Everything you should know before applying for a hybrid job and what to ask at your interview.
“Can I work from home whenever I like?”
This question will probably get a laugh out of your interviewer 20 years ago. In fact, your chances of getting the job are most likely going down the drain. However, that is now a completely normal and encouraged question to ask at a job interview. Even though the concept of “working from home” was introduced long before 20 years ago, it most definitely wasn’t the conventional way of working.
Now for a quick history lesson on hybrid jobs: It was around the 2000s when the option to work from home was slowly introduced, but it definitely was not common, nor was it ideal. Companies started offering remote-friendly jobs with support from the federal government, but this created a huge issue of scam jobs.
The Telework Enhancement Act signed in 2010 required all federal executive agencies to establish policies for eligible employees to work remotely, which was a huge stepping stone for remote and hybrid work in the United States and for everyone else in the world.
Fast forward to today, post-pandemic a.k.a. when the entire world was practically forced to work from home, hybrid work has become the new norm. Before COVID-19, about 17% of U.S. employees worked from home 5 days or more weekly. During COVID-19, this amount has increased to 44%, a survey by Statista found.
As of this year, 28.2% of employees have adopted a hybrid work model, and an overall 98% of workers are interested in hybrid work, according to Forbes Advisor. Since you are currently reading this blog, our guess is you are probably part of the 98%. Having the flexibility to choose when and where you work might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. You just have to make sure you ask the right questions.
Before you hit “submit” on your application, you want to ensure you have done enough research about the company. Aside from understanding company policies and what your future role entails, company culture is one of the most important things to consider when applying for a job - you want to work in an environment where your values and beliefs are aligned!
Within the hybrid environment, you’re not just seeking employment; you’re entering a unique landscape of minimized supervision, immense flexibility, and a room of diverse skill sets.
Thorough research will not only help you determine if the hybrid job is the right fit for you but also enable you to come up with insightful questions to ask during interviews. Other than the company culture, you may want to consider:
Now that you’ve done your research on the company and you have a better understanding of how the company operates, it’s time to gain an internal perspective.
One way to do this is by reaching out to past or current employees! LinkedIn is your best friend for this. You might want to consider talking to someone:
Asking questions not only provides you with the insights you need, it also shows the interviewer that you’re proactive and engaged by seeking a flexible arrangement that works for both you and the company.
One common mistake we’ve seen many applicants make is putting their entire focus on how to best present themselves during the interview. You want to impress your interviewer and tell them all about your exciting experiences, but remember that your interview is also your chance to get to know them and the company.
Aside from asking questions, try paying attention to what the interviewer is saying. For example, if they are straightforward and transparent about their answers, that is a good sign! However, if they are reluctant on certain topics and are indirect with their answers, you might want to think about it a little more.
If the company has an excellent hybrid policy that they are proud of, they will most likely mention it during the interview. Otherwise, the interviewer will probably be more than happy to provide you with the information you need. Remember that communication is key! Don’t be afraid to discuss your needs and always take notes during your interviews.
Post-interview, you have done sufficient research and you have a clearer understanding of the job and the hybrid policies of the company, it’s time to reassess! It’s important to recognize that the hybrid workplace might not be suited for everyone, even if you are a cultural fit within the company. Reflect on past experiences:
Finally, reassessing your skills and understanding your way of working can also empower you to have candid discussions during follow-up conversations with your prospective employer. Take this time to address any concerns or uncertainties you might have about the hybrid model and seek clarity on how the company supports hybrid employees and how they've handled challenges in the past.
The key takeaway here is to ensure you know what you’re signing up for. Every company has a different hybrid work policy and holds different expectations. Are you well aware of the hybrid work model? The next time you’re looking to apply for a hybrid job, consider our four tips:
Erica is a Marketing Content Analyst at Litespace with a passion to help companies foster stronger corporate culture and better employee engagement in the hybrid work environment. Specializing in marketing and communications, Erica is eager to share her knowledge and research on hybrid work.
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