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7 Questions to Ask an Employer Before Starting Work From Home Jobs

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Elna Cain is a freelance writer and a mom to twin toddlers. Even though her days are long and hectic, she wouldn't trade it for the world. Her main specialties include blog posts, site content and article writing. When she isn't writing, you can find her at playgroups with her twins dishing out the latest parent fail. Contact Elna to learn more about her services.

Have you just received the offer of your dream work from home or telecommuting assignment?

Way to go!

But, before you accept the deal and the agreement, make sure that you have clear communication with the prospective employer about your role, responsibilities, and the work process.

Working from home can be fun, but at the same time stressful, because you have to manage your own schedule as well as keep your guard up with work at home scams.

You will come to find that employers and organizations have a defined set of policies and sometimes they have people who coordinate and manage remote employees.

So why not consider asking a few questions on your interview, which will not only clarify your role before accepting any offer, but also might help out the employer with setting their own policies for working from home?

1. What Are My Role and Responsibilities?

The first questions, which should be clarified, are the role and responsibilities that you’ll be assigned with. Any legitimate employer will have a job description.

This means that your role and responsibilities will be outlined along with a contract and even the payment structure listed. However, if the hiring employer or organization fumbles over your basic requests for this information, then it’s time to move on.

2. Will I Be Reimbursed For the Processing Fee? (Beware of Fake Employers)

Generally an employer never asks for an application or processing fee to a potential candidate seeking employment.

It is a known cost of a business to hire someone. So, the cost of business is never passed to an employee unless there are requirements for operational expenses, which have to be assumed by the employee.

In this situation, you can ask the employer if such expenses shall be reimbursed or not.

As a rule, however, an employer or company asking for a fee before hiring should be avoided.

3. How Will My Performance Be Assessed?

An important question to ask a hiring organization or employer is what standard guidelines are used to evaluate the level of your performance.

When you work from home, your reporting senior employer will not be able to see your hard work and efficiency since you’re not attending the office every day. However, understanding the employer’s expectation plays a crucial role.

It’s a good thing to make sure you are clear on these before you take on the assignment.

4. Is There a Schedule to Follow?

While it’s unusual for a work from home job to have a schedule or set of hours, there are certain job profiles that have a virtual set schedule to follow. This means you clock in at certain times of the day.

Do check out if the potential employer has a virtual time clock and inquire about forming a schedule.

Along with this question make sure you ask about the minimum amount of time required as this will dictate whether or not you need to find another work from home job.

5. When Do I Begin?

This is another question, which is needed to be asked to an employer. Some work assignments might have you working right away.

For other situations, there might be prohibiting factors for immediate employment. Sometimes the employer wants to delay starting because of some appointments needing confirmation or other employees on your work team need notification.

In such cases, you might have to wait. The start date might be after a few weeks or several weeks after your initial interview.

If the employer ends the conversation or the interview with “we‘ll get back to you soon”, then you have the right to know when. Try to not let the employer leave you hanging – so ask for a specific date they will call back.

6. What Is My Classification As a Work From Home Professional?

This can be a big and challenging question. The reason is because of the distinction between employees and independent contractors.

It is better to know if you will be eligible for employee benefits, tax benefits, or protection under labor law, as many employers do consider telecommuters as regular employees.

This is again dependent on geographical or regional location, as different countries might have different employment policies.

7. What Is the Payment Process?

It is important to know how you are going to get paid. Make sure the payment structure meets your own goals and values for making the decision to work from home.

How you are going to be paid and how often are other questions that should not be overlooked. Do see if there’s any potential for a pay hike if you decide to work at home for the long-term.

An opportunity where there’s no progress – both in terms of your hard-work and pay raise – might not be a sweet deal on a long-term basis.

So, clarify your doubts before you start with your dream role.

Over To You

If you are deciding to take the leap into working from home, these interview questions will help you determine which job is the right fit for you as well as help you navigate the role of a telecommuter.

So, tell us – what other questions would you include in your interview?

4 Responses to “7 Questions to Ask an Employer Before Starting Work From Home Jobs”

  1. tracicacciola@yahoo.com' Traci White says:

    How often do the “projects” change …or are you employed by one entity that has you doing the same thing until you take the initiative to change positions…are their growth opportunities and do the companies in your network, network together to bridge potential at home employees to advance their career?

    • Hi Traci! That completely depends on that jobs you’re looking to apply to. The majority of the positions we post are permanent full-time or part-time W2 jobs – so you would work for just that one company that hires you. Now we do also post freelance and contract positions for those members looking for something a bit more flexible. Many of the jobs, in those cases are 1099 (independent contractor) jobs, so you are definitely free to look for other work as well! To answer the second part of your question – the companies we post jobs for go through an extensive screening process, so we ensure that they are stable companies offering growth and advancement for their employees. Advancement, of course, is completely up to the discretion of the employer and your manager for whom you’ll be working with. Please feel free to reach out with any other questions you have. Take care!

  2. candilashelle@gmail.com' Candi Tate says:

    Are there any benefits, bonuses, or incentives offered?

    • Alan Klein says:

      Hi Candi – all terms of employment are up to the employer – we do not get involved in salaries, bonuses and incentives. Read the job descriptions carefully and ask plenty of questions if you are being interviewed.

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