I'm curious about the most important things you feel you need to know about a company before you would go ahead and apply for a remote design position with them? - tooling, process, design team size etc
Easy question to ask....somewhat loaded answer.
For me, there is a series of checks that any company that I would apply to would need to pass, regardless if it's 100% remote or an in-office job. I'll save my remote specific ones for the end.
1) Industry: I have to work in certain industries. Define good things? I focus more on industries that impact people for the better like higher education, GovTech, healthcare, etc. For me personally, sports entertainment, gambling, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, auto industry, and some fintech companies don't appeal to me. Since I work mainly in product and user experience, I don't think I would ever go back to marketing and advertising. I worked for a year and some change at one of the large student loan servicers in the US and never again.
2) Company mission: I want to work at a company that sustainable in its growth and roadmap and focuses on employees.
3) Pay + Benefits: If I don't see a salary range listed, I ask. Most listings I look at list a lot of a company's benefits, but I do a lot of research on salary and what I want to be making. If I can't get at least a range, I won't go any further in the conversation. Every company has a range and sharing that range I believe is the first step in trust. I personally don't need an unlimited vacation. I don't want to be on call though. I need good healthcare coverage, I don't care about catered lunches. I care about retirement plans, not a pet-friendly office.
4) Work culture and job fit: I am pretty blunt in my interviews about culture and responsibilities. If a job description says that a particular role is going to be integral in setting up processes and defining our design principles, great! I'll grill the interviewer about it and to make they actually mean that instead of just saying it. I look up company reviews, employees reviews, and determine what questions I need to ask because if the company is growing steadily each year and it has a strong product, I want to make sure the company culture and the role they want to fit is supportive to continue that growth.
5) If I see any company put a job listing with the following in the job title, I won't apply. Rockstar, Guru, Master, Wizard, Sherpa, Killer, Amazing and anything else similar.
6) Remote Specific: I want to make sure that timezone overlap isn't going to be an issue. I tend to only look for roles that are based in the USA because it'll be less of an issue with health insurance, retirement plans, etc...unless they are a multinational corporation. I don't really care too much about tools but I do ask and discuss their stack (I work on a PC, so I don't use Sketch or Framer) but generally, I don't worry too much about tools. I do ask about how they check in and get work done.
This isn't a complete list of checks, but they are some of the big ones. I spend a lot of time in the interview process to learn as much as I can.
Glassdoor before anything. Second, research on Google about as much as you can find. Try to find financials too, it's interesting to see how much you can get inside the company.
The most important things... - How would you describe the responsibilities of the position? - How does this job currently get done? - Who will I be reporting to? (check their Linkedin for background, experience, etc.) - What are the performance expectations and how are output goals defined? What hours will I be expected to be available on Slack and for meetings? What is the work/life balance? Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? With whom will I be working with? Does UX have a strong and sustainable position at the organization? What are the greatest issues facing the UX dept/ platform today? What is the current user experience design process along w/ product management? How would you describe the responsibilities of the position? How would you describe a typical week/day in this position? How would you describe the company’s culture? Could you describe the most significant challenge of the role? What do you like most about working for this company? If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day? What are the biggest rewards of working at this job and for this company?