During an interview for a remote job, you may be asked: “What are the advantages of a work at home position?” By asking this question, interviewers will be trying to gauge your ability to organize your time and stay productive without the regimen of frequent supervision.
They’ll also be looking for answers that highlight your ability to work independently, but still maintain communication with colleagues and supervisors during projects. These are essential skills to have for any work at home position, of course, but it may help to put a little thought into the questions before answering.
Think About Why You Want to Work at Home
While some people feel most productive in an office around other colleagues, there are some distinct advantages to remotely. You can save a lot of money by not having to commute and you rarely have to dress up. In addition, you can get tax benefits by deducting home office expenses.
But before you can get a job at home you’ll need to apply and interview for the position. That means answering the question in a way that shows you're productive and independent and not prone to spending the day in bed or running off to do personal errands.
Examples of the Best Answers
Here are some sample answers for the work at home job interview question, "What are the advantages of a work at home position?" that you can tailor to your situation.
- "Working at home has several advantages for me. I like the flexibility in hours, as I'm an early riser, and can accomplish a lot before most people are in the office. I enjoy working by myself in a quiet place, without the distractions of a busy office. I find that I can communicate with my colleagues quickly, through email and texts if I have a question, and then get right back to work. I also like not having to commute to work through rush hour traffic."
- "I think that working from home has the advantage of allowing a person to concentrate more completely on the job at hand, without the distractions of their colleagues around them. More time can be spent on a project, without digressing into personal communication."
- "Working at home makes it possible for me to live full time in our home by the lake and maintain a good position with a company. I communicate frequently with my colleagues and supervisors through phone calls, email, and online chat, and always feel like we are working as well as a team as we would if we were sitting right next to each other."
- "I have found that when I am able to work in a from home environment, my colleagues and I have more effective communications because we are more focused during the times that we meet. Our group chats and video conferences are much more efficient and end up saving us time because we are all well prepared and have specific topics to discuss."
- "There are economic savings for employers as well as employees from a work at home position. The business saves money on office space and maintenance. The employee saves on transportation, dry cleaning, clothing, meals, and time. I find that by working from home, I am able to spend the time I would have spent commuting and running associated office errands on productive work."
- "Working from home allows me the opportunity to work while I am at my most productive. Because all of my materials are available to me 24/7, when I have an insight for a project during off hours, I can work on it while the ideas are fresh, instead of needing to wait until I can get to the office."
What Not to Say When You Answer the Question
A good answer to this question may rest more in what you don't say than what you say. You want to make sure to convey that the advantages for you — better hours, flexibility, a shorter commute — are also advantages to the company. So instead of saying, "I hate working in the afternoons," you'd want to frame your answer as enjoying being able to work during your most productive hours.
In addition, while the ability to handle childcare and household chores during traditional work hours may be an advantage, avoid mentioning that completely because it doesn’t have anything to do with your work. Employers will wish to hire people who they feel confident are working just as hard from a home office as they would be in a regular workplace.
You'll also want to stay away from responses that make you sound antisocial or uncommunicative – although working from home means less in-person communications, strong communication skills are still essential.
General Interview Tips and Advice
You’ll want to make a great first impression on your interviewer so dress appropriately in business attire. Save the flashy or artsy clothes for another time — here’s what to wear to a job interview.
Your interviewer will ask a number of questions. You’ll feel more confident if you prepare ahead of time with solid job interview tips. Also, review job interview questions and answers and take some time to practice answering the questions out loud.
Many work at home jobs are remote and your interviewer may live in another city. If your job interview is by phone, you can prepare by learning top-notch phone interview etiquette.
Finally, whether you interview in person or by phone, be sure to send a job interview thank you letter. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it will also help the interviewer keep you in mind when it’s time to choose candidates for the second round of interviews.