Love it or hate it, the Hybrid Workplace is here to stay.
The latest surveys show 52% of us want to have a hybrid model in the workplace, and searches for Hybrid Work have increased by up to 400% in the past 2 years
Research has shown that not only do we - the employees - benefit from a hybrid workplace due to decreased commute times, better work-life balance, and more decision-making independence, businesses also benefit from lower office costs, reduced employee turnover, and higher productivity levels
In this new normal, companies have started to ask new types of interview questions to determine whether job candidates will succeed in a hybrid workplace environment
Do you have previous experience working from home? Have you worked in a Hybrid environment before?
This might feel like a conversational ice breaker, but the interviewer is actually trying to see how comfortable you are with a hybrid working model, more specifically: whether you’d be a good fit for their current setup
If you do have experience - two things you want to do here: First, go through HOW you structure your time right now and explain your reasoning. For example for better collaboration, you schedule most of your meetings on the days you go into the office but you also have focus days where you work from home
Second - and this is also applicable if you don’t have previous experience - highlight you are willing to adapt to new policies and circumstances. Hybrid work schedules are still evolving for many companies so you want to show you have an open and flexible mindset
Final tip for those who don’t have previous remote work experience - you want to emphasize your communication, technology, and time management skills since those are especially vital in a hybrid work environment
How do you manage your time and stay organized?
For hybrid and remote work, you have a lot more independence when it comes to managing your time so here the interviewer wants to know HOW you juggle and prioritize different tasks
So to answer this question effectively, you want to (1) describe your daily workflow, (2) show how you structure a typical workday - especially at the beginning, and (3) mention specific apps you use to manage your schedule
Don’t be afraid to give concrete examples here. “At the start of every workday I go through the tasklist on my Notion dashboard, then use the inbox zero method to clear out my inbox, and finally go through my calendar to make sure I’m prepared for upcoming meetings
What Types of Distributed Team Tools and Software Have You Used and How Did You Use Them?
Instead of just listing out all the remote tools and collaborative platforms you’ve ever come across, the trick here is to give an example of how you increased your team’s productivity by optimizing an existing process
If you’re a regular viewer of this channel you’re probably one of the first to know about the Smart Chips feature in Google Docs. Talk about how by helping the rest of your team adopt this new function, you were able to collectively cut the number of unnecessary steps in your workflow
Bonus points if you remember to ask the recruiter beforehand the tools and software your target company uses so you can frame your answer with those technologies in mind
How will you coordinate and communicate with your coworkers to ensure that work gets done efficiently?
This is the BIG one to get right because when workers are based in different locations, there’s very little room for error when it comes to effective communication.
So, I recommend bringing out the big guns and using the CARL method to give an example. I’ve made an entire video about this but CARL is basically STAR on steroids and stands for - Context, Action, Results, and Learnings.
For this specific question, during the “Action” part of your answer, talk about number 1 (1) The importance of asking questions up front, (2) Regular check-ins to make sure everyone is on the same page, and (3) You’re able to manage expectations around timelines
Pro tip - After giving your answer, ask the interviewer what they’re doing right now to better facilitate communication within their team. This showcases your critical thinking skills, demonstrates your enthusiasm, and helps maintain that two-way dialogue.
How do you deal with uncertainty? (or: Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Adapt to Change)
This question has become much more common because in a hybrid model, it can be very challenging to keep everyone in sync, and you don’t have the benefit of your colleagues being a few steps away to deal with the change together
Since this is clearly a behavioral question, you want to again use the CARL method to structure your answer. Ideally, the example you give should highlight your resilience and ability to find a solution with minimal guidance
Bonus points here if the steps you took are replicable. Put another way, if another unexpected change occurs in your new role, are you able to resolve the issue in a similar fashion?
Tell me about a time you injected an element of creativity into your work.
At first glance this doesn’t seem to be hybrid or remote work related.
But if you think about it, with all the limitations that comes with a distributed workforce, we need to find new ways to effectively engage our clients and even fellow colleagues
For example, it’s relatively easy to host an offsite or all hands that takes place offline since we’re all physically getting together. To get that same level of energy in a virtual offsite, you gotta get creative
If you’ve watched my Think Outside the Box videos, this should be an easy question for you since you can bring up how you used Kahoot, Slido, Menti in your presentations so check out that playlist if you haven’t already
Pro tip - Use CARL since this is another behavioral question and in the “Results” section you should quantify how your creative solution is objectively than the alternative.
What self-care strategies do you draw on to maintain well-being?
This is a GOOD question to get because if you’re asked this question or a variation of it, there’s a high chance the company you’re interviewing with genuinely cares about their employees’ mental health and have corresponding policies in place
Here you want to be honest and mention the tactics you use to draw a line between your professional and personal life. It could be something as simple as being truly offline outside of work hours, having a separate space for work activities, or it could be a unique routine you follow before and after work