"Remote jobs are very competitive.
I heard there are hundreds of applicants for each role.
How can I differentiate myself to land a high-paying remote job?"
A Product Manager from Pakistan asked me recently over DM.
Here's my response:
It's true that remote positions are very competitive. The higher the salary, the bigger the number of applicants.
A company can frequently receive hundreds of applications for each role.
However, it's also true that many people are working such jobs. So, it's possible!
I've been on both sides of the alley.
- As a CTO, I've interviewed hundreds (maybe more than a thousand) of candidates for my remote teams.
- As a candidate, I've gone through dozens of interviews and got a decent number of offers for high-paying remote jobs.
Understand the Interview Process
An interview process is a funnel.
As a candidate, you go through multiple steps of disqualification. If you don't get disqualified in any of them, you'll be in a good spot to receive an offer.
These are the 3 main factors of evaluation that could disqualify you:
1. Relevant Past Experience.
In most companies, the first step of any selection process is to review CVs of all applicants before any interview starts.
Only the relevant ones will move to the next steps. Usually less than 50%, in most companies.
Here, hiring managers want to see if:
- You've worked with the required technologies before,
- You've worked with them for long enough as required by the job description,
- You've worked in roles that are considered relevant, given the responsibilities of this role.
There isn't much you can do to prepare for this one.
Two recommendations are:
- Apply to roles where you feel your past experience is more relevant.
- Craft some changes to your CV to highlight specific experiences that are more relevant to each company you apply to.
2. Technical Skills
Usually, there is some test as part of the selection process.
Either a live test during an interview or a take-home test. You'll be tested on your technical skills for the jobs.
The test usually focuses on the core skills for the role.
This is the part you can better prepare for.
There are materials online that:
- Describe what technical tests are done at each company (eg: Glassdoor)
- Help you craft a preparation roadmap (multiple blogs, use Google)
- Help practice for those tests (eg: Leetcode)
3. Culture Fit
This tests if you'll do well as part of the company, from a cultural perspective.
- If it's a startup, you need to show great ownership and accountability.
- If it's a big enterprise, you need to showcase specialization and collaboration with other teams.
Some preparation you can do is:
- Research the company, what it does, how big it is, etc.
- Look up on Linkedin, Glassdoor, etc what the culture looks like.
- Craft your pitch during interviews around these requirements.
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