it would exceed the limitations of the equipment. As Tallon says, "He viewed this as a personal and biological failing on women's part, not a technical one on his."

Why You Should Care

Women have always been told to lower their voices, but this 20th century approach to sound frequencies is still accepted as the standard, literally forcing women to lower their voices if they want to be heard.

  • To this day, many algorithms and speakers distort women's speech by limiting higher frequencies, causing women's voices to lose definition and clarity.

Tallon sums it up well:

"Consequently, women are still receiving the same advice that they were given in the nineteen-twenties: lower the pitch of your voice, and don't show too much emotion. By following that advice, women expose themselves to another set of criticisms, which also have a long history: they lack personality, or they sound 'forced' and 'unnatural.'"


----

So as we continue to grapple with implicit biases against women, from what it means to be "presidential" to who's considered an "innovative leader," let's remember the importance of diversity in tech.

Had a woman been involved in researching/setting the standards for radio frequencies, she might've been able to steer the industry towards a voiceband that would allow men and women to be heard equally well. And perhaps had a more impartial voiceband been established, I'd have heard a more diverse range of female speakers growing up, and internalized fewer biases myself.

That's why we care so much at PowerToFly about making sure cutting-edge companies have diverse teams.

Times were different then, sure, but the fact that Depression Era standards are still impacting how we hear (or don't hear) women's voices is a vital reminder that what we do today impacts our world for centuries to come.

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