It is important to prepare your application and interview around specific pandemic-focused questions you may receive if you begin your job search. This is a for-sure topic that will come up in your interview, especially if you have faced recent employment gaps as stated on your resume. These won’t be common interview questions that you’ll find on a generic guide. So, we’ve compiled a list of pandemic-focused interview questions you may encounter and how to answer them.
If you recently transitioned to working from home due to the pandemic, this is a possible question that may arise. The employer wants to see if you can still be self-motivated and accountable even without someone looking over your shoulder. They are also testing your work-life balance to see if you spend more time investing in activities outside of work projects. So, let’s dive into some do’s and don’ts when responding to this question.
Do: Working from home has made my team and I much more adaptable. We can adjust to working remotely and finding ways to overcome challenges when completing projects. It has been a big learning lesson for everyone, and we are better off because of it!
Don’t: I have a much more relaxed work style now. I like to spend as much time outside as I can and enjoy this newfound freedom away from the office.
This is a great time to brag about any collaboration you experienced with your previous company! Also, it is never good to speak poorly about your previous bosses or teammates. So, shining a positive light on this aspect of the company, even if you did not enjoy your time, there is a perfect setup! You can also use this opportunity to speak about how you will take the strategies you learned at your previous company and bring them to your new job to help navigate the new normal. Here are some examples.
Do: My previous company was very professional, strategic, and communicative when it came to new pandemic protocols. This helped employees and management feel much more at ease and in control. We implemented curbside pickup, outdoor dining and did regular health screenings and temperature checks on all employees and guests. I definitely think our teamwork could have been better as we adjusted, but we did the best we could and now our collaboration is back to what it used to be.
Don’t: It was a bit of a disaster. Transitioning to new pandemic protocols is a big challenge for everyone and definitely not what I signed up for when I accepted the position. I felt like the management team did a poor job of directing employees and providing guidance.
This is a promising question because it usually alludes to the fact that this company plans to welcome its employees back to the office once it is safe. Take this opportunity to communicate how excited you are about re-joining the office! However, make sure to tie in what you have done to continue your team’s community aspect while working online. No one knows how long this pandemic will last. So, mention how you will contribute to the team bond while working from home, too.
Do: Working in the office provides a great atmosphere for immediate collaboration and face-to-face communication. I love building bonds with my team as it allows us to be more creative and open with each other. In the meantime, while working from home, we do monthly Friday get-togethers to stay connected. We also have a team group chat to share ideas quickly and just be ourselves!
Don’t: I do not miss going into the office. I have a lot of money on my commute, and it’s nice to just stay home and work from my couch! I still feel super productive.
This can be a tricky one! We all remember how the first few weeks of quarantine went. It felt like a stressful vacation at home, where we all whipped coffee and watched The Tiger King on repeat. It probably took you a while to figure out what is best for you when working from home. Talk about this process of trial, error, and resiliency in your interview! It can be something small like making the perfect home office or teaching yourself how to use Zoom and other remote communication technologies. You can even talk about how you found a groove and got into a healthy routine that allowed you to find your professionalism at home. Employers love to hear stories like this during interviews because not only are you answering the question, but you are allowing the interviewer to get to know who you are on a deeper level.
Do: I wish I had learned how to get into a routine sooner. It took a lot of trial and error! I had to test out a few different workspaces in my home, be self-disciplined when taking breaks, and continue to be a valuable asset to my team. Now it feels like second nature to me. However, it did take a few weeks for me to settle into this new normal!
Don’t: I would have told myself not to worry so much. Working from home is super convenient! I get to spend a lot of time with my dog outside and run errands during the day while working. It has made me a better multitasker for sure.
This is a great time to tie your strengths and weaknesses into the interview! It is also a great sign that your potential employer decided to choose this as an interview question. This question shows they truly care about their employees’ wellbeing, and that is a company you should strive to find! When answering this question, assure yourself that it is okay to be vulnerable. If you reveal an area of weakness, that is okay! As long as you balance it out with a few strengths, you can bring to the new role.
Do: I hope that this company continues to provide clear, understandable, and frequent updates to ensure that all employees are informed about decisions the company is making regarding the pandemic. I pride myself on being an effective communicator, and I seek team members and companies who share that trait. This is one of the main points that attracted me to your company!
Don’t: I hope that this company understands that deadlines should not be enforced and time off should be granted. This is a really tough time, and the company should take pressure off of its employees.
Best of luck with your upcoming job search! Let us know how it goes on our social media.
More to Explore:
Overcoming Holiday Blues in 2020 – Here
What Is The Future of Remote Work? – Here
Pros and Cons of Multitasking – Here
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