There is nothing COVID-19 has left untouched.
That’s true for social outings, it’s true for milestone achievements like graduations, and it’s certainly true for job interviews.
Whether you’ve been looking for a new job for months because you lost one during the pandemic or looking to make a change after months of introspection, be prepared for interview questions that ask about the virus and how the past few months have affected you.
Here are some potential questions to prepare for and how to consider your answer.
- “What did you do during lockdown?” If you work in an industry that was not deemed essential and have been out of work for a while, a hiring manager might be interested in knowing how you spent those few months. Did you learn a new skill? Did you update your resume? Did you brush up on your social networking skills and come across new organizations that will help you advance your career? Be prepared to explain how you spent your time.
- “What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?” This hasn’t been an easy time for many people. Did you learn that you’re more of a social person than you realized? Did you find yourself comfortable at home, in your own space, and in the quiet? Do a self-evaluation and think about how you’ve changed since March and have a few examples ready.
- “Do you think you could do this job remotely?” The workplace is changing – in some cases, sending everyone home for a few months proved that not all work needs to be done in the office. If you’ve worked remotely, either full-time or part-time, have some anecdotes prepared to talk about how you can designate a dedicated work area, tune out distractions and juggle home and work life in the same place. If it’s been a struggle, or if there are childcare issues to consider, be honest. It’s better to know a position won’t be a good fit for you as much as a manager needs to understand a candidate might not be a good fit.
- “Would you feel comfortable returning to an office, full-time, when it’s safe to do so?” Here again, be honest from the start. Depending on the workplace, some employees might be rotating time in the office and at home; others might stay fully remote for the foreseeable future. If you’ve never worked remotely before, be honest about that and, if you’re willing to try it, show your enthusiasm for adaptability. It might not be a direct comparison, but if you’ve been able to adapt to challenges or unusual situations in the past, talk about it.
If remote work is possible in this position, make sure your home setup is prepared before your interview – which will likely be online via a video-calling platform. Test it out first. Make sure your call signal, video presentation, and audio quality are clear and stable. You’ll likely be asked about your comfort level with such platforms during the interview, so a test call or two can only help build confidence if you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, Teams, Skype, or other technologies.
Remember, It’s Still and Interview
It might be taking place virtually, but a phone or video interview is still your first impression of a company and a hiring manager’s first impression. Dress well, be prepared, be available and ready a few minutes before your scheduled time, and do a little research on the company first. Have some questions of your own prepared to ask the hiring manager.
Whether you’re new to the job hunt or looking for a new opportunity, plenty of companies are hiring right now. At Action Group Staffing, we’re ready to help you find a new career and prepare for those all-important interviews. Contact us today, and let’s get started.