First Remote Job, Interview Process & Tips w. Sylvia Barnai (TRT Spotlight)

Sylvia Barnai is a remote software engineer, building mobile applications for companies. She recently transitioned to her first remote position as a software engineer for IFS North America. In this article, Sylvia shares her experience and the best tips for applying for a remote job.



1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and prior remote work experience?

I am a software engineer by trade. I worked at PAX Technology as a software developer for over 2.5 years building mobile applications before starting my remote position.


2) What is your current remote job position and at what company?

I am currently working as a software engineer at IFS North America.


3) Which tools & resources were most valuable to you in your remote job search?

I highly recommend using the following resources for your remote job search: Indeed, Remote Developer Jobs on Stack Overflow, and WeWorkRemotely. Remote Developer Jobs primarily targets software developers, but Indeed and WeWorkRemotely offer opportunities in a wide range of fields from business to teaching.


We also recommend using for your remote job search.


4) How would you describe your remote job search experience? E.g. easy or challenging? How long does a typical remote job interview process take? What does the entire process look like?


It was pretty challenging. The remote job interview process varies depending on the company and the type of role you are looking for, but generally, it takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks to get through the interview process. For software engineering jobs, you start off with a phone interview, then you are given a technical assessment to complete within a week, a timed coding challenge, and/or a technical interview.

From there, you move on to another technical interview that is either remote or on-site. Finally, you are either presented with an offer or rejected depending on how you perform.



5) From the moment you first started to apply for remote jobs – how long did it take until you found this position?


I was actively looking for remote positions for 6+ months. After several rounds of interviewing with many companies, it took me about 6 months to find this position.


6) What qualities/skills would you recommend are a must-have for a person seeking a remote job?


Persistence is a key skill. You definitely need to be persistent in your job search. Prepare hard for interviews and keep learning from your mistakes and growing continuously. Don’t give up. Keep applying and trying until you get there.

You also need to be open-minded. A person applying for this type of job (or any job) should be open to a wide range of opportunities. There is no such thing as a perfect fit, but if you find a job that aligns with your skills, you are well on your way to the path of success. You should also request and be open to any feedback from interviewers after you have completed your interviews, as they will help you improve in future interviews.


7) Do you have any other tips for other people who still aspire to find a remote job?


Narrow down your job search based on your skills, interests, and specific focus area. For example, in my case, I specifically targeted mobile development roles. This helps you stay focused during your search and truly go after what you are passionate about in your career.

Check for new openings as often as possible. And make sure you check all 3 of the sites I mentioned (especially if you are an engineer), as some jobs may not appear on all job search engines.

Finally, leave it to fate. In addition to skills, luck plays a big role in landing a remote position. Sometimes you don’t get a job you thought you had a good chance at getting, but trust that a better opportunity will come around. 🙂


8) If you’ve already worked remotely – what does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

A typical workday consists of meetings, working on projects, and collaborating with other team members. It is essentially the same type of work that I would be doing in an office setting, only with more flexibility.


9) Why do you like to work remotely?


I feel more productive when I work remotely because I can focus more easily, particularly if I am working from home or in the library. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility to work wherever and whenever I want (as long as I am available for meetings and calls). I like being able to take breaks throughout the day and then coming back and finishing up later, rather than sticking to a rigid 9-5 schedule in the office. I feel more creative and inspired when I am able to freely choose my work environment.


Working from a café in Budapest


10) Do you have any last thoughts on remote work, life or travel that you’d like to share with our readers?


In this day and age, I think remote work is a trend that will (and should) continue to grow. We live in a very interconnected world, and I think that as long as your profession doesn’t require a lot of physical, hands-on work or a lot of direct human interactions, many jobs can be done remotely. It helps people have a better work-life balance and make time for additional things that matter to them like spending time with their families, travel, or any other pursuits.


11) How has the “TRT Remote Work & Travel Worldwide Community” on LinkedIn been helpful to you? Would you recommend others who still need to transition to remote work to join this group?


This community has been very helpful in making friends and connections with other remote workers across the globe. I enjoy sharing and hearing about their experiences and tips for working remotely. I recommend this group to anyone who is thinking about working remotely.


12) What is your current location, and where would you still like to travel & work remotely?:


I currently live in Chandler, AZ, USA. I would like to spend more time in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Portland area. I was an intern there at Intel for a few months and really enjoyed it. I would also like to spend more time in Hungary and Romania to see relatives and friends and also explore other parts of Europe.


13) On which social media channels can people follow you?

You can follow me on LinkedIn. (


At The Remote Trip, we believe that working remotely is the future of work. We aim to offer the best resources to help you transition from a traditional office job to remote work or starting your own remote business in a supportive, fast and reliable way whilst building a worldwide like-minded community.

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