It’s an inescapable fact that majority of conversations that you’ll have with another person for the foreseeable future will most likely, at some point, at least touch on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. People tend to speak about topical issues, and job interviews are no different. Hiring managers may ask COVID-related questions so it is important to anticipate interview scenarios and prepare responses.
These are examples of some questions you may find yourself answering in an interview:
Are you set up to work from home?
Asking for too much personal information can sometimes create legal complications for businesses, so recruiters and hiring managers will most likely not pry too much into your day-to-day life. However, a company that plans to hire someone soon will probably need to onboard them even though they’re located at home. You should expect questions about your ability to work from home and the resources you have available to do the job.
You can mention that you have a dedicated workspace, reliable internet, good phone reception, and a balanced lifestyle.
What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
There is the standard ‘tell me about yourself’ question, but nowadays recruiters and hiring managers may alter it or follow it up with another question to find out what you learned about yourself during the pandemic. It could be one way for an interviewer to assess your emotional intelligence and assess your natural response when faced with a crisis or a stressful situation.
A positive response is the order of the day, it is an opportunity to demonstrate how you have become adaptable, flexible, open to change, and that you can thrive in any circumstances. You could demonstrate your proactive time management skills by talking about how you have done volunteer work, additional study, or you’ve updated things like the policies and procedures manual you have been meaning to get to for years.
Are you willing to work from an office when the pandemic is over?
Over the last week there have been encouraging signs the worst of the pandemic has passed in Australia. The Prime Minister has declared that they will be gradually easing restrictions to allow people to go back to work.
Alexander Kumar, a British medical doctor once said: “Living in Antarctica is hard; coming home is harder”. Reintroduction back into mainstream office work can be psychologically tricky. “At a reunion, I found it difficult to connect to my friends, colleagues and relatives.”
Many people are working from home during the pandemic, but what happens once the Government relaxes the restrictions and allows people to work at an office again. At some point in the not-too-distant future many people will head back to an office. You should be clear in your mind as to whether you are prepared to transition into an office when it’s safe to do so.
If you’re unwilling to work from an office, we suggest that you look for positions that are clearly advertised as “remote”. Otherwise, flexibility and adaptability are once again the key.
Do you have any interview questions for which you would like Quality People to help you to frame a response? Comments welcome.