Hiring Managers At BuzzFeed, Time, Hearst on How To Land A Remote Job

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Jul. 26 2016, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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There are so many benefits to remote work, not the least of which is that it’s often easier to maintain a work-life balance. Remote workers can often travel while they work, without having to take vacation time, clocking in from anywhere there’s good internet access.

While it can be easy to figure out if a remote job is right for you, actually finding one of those awesome remote jobs can feel a little trickier. If only you could get advice from people who are actually hiring remote workers…

The good news is, you can! The team from PowerToFly has compiled this awesome advice from real hiring managers at leading companies in and out of tech! Check out their amazing advice below.

Is your goal this summer to find a job where you can work from a beach, mountain top or your favorite coffee shop? PowerToFly connects women in tech with jobs they can do from anywhere and has the inside scoop from hiring managers at top companies on what they look for in a remote candidate. Check out their advice and get one step closer to your dream gig.

Tip 1: Go out of your way to showcase your enthusiasm for the job.

Be prepared to talk about your past work experience, but don’t shy away from highlighting what you’re in the process of learning or the projects you’re tinkering around with for fun. It showcases your passion. What “I’m looking for is excitement—about our own projects at BuzzFeed, but also tech in general,” says Clément Huyghebaert, Director of Engineering at BuzzFeed. “I always ask, ‘Tell me about the project you’re most proud of.’ It gives me an idea of what they’re excited about and how to talk about it.”

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Tip 2: Show off your communications savvy.

Whether it’s by responding promptly to email, nailing a Skype interview, or providing clear responses over chat, hiring managers will take note. They’re looking for every opportunity to evaluate your remote communications skills. “Fundamental things like poor phone communication can be such a massive blocker to people’s productivity in a distributed team,” says Rob Duffy, VP of mobile application and API engineering at Time Inc and formerly the manager of strategic initiatives at Amazon.

Theo Burry, VP of Engineering at Hearst Digital Studios, even conducts entire interviews over instant message. “The fact is, we’re communicating all day on IM, so if they can’t communicate with me on IM from the start, it’s not going to work,” says Burry.

Tip 3: Ace the test.

Code checks are common in tech, but essential for remote roles because managers need total confidence you have the ability and skill to work independently. “We give them homework after the interview that will introduce them to our code base so that it will give them an idea of what they’ll be working on and give us an idea of how they’re working,” says Huyghebaert at BuzzFeed.

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Tip 4: Don’t underestimate the importance of culture fit.

Even though you may never meet your boss or coworkers for an in-person interview, hiring managers want to see that you can assimilate into their remote culture. Demonstrate that you are a team player who can get work done through tools like Slack and video conferencing, and reference specific examples whenever possible. “We look for the ability to listen to and take feedback,” says Duffy at Time Inc. “You have to have the core level of technical skills, and then we look for good use of tools and good understanding of how to work in a distributed way.”

Tip 5: Apply!

Make sure the job is a good fit, but don’t get too hung up on every single requirement. It seems obvious, but far too often qualified candidates will miss out on opportunities because they don’t submit an application. Andrea Goulet, CEO of Corgibytes, a software company focused on modernizing codebases, says that she’s totally revised job postings in the past when she realized her requirements may have turned qualified women away. “The original draft had 7+ years of programming experience, but I would have definitely considered someone who had fewer years but more experience with scaling a team,” she says. “Remember, the confidence gap is real.”

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