How to Ask About Hybrid Working in a Job Interview?

Are you keen to avoid returning to the office full-time but not sure about going fully remote? A hybrid working arrangement could be a great option for you – and they’re becoming increasingly popular.

A recent study of Australian workers found that 44% of people are now doing some form of hybrid work. In the tech space, some of the world’s biggest names have moved in the same direction. Atlassian announced its global workforce of 7,500 can work wherever they please, as part of its Team Anywhere policy. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has also signalled a pivot to hybrid work, with employees now expected to work in the office just three days per week.

But a hybrid working arrangement isn’t exactly guaranteed for each role. So, when you’re job hunting, how do you find out if hybrid work is an option?

Do Some Research

The idea of permanently avoiding the Monday commute might be tempting, but the first thing to do is realistically assess how much of your job can be done remotely in the long term.

Some technology roles will retain a core component of onsite work, including those in cloud and network administration and cybersecurity. While hybrid is still possible for these positions, you may have less choice about when you get to work from home.

Take note of which jobs are advertised as hybrid roles in your speciality – what common characteristics do you see? How many job ads mention the specific work arrangements available, e.g., fully remote, hybrid or onsite only?

When you’ve lined up a job interview, be prepared beforehand by reading through the company’s website and searching for employee reviews on job sites and social media platforms.

It’s also wise to consider an employer’s point of view – how viable would it be for a particular company to manage you in a hybrid role? Consider factors such as service delivery, team collaboration and compliance.

Know That You Can Make it Work

Before you raise the topic of hybrid work in a job interview, consider the overall benefits a hybrid arrangement could make to the business –not just how convenient it will be for you.

Wanting more work/life balance is a perfectly valid reason. Research shows people perform better in their roles when they can balance their personal life with the demands of working life. But you will make an even stronger case if you can demonstrate with data how well you will perform in a hybrid or remote environment.

Like many technology professionals, you’re likely to already have experience with working remotely, so you could reflect on what you’ve achieved while working away from the office. Perhaps you raised the bar on a certain metric, smashed a revenue target, successfully launched a new product or made a breakthrough on a complex data project. Note your accomplishments so you can show employers you have the proven ability to work remotely.

If a Hiring Manager asks you about your own hybrid work preferences first, being armed with proof of your performance is also useful.

Specific Questions to Ask in the Job Interview

Most Hiring Managers generally finish job interviews by asking the candidate if they have any questions of their own. This is your chance, and a tip is to ask open-ended questions to gauge the employer’s attitude to alternative working arrangements.

To begin with, you could ask the Hiring Manager about how the company has managed or is managing the return to the office. Asking this can help uncover important details about the company’s current approach.

For a clearer answer about where they stand on the issue, ask questions like, ‘How do you view hybrid work?’ or ‘What is your policy on remote work?’. You could also ask what types of roles are allowed to be hybrid at the current time.

Be prepared to find a cue earlier in the conversation where you can mention how you’ve successfully worked in a remote or hybrid position. For example, you could say, ‘I found I achieved a lot more while working from home as I had more focus. What is your company’s position on hybrid work?’

Do avoid presenting your questions as a demand – instead, treat the issue as one you’ll likely have to negotiate. It’s also best to avoid bringing up the subject of hybrid work too early in the conversation. If you progress to a second interview, you will have more leeway to openly discuss the subject and negotiate a trial period of hybrid working.

Summary

Hybrid work is here to stay for many companies, so there are ample opportunities to enjoy the best of both worlds with a combination of working remotely and going to the office.

While more employers are open to offering hybrid roles, it’s best to explore this question without making it sound like a demand or expectation. Be armed with data to show you can make it work.

Knowing the job market and how hybrid work can fit within a job’s requirements will help you approach this conversation with employers effectively. Working with a recruitment agency can give you the ultimate advantage in your search for a hybrid role. Recruiters have insider knowledge of how employers operate and can help you find a position with the flexibility you want.

At Emanate Technology, our team of technology and digital recruitment specialists are experts in connecting IT professionals with the best employers and hybrid tech jobs in Australia. To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch with our teams in Brisbane, Canberra or Melbourne.