So, you’re on the job hunt in the midst of a global pandemic? You’re not alone. As companies search for talent in new, socially distanced ways, they are seeking candidates who can adapt and perform in uncertain situations.
As a result, Covid interview questions are becoming the new normal. Reviewing and preparing answers to common interview questions is an integral part of proper preparation. But don’t stop there.
Read the Covid-19 interview questions below so you can demonstrate your readiness to employers.
Covid Interview Questions To Expect (And How to Respond)
Business is anything but usual during the Covid-19 pandemic. As companies have shifted to completely remote work environments or socially-distanced spaces, old office standards and dynamics are no more. So, it’s no surprise the interview questions you’ll be asked are different as well. Let’s dive in.
1. Do you have experience with remote work? How do you stay focused when working from home?
Remote work was once seen as an occasional offering. But, it is now the way professionals across the globe are going to work. An employer needs to know that you’ll remain focused and productive despite being away from direct supervision.
Assessing your experience levels as well as your strategies for tackling tasks at home is one way the hiring manager finds this out. That’s why these two questions usually go hand in hand.
How to Respond: This is a great time to highlight discipline as a strength. If you have a system you utilize (time blocking, entering a designated workspace, etc.), share it with the interviewer here. Sharing how you are internally motivated is another smart step to tackling this question.
If you have previous experience working remotely, share a tangible example of how you tackled a project at home and the strategies you used to stay on track.
2. How do you develop relationships with coworkers despite working from a distance?
A well-connected team can accomplish more. Remote work makes bonding with your coworkers a bit of a challenge. An employer wants to find out whether you can effectively connect with your coworkers to work towards common goals.
This question also hints at the importance of empathy in a workspace. Are you someone who will lift others up and make them feel valued in the workplace? That’s what the hiring manager wants to determine.
How to Respond: Discuss the importance of a strong team and share what you believe to be the necessary components of a successful working relationship.
If you’ve worked well with other coworkers in past jobs, bring up how you maintained these relationships and how you would implement similar strategies in this new position. Overall, communicate that you are the type of person who adds value to the team rather than drags it down.
3. What communication methods do you prefer utilizing when working with others?
Different workspaces utilize different tools to help colleagues stay in touch. The employer may ask you about your familiarity with a certain communication tool (Slack, GroupMe, Zoom, etc.), or they may ask more generally about your communication style. The point here is to see whether you would make yourself easy to reach and to determine whether your communication style meshes well at the office.
How to Respond: One great tip for answering this question is to align it with the culture of the company. If you have an idea of the communication style at the office, you can tweak your answer. For instance, if collaboration is a core part of the office and the role you’re applying for, make it clear that frequent communication is key for success.
It’s important to come across as open and accessible to colleagues, especially since you’ll likely be far away from them. Discuss that you would remain available for meetings and communication throughout the week to ensure a healthy flow of communication.
4. What strategies do you implement to achieve a healthy work-life balance?
When working and living in the same place, it’s easy for the lines to get blurred. A hiring manager wants to ensure that employees have the ability to unplug after the workday. After all, a burnt-out and stressed team member is not going to benefit the team. So how does one strike a balance so that they can be their best in and out of work?
How to Respond: Discuss how you keep work and personal life separate and why that matters to you. For instance, “I enjoy [insert your industry] and all that I learn, but I also make it a point to have clear boundaries between my work and home life. That’s why I keep my home office in a set area of the house and leave the area once I finish my daily tasks.”
You can even share a hobby or passion that you put time into outside of work to build rapport with the interviewer. This allows them to get a picture of the type of person you are outside of the office.
5. In the future, would you be open to working in an office?
Some companies are planning to ease back into in-person work at a certain point down the road. This question helps the hiring manager ascertain what your transition flexibility is like. While the date for going back to in-person work has yet to be established for most companies, knowing how employees feel about the prospect is essential. Some companies are planning to ease back into in-person work at a certain point down the road. This question helps the hiring manager ascertain what your transition flexibility is like. While the date for going back to in-person work has yet to be established for most companies, knowing how employees feel about the prospect is essential.
How to Respond: Your answer to this truly depends on your level of comfort with in-person work. For some, the chance to return to the office is something they can’t wait to do.
If you don’t fall into this camp, focus on the positive ways you’ve been able to be productive with at-home work. Express that you find yourself thriving in the remote environment and have been able to perform well in past roles remotely. But, do express an interest or at least a consideration of returning to work when it is safe to do so.
6. What tools and equipment do you require to work from home effectively?
More companies are issuing work from home packages to help employees settle into their new offices. To learn how to set up a new hire for success, the interviewer may ask about necessary tools.
This question also helps an employer determine whether you truly understand the responsibilities associated with the role. Depending on the role, you may need certain technology or tools that the company will furnish.
How to Respond: Share your work from home essentials that allow you to get the job done well. If you have a work from home setup already, discuss what it involves and how those tools help you stay focused and productive. Then, discuss certain tools that you foresee yourself needing.
If the role is not a new one, you can ask the employer if there are any tools or equipment that have benefited others in the role. To end, you can express your appreciation that the company cares about the wellbeing of employees and is willing to help them create an ideal work environment.
7. What has this pandemic taught you?
To say that the coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge is the understatement of the century. Nonetheless, companies are looking for individuals that turn hardships into opportunities. The way you respond to difficulties in life hints at how you’ll face them in the workplace.
How to Respond: While you could give some lofty life lesson, it’s best to stick to something that you can tie back into the job at hand. So share something positive that you have learned about yourself and how that new lesson will help you moving forward.
If you learned a new skill, share what it is and how your desire to constantly improve yourself translates into your professional life. If the pandemic gave you a new perspective on an important area of life, discuss this insight and how it influences you now. Whatever you choose to share, make sure it displays a positive quality such as resilience, perseverance or ingenuity.
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Job seekers everywhere are facing uncertainty and rapidly changing situations. Fortunately, there’s one thing you can be confident and collected about—your impressive interview skills.
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