Should you bring up possible work-from-home arrangements while interviewing for a new job?

work from home

According to a survey from LiveCareer, 29% of working professionals will quit their job if not allowed to continue working remotely with their current employer, while another 62% of employees prefer employers that offer work-from-home arrangements.

If someone who wants to work from home is interviewing for a new job, should they bring that up, even if the topic isn’t addressed during the initial interview? If so, what is the best way to broach the subject without sounding as if they are demanding the option to work virtually?

Not only how but also when you broach the subject is key, according to Robert Moment, “The Get Hired Expert” and author of “Mentally Strong Job Seeker.”

“The candidate first should communicate and demonstrate the value that they will bring to the company during the interview,” Moment says. “Give specific work-related examples on the in-demand soft skills hiring managers are looking for in job candidates. Build the case on why you are an irresistible hire first. When the job candidate stands out in the interview, it’s easier to [later] communicate what they are looking in a company.”

That doesn’t mean waiting for a second interview to discuss the company’s work-from-home policy, says Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation.com.

“I would advise working professionals to bring up remote work options right away during their initial interview,” Case says. “The best way to broach the subject is to inquire about work-from-home policies that the company may have established due to COVID-19. This gives the employer the chance to discuss how long they intend to allow employees to work remotely.”

That approach also gives the prospective employer the chance to share whether there are hybrid scheduling options available once employees have been vaccinated, or if they intend to have employees full-time in the office after vaccinations. “Potential candidates may use this time to determine if they will be able to work virtually,” Case says.

Greg Walsh, founder of and principal technical recruiter at ZenRidge, agrees that being upfront is the best policy as long as you do so diplomatically.

“As long as you ask in the right tone and at the right time during the questions stage of the interview, it should not come across as demanding,” Walsh says.

If a remote-work arrangement is imperative, knowing right away if it’s an option is important to the future of the candidate’s job search, Case notes. “If it’s not an option, they may decline to move forward in the interview process and continue looking for companies that provide full-time work-from-home scheduling.”

And as Moment stresses, an interview works both ways. “The job candidate is also interviewing the company, [so] it’s important that both parties are satisfied with the total outcome. The company hires a top performer that will fulfill their hiring criteria and the new hire will be happy creating a win-win situation,” he concludes.