The COVID-19 pandemic affected the way job seekers and employers find careers and onboard new hires. With this kind of an impact, you can be sure that employers will be asking questions about how you managed your time during the pandemic and what your plans are for the future. Knowing how to answer these questions can show employers that you were able to make the most of an unprecedented situation. Here are a few helpful tips on how to strategically answer post pandemic interview questions.
How did you deal with the transition to working/learning in a virtual environment?
Although some people thrive while working from home, that’s not the case for everyone and it’s best to be honest. Maybe you struggled at first, and that’s okay. Talk about your experience and how you’ve managed to adjust and the tactics you used, but stay professional. Now is not the time to talk about your family or your situation at home. Stick to conversations about learning and working virtually.
How have you worked on professional development, networking, and gaining new skills during this time?
Discuss ways you’ve been able to grow during this time. If you’ve done virtual mock interviews, attended virtual workshops or virtual conferences be sure to talk about those experiences and what you learned. Networking could include making new connections on LinkedIn or strengthening your current network by reaching out with questions and seeking advice. Maybe you updated your resume and created a cover letter or took classes on Google or LinkedIn. If you’ve gained new skills during the pandemic, that shows employers that you continued bettering yourself and are continuously willing to learn.
How did COVID-19 change how you see your career and how did it affect your job search?
Many people have been forced to reevaluate their career and their future. Some people lost their jobs while others were promoted to new positions. How has this made you think about your path? Are you happy where you are, or have you discovered a new passion? Do you think your skills are better fit for a different position or is your future secured where you are? Discuss how COVID has affected your mindset and decisions.
How did you manage your time working virtually?
Time management has become even more vital while working remotely. Show employers how you were able to manage your time. Did you use a planner or calendar on your phone/computer? Did you make lists of things you need to get done to help you prioritize? Did you set specific times to do certain tasks? Be sure to address how you prioritized your work, stayed on top of deadlines, and remained focused.
How did you manage communication while working remotely?
Whether you were a student managing communication with professors and classmates, or you were an employee managing communication with managers and colleagues, you know how critical communication is in a virtual environment. Talk about what technology you used to help you stay in constant communication. Maybe you used Teams, Zoom, or GradLeaders Connect for longer video calls and email and text for quick communication. Talk about how you scheduled regular meetings to report your progress and how you were responsive when others reached out to you.
When answering questions about the pandemic, it’s important to be honest but also be sure to show a brighter side of your situation. Everyone has struggled during this time and employers don’t want to hear you complain. They would much rather hear how you worked on yourself and continued moving forward.
Once the interview is coming to an end, be sure to finish off by asking how the company has dealt with the pandemic as well. Every company has likely made some changes to the way they operate and it’s important to show you care if you’re going to be a part of their team. Some possible questions to ask include:
- What methods of communication have you implemented to ensure transparency and clarity among employees?
- What are the biggest challenges this company is facing in regard to COVID-19?
- How are you managing to keep employees engaged during this time?
- How has working remotely affected the productivity levels of employees and the company overall?
- What measures has this company taken to create a safe environment for all employees?
Need help? Don’t hesitate to contact your career center. Though many offices are physically closed, most still offer virtual advising appointments and other ways to connect.