Pandemic-Related Interview Questions & How to Answer Them
The covid-19 pandemic has led to a lot of changes in the way we live and work and one of the most notable changes has been the rise of remote work.
According to recent studies, 58% of employees now do some or all of their work remotely, and that number is only going to increase in the coming years.
Employers have had to adjust their hiring practices and are now asking new questions related to the pandemic in job interviews.
As a result, you might be asked pandemic-related types of questions in your next interview, which is why it’s important to be prepared with answers to these questions going into your next interview.
New interview questions since the pandemic
1. How did you adjust to working from home through the pandemic?
Probably the most common pandemic-related interview question, potential employers ask this question to evaluate how well you adapt to change and how well you can work independently.
How to answer “How did you adjust to working from home through the pandemic?”
If you’ve been working remotely since the pandemic started, you can talk about how you created a dedicated workspace, what tools and resources you used to stay productive, how you leverage digital communication, and how you overcame any challenges that arose while working from home.
If you haven’t been working remotely, you can still talk about how you would be able to adjust to working from home if the need arose.
2. Did the Covid-19 pandemic change your career goals?
Many employers understand that the pandemic changed the employment landscape including people’s personal and professional goals.
This question is asked to get a sense of your long-term goals and how flexible you are with them.
How to answer “Did the Covid-19 pandemic change your career goals?”
Be honest about how the pandemic has affected your career goals. If your goals have stayed the same, talk about why you’re still interested in this particular field or job.
If your goals have changed, talk about what new goals you have and how this job can help you achieve those goals.
3. Did the pandemic change the trajectory of your career? If so, how?
Employers may be interested to know if you feel like the pandemic either stunted or accelerated your career.
If it did change the trajectory of your career, they want to know how you coped with that and how it’s affected your job search.
No matter how the pandemic has changed your career, employers want to see that you’re adaptable and can overcome any challenges that come your way.
How to answer “Did the pandemic change the trajectory of your career? If so, how?”
If the pandemic has changed the trajectory of your career, try to frame it in a positive light.
For example, if you were laid off due to the pandemic, you can talk about how it’s given you the opportunity to re-evaluate your career goals and pursue a new field that you’re passionate about.
If your hours were reduced or you had to take a pay cut, you can talk about how it’s made you appreciate your job more and how it’s given you more time to pursue your hobbies or interests outside of work.
4. How do you manage your time working remotely?
With more and more people working remotely, employers want to know how you manage your time when you’re not in an office.
They might ask this question to see if you have any tips or tricks for staying productive when working from home.
How to answer “How do you manage your time working remotely?”
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but some tips you can mention are setting a daily schedule, taking breaks, and creating a dedicated workspace.
You can also talk about how you use tools like time tracking software or project management software to help you stay on track with your work.
5. How do you feel about an eventual return to the office?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question, but it’s important to be honest about your thoughts and feelings.
Employers want to see that you’re able to openly communicate your thoughts and feelings about returning to the office to get a sense of whether or not you have any concerns about it.
How to answer “How do you feel about an eventual return to the office?
If you’re looking forward to returning to the office, you can talk about how you miss the in-person interaction with your colleagues, company culture, or how you prefer working in an office setting.
If you’re hesitant about returning to the office, you can talk about your concerns and explain how you think they can be addressed.
6. What were your biggest challenges working through the pandemic?
The pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone, so employers want to know how you handled those challenges.
This question can give them insight into your problem-solving skills and how you cope with difficult situations.
How to answer “What were your biggest challenges working through the pandemic?”
Some potential challenges you can mention are being proactive about your mental health, childcare, homeschooling, and financial stress.
For each challenge, talk about how you coped with it and what steps you took to mitigate the impact it had on your work.
7. What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?
The pandemic has been a time of reflection for many people, so employers want to know what you learned about yourself during this time.
This question can give them insight into your self-awareness and how you’ve grown as a person.
How to answer “What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?”
Some things you can mention are that you learned how to be more independent, adaptable, or patient.
You can also talk about how the pandemic has made you reassess your priorities and how you want to spend your time and your professional development.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the job market?
Many factors play into this “new normal,” but the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely been one of the most significant game-changers in recent memory.
Answering pandemic-related questions
By coming prepared to answer pandemic-specific interview questions, you can show that you’re adaptable and have the ability to thrive in any situation.
Come ready to be honest about your experiences and be prepared to demonstrate that you were able to overcome many of the obstacles presented by the pandemic and that you are willing to learn, grow, and evolve.
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