Yes, millions of Americans are now working from home, but if you want to join them, you’re going to have to answer the question, “Why do you want to work from home?” at an interview.
The good news is that while this question is, perhaps, the most critical in a remote working interview, you can prepare for it and give a really solid answer even without previous home working experience.
Why Is This Question So Important?
Businesses don’t hire people for giggles, they hire them to produce work, so when it comes to hiring a worker that they can’t keep a direct eye on?
Well, they want to know that you understand what’s being expected of you and in particular they want to know:
- Are you reliable?
- Do you have sufficient communication skills to work with others?
- Will you work independently or start staring out the window, instead?
- Can you collaborate effectively on projects?
- Are you organized enough to get things done well?
- Can you put out fires when conflicts arise?
Don’t Answer Why Do You Want To Work From Home? Like This
There is no single “right way” to answer this question but there are a bunch of terrible ways to answer it.
- You don’t have to work as hard when you work at home
- You’ll get time to play with your children (don’t worry, you will get time, see our parent’s survival guide for remote work for details but this isn’t what they want to hear)
- You hate working for a supervisor or boss
- You think that everyone should get a chance at home working after all Sandra in accounts already does
- You don’t need to shower or wear office clothes (again, it’s true but it’s a silly thing to say in response to the question)
How To Prep For The Question Why Do You Want To Work From Home?
OK, before you hit the big question, you want to think about it before time and:
- Prepare prior to your interview. This question will come up, so, in your own words, how are you going to answer it?
- Always think about what the employer wants – we’ve sketched this for you above, make sure your answer addresses your potential boss’s needs not yours.
- Illustrate your answer with business benefits. E.g. “It’s less distracting, so I will get more done.” or “With 2 hours less commuting, I’ll be full of energy and get more done.”
- Remember it’s a conversation not a fight. Some interviewees can turn super hostile in the face of questions, but this is self-defeating. This is a conversation where you’re showcasing the best of your talents, don’t let it become a fight.
- Don’t tell lies. Pretty obvious but alluding to benefits you won’t deliver on is a fool’s game and only going to get you sacked at a later date.
- Be confident. The more you project “this is no big deal”, the less of a big deal it will feel to the employer.
- Don’t be afraid to compromise. If the boss suggests hybrid working to begin with rather than going fully remote, that’s a pretty good start.
- Illustrate that you are self-motivated. Explain how you handle emails, voice messages, video messages, etc. and how to ensure you’re available when you say you will be.
- Practice the answer. You don’t want to sound like you’re reading a script, but the more you practice answering this question before the interview, the more confident and certain you will sound.
You may also want to read up on “why managers hate remote work” and be prepared to deal with any objections that come your way from the interviewer.
The Sample Answer For Why Do You Want To Work From Home?
OK, so here are some short sample answers that you can build on to create your own unique answer (don’t just copy what’s below):
- “I want to get rid of my commuting time because it will give more time to plan and execute my day properly. I’d expect to become much more productive due to this.”
- “I’ll be better able to focus on my work thanks to the work-life balance this kind of work will bring. I am really well organized and think that I’ll be a real asset to a remote team.”
- “I find it hard to concentrate on creative tasks in the office, it’ll be much easier for me to be productive when I’m at home and have the space to think.”
- “I think you’ll be happy with the money you save on office space and on costs, and I’ll be happier because I will be less distracted and more able to build better relationships within the team.”
- “The flexibility this brings will allow me to work at the times of day that I produce my best work. Which is often before/after the office opens/closes for the day.”
And so on…
Final Thoughts On Why Do You Want To Work From Home
Really, this question is all about putting yourself in your employer’s shoes and showing that you have business benefits in mind rather than personal ones.
With a little practice, you should be able to craft a personal answer to “why do you want to work from home?” that really resonates with a future boss.