And What They're Looking for In Your Answers
You've been itching to ditch your office job for months and now you've finally been offered an interview with an amazing remote company.
But to make your dreams of working from anywhere are about to come true, you need to nail the interview...
1. What boundaries are you going to establish between your work and the rest of your life?<p>Chris Severns, hiring lead at engineer hiring platform <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/g2i" target="_blank">G2i</a>, likes to ask this question to make sure candidates won't burn out.<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>"When you work onsite with a company there are certain natural boundaries already established (space, time, relationships etc) Working remotely changes that dynamic. It gives you a lot of freedom, but also can lead to suboptimal working conditions if you don't setup boundaries well. </em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>This is especially poignant when you work from your own home. I'm looking for a candidate to tell me about how they are going to protect their time and energy from being overrun. Some examples: I turn off Slack notifications on my phone so that I can't be interrupted while I'm off the clock. I stop work everyday at 5pm to make it to my Crossfit class. </em><em>I don't answer emails before 10am and do heads down work instead. </em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>It doesn't really matter as long as they have a plan and now how to stick to it."</em></p><p><strong>Think you'd be good at separating work and play? </strong>Check out G2i's <a href="https://powertofly.com/jobs/?keywords=g2i&location=" target="_blank">remote roles</a> here.</p><p>-----</p>
2. If you were in your current manager's position, what would you change about your role?<p>Hannah Spellmeyer, Global Talent Acquisition Manager at blockchain analysis company <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/chainalysis" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Chainalysis</a>, likes to ask this question to make sure candidates don't require too much handholding to succeed.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>"Working remotely requires a lot of self-management and autonomy. Even in our offices, we're growing so quickly that we simply don't have the time to micromanage! </em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>It's important to us that remote employees are capable of prioritizing effectively and escalating issues only when necessary. </em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>If a candidate relies heavily on detailed instructions or has never thought about how their job might be accomplished more efficiently, they may not be ready to work from home."</em><span style="background-color: initial;"></span></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;"><strong>Good at managing your own time and optimizing processes? </strong></span>Check out Chainlysis' <a href="https://powertofly.com/jobs/?keywords=chainalysis&location=Remote" target="_blank">remote roles</a>.</p><p>-----</p>
3. How do you communicate with your coworkers and how do you prefer to work?<p>Thao-Nguyen Le, People & Operations Partner at decentralized computing platform <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/blockstack" target="_blank">Blockstack</a>, likes to ask people who have <strong>never </strong><strong>worked remotely </strong>this question in order to understand "<a href="“What’s Your Ideal Work Environment?” Interview Question Debunked" target="_blank">what kind of work environmen</a>t they're comfortable in." <em></em></p>
4. When was the last time you had conflict in a team and how did you resolve it?<p>For folks who <em>have </em>worked remotely, Thao-Nguyen likes to ask this behavioral question to better understand candidates' communication skills and approach to teamwork. <em></em></p><p><strong>Already a remote work pro? Or confident you'd excel in a flexible work environment? </strong>Check out Blockstack's <a href="https://powertofly.com/jobs/?keywords=blockstack&location=Remote" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">remote roles</a>.<br></p><p>-----<br></p>
5. How do you like to receive feedback? What’s that hardest piece of feedback you’ve ever received and how did you handle it?<p><span style="background-color: initial;">At PowerToFly, we love feedback, so this question is a must for anyone who might join our team. Our Senior Manager of Marketing & Community, Lauren Hagerty, explains:</span></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em><span style="background-color: initial;">"</span><span style="background-color: initial;">When you work remotely, communication can be one of the biggest challenges, and it's challenging enough to give feedback in-person, let alone from the other side of the world. At PowerToFly, we consider all feedback a gift. This question gives the interviewee the opportunity to prove that they, too, see feedback from a growth perspective and not something that should be taken negatively. </span></em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><span style="background-color: initial;"><em>The more vulnerability they show in admitting to an actual problem that was tough for them to deal with, the better. Then you can talk them through how they took it, how they responded etc. You're looking for whether they were able to fix the problem."</em></span><span></span></p><p><strong>Do you love feedback, any way you can get it? </strong>Check out our <a href="https://powertofly.com/jobs/?keywords=powertofly&location=" target="_blank">open roles</a>!<br></p><p>-----</p>
6. Short (Paid!) Projects<p>Okay, so this isn't really a question, but it is a very common ask in interviews for remote roles!</p><p><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/duckduckgo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">DuckDuckGo</a> is working towards creating the world's most trusted search engine... but they're also growing their fully remote team. And they know that one of the best ways to see whether someone will do well working from home - or anywhere - is just to see how they work!</p><p>As William Connor from DuckDuckGo's People Ops team explains: </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>"Here at DuckDuckGo, we have a unique hiring process that assesses each candidate by evaluating all of our must-have candidate criteria via short paid projects instead of interview questions or quizzes. </em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>We like to let the work speak for itself, which includes asynchronous communication, meeting timeline expectations, and project management. </em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>If a candidate succeeds during these project phases, they move on to running their own project internally, which gives both the company and the candidate the insight necessary to determine if they can be successful working from home and fit within our organization."</em></p><p><strong>Want to let your work speak for itself? </strong>Check out DuckDuckGo's open <a href="https://powertofly.com/jobs/?keywords=duckduckgo&location=" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">remote roles</a>.<br></p>
14 Companies Offering Flexibility Without Skimping on Professional Development, Compensation, or Benefits
At one of my previous companies, I was part of a four person team where three of us worked from the office, and the fourth worked from home. Initially, I was envious of my work-from-home colleague. I pictured her lounging in her PJs all day, while I literally sat next to my boss, wondering whether he'd see me (or care) if I checked Facebook.
How Our Remote Team Celebrates The Holidays
Before coming to PowerToFly, the company holiday parties I attended were radically different. There were gift exchanges, catered lunches, champagne, and lots of awkward interactions between co-workers (my favorite part). Sure, this was fun and all, but at the end of the day, I felt like I was missing something, and to quote a seasonal favorite, the Grinch;
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!
At PowerToFly, we're a small remote team spanning 12 different countries. We have a variety of backgrounds and beliefs, and we all celebrate different holidays.
So, instead of your typical "office holiday party," we have a "Secret Snowflake," where each employee is randomly assigned another employee and donates $10 to a charity in their honor. This gives us the opportunity to learn more about our Secret Snowflakes and get to know their teammates at the same time, as we ask around to learn more about our Snowflakes' interests, hobbies, and passions. (And of course, to contribute to some great causes.)
We spent time getting to know people we don't typically interact with on a day-to-day basis, while discovering charities and foundations all over the globe! Because we're all in different timezones, "small talk" isn't something we usually get to do a lot of, so meetings like this, where we have the opportunity to learn more about each other, are really special.
To me, this blending of cultures, understanding what my teammates truly value, and contributing to causes we care about (everything from the environment to animals to people in need), means more than any gift or catered meal, and embodies the true spirit of the holidays!
This year, our team donated over $300 to 30 the charities listed below:
- International Rescue Committe
- Karama Organization for Women and Children's Development
- Dizzy Feet Foundation
- Mutt Rescue
- Edo State Women Association
- Animal Rescue Foundation of Louisiana
- Texas Humane Heroes
- Ukrainian Philanthropic Marketplace
- Help Animals India
- Comedy Cures
- Palestine Charity Team
- Uniendo Caminos
- Animal Rescue of the Rockies
- Wounded Nature
- Ukrainian Philanthropic Marketplace
- Gilda's Club
- New Beginning Animal Rescue
- Women Who Code Kyiv
- The Trevor Project
- Sumando Manos Foundation
- Ecuador Children's Hope Organization
- International Street Dog Foundation
- The DREAM Project
- Basic Research and Development Society
- Ecologia - Youth Trust
- Spirit of Children
- CASA of Cook County
From the team at PowerToFly, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday. See you in 2019!
Below is an article originally written by Joel Gascoigne, the founder and CEO at PowerToFly Partner Buffer, and published on September 16, 2018. Go to Buffer's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Buffer is a fully remote team.
It's a decision I made at the end of 2012, when Buffer was in its infancy, and it's interesting to reflect on that decision now. I am happy to report that I am in love with the choice we made to be distributed all across the world.
When I say that we're a remote, distributed team, I mean that we're literally spread across the whole world. Buffer is a team of 79 right now, and we have teammates on almost every continent and across timezones worldwide.
The sun never sets on Buffer!
The worldwide, remote Buffer team and the timezones we cover. (Visual courtesy of timezone.io.)
6 reasons why being a remote, distributed team is so exciting
I think the distributed team discussion is often focused around the challenges. I wanted to share from our experience the fun side of being distributed, which I think far outweighs the challenges:
1. Our team is super productive
The thing about hiring people for a distributed team is that they need to be self-motivated and productive working at home, coffee shops, or a co-working space.
During the hiring process, we look especially for people who have worked as freelancers or on startups. Everyone on board is incredibly smart, and it's humbling to work with them.
2. Team members have incredible amounts of freedom
Have a family event coming up and need to travel on Friday? No problem.
Want to take off to Bali or Gran Canaria for a few weeks and work from there? Awesome – please share photos :)
These things have all happened and are regular occurrences within our distributed team.
It's the little things too, like being able to avoid a commute and spend more time with family. We don't have working hours, and we don't measure hours at all. We're all excited about our vision, and we focus on results, balance, and sustained productivity.
3. It feels like the future
Even being able to share the locations of all my co-workers when I meet others and chat about Buffer is so fun and exciting. I think it provides a great story, rather than all of us being in the same office each day.
People ask how we manage it and I share our workflows and remote work tools. We call Slack our office, and Zoom is our conference room. Here's a look at some of the team in a recent Zoom call:
A team call on Zoom, the tool we use for video calls. You can check out our full list of remote work tools here.
I genuinely believe that how we're set up will be very normal in a few years. There are certainly challenges and we're still figuring a lot of it out. It's fun and a huge privilege to be able to be part of this innovation and experiment and share our learnings.
4. I'm learning so much about the world
People within the team speak lots of different languages, and talking with each other we learn about what it's like to grow up elsewhere in the world. We think carefully about shaping our culture further and how our choices might affect the various cultures within the team.
5. We travel the world to work together multiple times a year
Part of the DNA of Buffer is that we traveled all over the world for much of the first two years. This is something that has been sustained and is part of our values (and many in the team have lived up to this value by traveling as part of the team).
In order to have deliberate face-to-face time together to bond and have fun, we have regular teamwide Buffer retreats each year where we gather the full team, and we hold mini-retreats throughout the year for smaller teams and areas of the company.
A team work session from our 2017 retreat in Madrid, Spain.
On our all-company retreats, we spend a week working together and also do activities like sightseeing, boating and safaris. Most recently we gathered in Singapore!
6. Timezones make you awesome
Finally, you can look at timezones as an inconvenience, or you can embrace them and discover the magic of the time difference.
A key part of our vision is to set the bar for customer support. We obsessively track the happiness of our customers and our speed to respond to them. We have more than a million users and we reply to 80% of emails within 1 hour. We couldn't achieve this level of service without being spread across multiple timezones.
Timezones are a huge help for our development cycle too – with engineers in the US, UK, Asia and Africa, we literally never stop coding.