By Rachel Pelta
Of all the flexible work arrangements out there, you’ve decided that a hybrid work schedule is the best one for you. Though hybrid work arrangements aren’t exactly new, many companies that never had them before are now embracing them.
However, the transition to a hybrid workplace could be bumpy, particularly if the company has never allowed any kind of remote work before. To help you figure out if the company is on its way to hybrid workplace success, there are some questions you can ask during your hybrid work interview.
The Five Best Questions to Ask During a Hybrid Work Interview
Just as no two workplaces are the same, no two companies will approach hybrid work the same. Nonetheless, asking these five questions can help you get a better understanding of how the company feels about hybrid work and how that might impact your future with the company.
- What is your hybrid work policy?
Because hybrid work schedules are new to many companies, human resources may not have a complete hybrid work policy. It’s important to know if these policies are relatively well developed or still “a work in progress.”
No matter how developed the policy is or is not, make sure you have a clear understanding of how the company’s hybrid policy is either currently implemented or will be implemented. You should know the answers to the following:
- How often can you work from home?
- How often must you be in the office?
- When you come into the office, do you have to stay the whole day?
- When you work at home, how often are you expected to communicate and how?
- When you aren’t in the office, are there core hours you have to be online?
If necessary, ask the above points as follow-up questions to help you better understand how much more work may need to be done defining the rules and expectations for hybrid employees. The answers will help you better gauge how much or how little the company is invested in making hybrid schedules work.
- Who can (or does) work a hybrid schedule?
Just because the company allows hybrid work arrangements doesn’t mean your position is allowed to have a hybrid schedule. If it’s not clear to you that the position you’ve applied for is hybrid and that’s a deal-breaker for you, ask for specifics during the interview so you aren’t disappointed later.
In addition to your position, find out who else works a hybrid work schedule. This can tell you a lot about how the organization feels about hybrid or remote work and whether or not hybrid employees can advance in the company.
For example, if the interviewer tells you anyone can work a hybrid schedule, but upper management chooses not to, this could indicate that hybrid employees don’t advance as quickly as in-person employees at that company. Likewise, if upper management works some kind of flexible schedule, you can feel more confident that your career path won’t be stymied by your status as a hybrid employee.
- How do you communicate with remote or hybrid staff?
One of the most crucial factors to remote work success is communication. From letting your boss know what you accomplished to asking and getting your questions answered, the days you aren’t working in the office are the days you’ll need to overcommunicate.
Ask how the company communicates in general. Does the company prefer staff meetings where everyone must attend in person? Or, does the company lean toward video meetings and asynchronous communication via email and instant messaging? Are the handbooks all hard copies or is there a way to access every important document online?
How a company communicates with its staff can tell you how seriously the company supports hybrid work. If, for example, all documents are already online or moving to an online repository, you’re more likely to be successful as a hybrid employee.
- Are there core hours I have to work?
One of the advantages of full-time remote work is often the flexibility in hours and schedules. Many remote workers shift their schedules so they can work at a time when they are most productive or it’s most convenient for them.
Though remote work is often flexible, that’s not a guarantee. Many fully remote employers require staff to be available and working during certain core hours based on client or business needs.
And the same may be true of an employer with hybrid schedules.
While you may, for example, be able to start your day earlier on a work-at-home day because you can skip the commute, don’t assume you can end your day equally as early. Ask the interviewer what the specific rules are and if you are allowed to flex your hours on out-of-the-office days.
- How do you measure performance? Or, what does success look like in this position?
These are questions you should ask in any interview. The answers can help you understand what you’re signing up for, what kind of professional development and support might be available, and what you have to do to achieve your professional goals, get a raise, or get a promotion.
It’s essential to ask these questions during a hybrid work interview.
One often-cited concern of working a hybrid work schedule is the fear that hybrid employees won’t be evaluated the same as people who work in the office 100% of the time. Depending on the environment, it is possible that in-office employees may receive more praise and advancement compared to their remote counterparts due to the increased face time with the boss.
Asking how your performance will be measured and evaluated or how the company defines success will help you better understand what the environment is like. If the company claims it’s a results-only workplace, but can’t define what a good result for the position is, you may not be happy in a hybrid position at that company.
Even when the company can give you clear and concrete examples of performance measurements, it’s still important to make sure you communicate your successes. There are ways to stand out and impress your boss, for example, by solving problems and openly communicating.
Questions and Answers for Hybrid Success
These five questions can help you decide if the company is well on its way to making hybrid work a success and whether or not you should take the job.
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