The world has changed dramatically over the past few years. Phrases that were barely heard before are now common parts of our English language – words such as; COVID, lockdown, great resignation, work-from-home and hybrid working.
The emergence of COVID brought about an intensified and accelerated evolution of the modern workplace. Pre-COVID, roles that were completely office-based were the norm and now? Now, employers and jobseekers have much more choice and flexibility.
Post-COVID, this means that conversations with employers surrounding setting up a hybrid working situation are now more open. Depending on the position and company, there may be the opportunity to work from different locations so long as you meet your daily requirements. More businesses are changing their policies surrounding hybrid working based on what is appealing the most to the talent that they want to attract.
This is an approach that the majority of Australians seem to agree with. In fact, according to The Guardian, 81% of Australians believe employees should be able to work from home. Similarly, a 2021 study by PWC on The Future of Work found that almost three-quarters of Australian workers actively want to work across multiple places and spaces. a found that 71% of respondents stated they would prioritise being able to choose to work from anywhere over a job promotion or compensation increase.
If you’re on the hunt for a new job, how do you approach the topic of hybrid working? Here are the best ways to approach the topic of hybrid working in a job interview.
Do Your Research
Before you even get to the interview, do some research into your potential employer and see what you can find about their current working arrangements for their team. Many employers now proudly display their intentions for a job on their job adverts, detailing whether a role is hybrid or not as a way to entice the best applicants.
Most employers will discuss their company culture on their website, too, so you’ll be able to see from the beginning whether they are the type of employer willing to be open about working arrangements.
Just as you need to consider the limitations of your future employer, you also need to consider the limitations of the potential position and its duties.
If you have your heart set on a hybrid arrangement, make sure you only consider realistic roles. Unfortunately, hybrid working isn’t completely possible for all roles and industries.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a role in building and construction, there will inevitlebly be times where you will need to be on site.
Asking the Right Questions
The next step is to formulate the right questions that you can ask in the interview setting. Most organisations understand they need to be more flexible than they have been in the past to secure quality candidates. Asking the right questions is key to ensuring the conversation gets off on the right foot.
It’s important to ask the question about hybrid working in a positive way; it’s more likely to go well if you can provide evidence that it’ll add value to your role. If you can focus on the organisation in question and show an interest in their culture as a business, you’re going to have more success.
Some examples of questions that could be asked include:
- Do most employees work from the office or is hybrid working an option?
- How is your business managing the return to the office and hybrid working?
Even if they initially are not offering a hybrid model of working, listen to their response because their hesitation may be negotiated or overcome. Ask if there are policies in place if people are already working in a hybrid way – an already formulated policy should give you plenty of information to digest on the company and its culture.
Come Prepared with Answers
Just like you have questions about the organisation’s approach to hybrid working, your interviewer will likely be examining your approach too. Come prepared for questions about your own preference for hybrid or office-based work. If your interviewer asks about your preferred options, be honest and be open.
An NBER report recently revealed that there was a 4.5% productivity gain for employees working in a hybrid environment. Employers need their employees to be as productive as possible and if you can show that you are going to be more productive as a result of a hybrid approach, this is a positive for your interview.
Asking about hybrid working may be new for you as a jobseeker, but these tips should give you some important answers in your next interview. Be sure to highlight the mutual benefits your potential employer will receive – after all, they are most interested in what you bring to the table.
If you’re on the hunt for a new role or just want some more helpful tips on how to approach the interview process, reach out to the team at YourResourcing. We are a leading Queensland recruitment agency with an extensive network of employers across a range of industries. No matter what role you’re seeking, our teams in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast can help you take the next steps toward your new career.