The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down and in particular the world of work. In its wake, it has caused uncertainty for the future and will undoubtedly change the recruitment process forever.
While the lockdown has seen us all go through a raft of emotions, it has also been an opportunity to reassess what we want from our future and in particular our careers. Regardless of whether you were furloughed or not during the pandemic, the questions you will be asked in future interviews might look very different.
Whether you’re looking for a new job or wanting to jump from one career path to another, we have put together some potential questions that interviews may include post-COVID-19.
“How did you spend your time in lockdown during the pandemic”.
If you’ve been furloughed, we understand it can be easy to sit back and binge-watch a Netflix series or if you have dependents having to undertake care duties can hamper any grand plans for self-development.
What employers will be listening out for here is how you managed to make use of this time productively whether this is reading books, exercising, working on professional skills, homeschooling the kids (leadership and mentoring) or listening to podcasts while doing housework.
“What did you do to support your employer during the Pandemic”.
If you’ve still been working during this period. Consider what you have done to help your employer navigate the situation.
Think about how you added value and where you stepped up to deal with challenges, and how you might have supported your colleagues through this too.
A new employer will be listening out for cues you are proactive, can take the lead, are reliable and can be trusted.
“Tell me a time during lockdown you surprised yourself”.
Behavioural interview questions such as “tell me about a time when”, are used to get to know an individual’s personality/character and can be asked in both negative and positive ways, for example:
- Positive – “tell me about a time when you reached a goal.”
- Negative – “tell me about a time when you failed at work.”
You might have found juggling work and homeschooling quite easy. Or you might have developed a new skill, hobby or done something else impressive.
If you aren’t already, using a journal is a great way to keep on track of those small wins during this period and allow you the opportunity to look back and reflect on your achievements. Journals are usually assumed to be a way of just scribbling your thoughts onto a piece of paper. This is an important feature, however, not the full use or potential. A journal allows you to write down daily goals, targets, wins and lessons learned.
“Due to the pandemic, the talent pool is a lot more saturated, explain to us why we should choose you to fill the position over the competition”.
This is your moment to sell yourself, and if you don’t take the opportunity, someone else will. This question is always a challenging one, so make sure this is one you prepare for. Consider what is it that makes you stand out, what value do you bring to the organisations you work for, what knowledge and expertise can you bring, what are you like personally?
A great example of what employers look for in an employee is their commitment and accountability for your professional development. The world of work is changing, even more rapidly than pre-COVID-19 so make a commitment to yourself to keep learning. If you need some guidance as to where to start, check out our recent blog, in which we rounded up a range of free online resources to begin your learning journey.
“Describe a difficult situation in which you came out better on the other side”.
This is a question that was often used before the pandemic. Now we can use COVID-19 to our advantage to answer this question. By working on being productive at home and working on professional and personal development, you will be able to come up with many answers for the question. For example:
“The recent pandemic disrupted my day to day life immensely, but I decided to use the extra time I had after being furloughed efficiently. I allowed myself set times for relaxing and watching my favourite series but filled my days with developing my skills for my professional future. For example, on my LinkedIn, you can find the certifications for online courses I undertook such as…..”
At Expion, we’d love to hear how you’re working on productivity and what you’re learning right now.
If you’re an employer, what questions are you now asking?
Tweet us @expionUK.