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How to Negotiate Remote Work in an Interview

Many employees dream of remote work. The positions help them save on commuting expenses, allow them to be more productive, and grant them the luxury of more free time. Still, only some companies are ready to accept remote positions as the norm, meaning that candidates who want the positions must be prepared to negotiate for what they want.

The Rise of Remote Work

Remote work is not a new concept, nor is something conjured up in 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend, remote positions have existed for decades. That said, before 2020, the trend was relatively uncommon.

The pandemic closures and restrictions forced companies to adopt remote work practices on a large scale. Many employees found that remote jobs work from home. They allow flexibility and provide productivity benefits. As a result, even after the ease and elimination of pandemic restrictions, many companies maintained some remote positions, embracing them as permanent or semi-permanent options.

Not all companies share worker enthusiasm for remote jobs; some express concerns over isolation, communication challenges, and potential adverse effects on company culture. Because widespread adoption is still in its infancy, the demand for remote positions may outnumber the supply. This means many employees must learn how to ask for and negotiate positions in the hiring process.

Tips for Prepping Before the Interview

Before delving into how to ask about remote work in an interview, preparing for the interview and the possible conversation is essential. Most companies have a stance or opinion about remote work. Look for clues about this stance on websites, job postings, or company reviews. 

Next, prepare your pitch. Craft a compelling argument for why remote work benefits you and the company. Highlight your past success in a remote environment and emphasize productivity, self-discipline, and communication skills. Be prepared to address common concerns, such as availability and collaboration.

Practice your delivery. Rehearse your key talking points to ensure you present your case clearly and confidently. Expect questions and challenges. Also, be prepared to discuss your remote work setup, preferred communication channels, and how you plan to stay connected with the team. 

Negotiating During the Interview

Asking about remote work in interview processes requires a delicate balance of assertiveness and flexibility. While it's essential to advocate for your needs, it's equally important to demonstrate your understanding of the company's perspective and needs.

Timing is crucial. Avoid bringing up remote work too early in the conversation. Focus on showcasing your skills and experience first. After establishing your value as a candidate, you can broach the topic of remote work. Frame your request as a win-win scenario. Explain how remote work can benefit you and the company. Highlight any prior success and know the interviewer will likely challenge the request.

Be open to compromise. Companies are still reluctant to offer fully remote positions; however, they might be willing to negotiate a hybrid schedule, allowing you to work remotely for a few days per week. Hybrid schedules are a fair middle ground that can satisfy the needs of both parties.

Other Aspects To Consider Negotiating During the Interview

Remote work is only one aspect of interview negotiations. Other potential job aspects that need some discussion and consideration include:

  • Benefits and perks

  • Policies on performance reviews and raises

  • Signing bonuses and relocation assistance

  • Job title and responsibilities

  • Professional development

Not every job requires negotiation of every listed topic. Still, the list provides a general overview that can be helpful when preparing for an interview.

Remote work is not a new concept. Although remote positions have been available for decades, they have only recently gained the popularity that demands an operational evolution and broader acceptance. If you want more help preparing for the interview or demonstrating your prowess with remote positions, consult a remote work advocate or experienced professional.


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