In order to increase my chances to get my ideal remote job I am trying to anticipate and solve the common concerns the employer may have.

I have listed some:

  • Is the timezone compatible?
  • Does this person have a history of working remotely successfully?"
  • Will be written communication or language a barrier?

Which others concerns/screeners am I missing?

  • I am guessing software(?). Can you tell us? If software, what kind? Front-end experience is of no use in my embedded project. The more details you give us, the more helpful answers we can provide. Jan 8 '19 at 8:03

They don't care so much about whether the timezone is "compatible" as much as, "Are you available when we need you?" That is, only their convenience matters.

You don't need to make a big deal over it, but somewhere in there I'd mention comfort/familiarity with remote communications tools, such as slack and videoconference-based meetings. The idea is that you convey your ability to communicate well from afar.

(I wrote a free-to-download ebook for O'Reilly about making a success of telecommuting; it goes into a whole lot of detail.)

  • Welcome aboard, Esther. I don't know why someone downvoted you. The single most frustrating thing about the Stack Exchange sites is people who downvote without explaining why. The second most frustrating thing about the Stack Exchange sites is people who say “I wrote a free-to-download ebook” which might be relevant to the question and of interest to others without giving a URL :-) Btw, I upvoted your answer Jan 9 '19 at 7:38
  • 1
    Thanks. I intentionally did NOT include the URL because I didn't want it to be promotional. (And I was paid long ago. I get nothing from its pageviews. The only reason I included it is that I had 20 pages of advice that I thought was relevant!) Jan 10 '19 at 16:24
  • Then let's see what the powers that be say workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5863/… Jan 10 '19 at 18:36
  • Oh thank you so much! I really appreciate that you asked. Jan 11 '19 at 19:41
  • 1
    From learning.oreilly.com/library/view/the-remote-workers/… (on Safari): Start by asking these seven questions: Have you ever telecommuted before? Tell me about your (home) work environment. How comfortable are you with troubleshooting connectivity? How do you structure your day? How do you prefer to communicate with colleagues? Tell me about your remote project-tracking experience. What are your concerns about working for this team as a telecommuter? Jan 11 '19 at 19:45

That they are self motivated enough to work by themselves, with someone not watching them all the time.

Which has an easy solution: telling weekly what you have accomplished.


Do you have relevant experience of the technical area in question? Is the first thing that springs to mind.

If the answer is "no", then I don't have a second question.


This depends a lot on the job: sales and support roles are often expected to work remotely so they can be closer to the customer. Lab roles that need to operate local measurement equipment simply can't work remotely.

So your check list should be tailored to the specific role that you are after. Let's say you are a software developer. You'd probably want to cover things like

  1. Can you attend daily scrums?
  2. What are the important meetings you would need to attend and how would this work
  3. What type of telecom equipment and system will be used (zoom, skype, slack etc.) and are some purchases required to make this work well
  4. Bandwidth, security, access to tools, etc. at your location
  5. How often to you want/need to travel to the mother-ship for face time and general bonding. Are both parties on the same page of frequency and cost of travel.
  6. What's the long term career going to look like? Remote will often limit the scope of work, so is that long term sustainable for everyone?
  7. Gear, support, IT etc.

The show-stopper concern is the tax country. For example, there's a few jobs advertising as "US/Remote", this does generally mean they will only consider hiring into their office in the US or remotely working from the US.

This is especially valid with the established companies. Startups and smaller gigs might just hire you as a consultant, so that they don't have to deal with the taxes for you. This would be a somewhat flakier job security, in my opinion.

It gets way easier in the EU. Once they've an office in the EU, you should be okay working from anywhere else in the EU, AFAIK.

Another important concern you've already nailed: experience working remotely. This may be substituted with the proven ability of working without supervision, so at certain seniority level shouldn't be an issue.

  • What is a "tax pair" you are thinking of that is unworkable?
    – Fattie
    Dec 29 '18 at 19:22
  • Yes, some (by no means all) large companies ban workers from certain countries, just due to the inconvenience. (As a curiosity, I once dealt with a company in the US that would only take on salaried, but remote, workers from certain states! This is unusual though.)
    – Fattie
    Dec 29 '18 at 19:23
  • "Startups and smaller gigs might just hire you as a consultant, so that they don't have to deal with the taxes for you." It's completely typical amongst the biggest 100 corporations, that they hire people as amorphous "consultants". In this way they avoid lots of legal hassles, quota hassles (if they are on the H1B train unrelatedly) and of course the usual reason for hiring freelancers instead of staff, no healthcare etc (obviously, an enormous cost) as well as minor issues like no holidays, sick days etc etc.
    – Fattie
    Dec 29 '18 at 19:31
  • While it is easy to remote work from EU country to EU country, it doesnt make it easy as you have to arrange for the taxes locally by yourself in eg. the yearly tax report, which you wouldn't need to do yourself beyond indirectly choosing your tax percentage when working locally. So there is a chance to get in trouble if you make a mistake/don't know the local tax convention for foreign income. Dec 29 '18 at 20:17
  • @Fattie unworkable "tax pair" in my own experience: me in the EU, them in the US.
    – maksimov
    Dec 29 '18 at 23:41

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