Preparing yourself for an interview can be daunting even in the best of times. As the hot topic du jour, going for an interview in these times will probably lead to questions related to your COVID-19 experience. What questions can you be asked and what is the best way to answer? Read on as we discuss possible questions and answers.
A bit about yourself…
The usual, typical, first question is to tell them “a bit about yourself”. This is your moment to demonstrate what skills you’ve acquired during the pandemic – whether it meant you were busier than usual at your work or with more time on your hands. Did you use it as a time to sharpen your skills or add new skills to your repertoire? The way you dealt with the pandemic will most likely demonstrate your resilience, attitude and motivation. Did you help others adapt on the way? Where you innovative in the way you dealt with the pandemic? This is your moment to outline what you learnt about yourself.
How did you spend your time?
This demonstrates how you deal with a stressful time and how proactive you can be. Did you take up new projects around the house, if you had more time on your hands? How did you spend the extra time earnt from the lack of morning commute? If you are changing careers, you can also take this opportunity at this moment to indicate what encouraged you to make a move and why you may have found what you are pursuing as interesting.
What is the most difficult challenge you dealt with?
This is asked to once again gauge your resilience and resourcefulness. How did you handle a tiring situation in the pandemic? Maybe it was about juggling home-schooling your children at home with your work, or dealing with work in a busy household with a lot of members around. It could also be about how resourceful you had to be having been out of work for a few months. Your challenge may have been taking up training to prepare yourself for a possible career change if you lost your job. From this question, the employer may also be noticing your level of adaptability.
Where do you see yourself in a few months?
This is a way for the employer to see whether this is a temporary solution for you and whether you will leave once the situation changes. This question will probably go hand in hand with another common question (probably the most common of them all) – “What are your reasons for leaving your current employment?” and if you were laid off you may be asked why – whether it was a mass lay-off or was it selective? Perhaps they were looking for people with a different skill set to address the requirements and needs that may have come about due to the pandemic and you were no longer qualified to do the job.
Do you have any questions for us?
Typically asked in many interviews, this question gives you an opportunity to shine a light on your interest in the company and also an opportunity to discover how the company handled (and prepared for) a situation like the pandemic. As much as you are being interviewed, you are also in a position to interview the company. It is also helpful to ask whether any training will be provided upon starting your role and whether you are expected to be fully prepared from day one. If you are looking for a remote opportunity or flexible hours it is important to ask at this point to avoid any surprises later on. These are usually indicated within the job description, but if you ask during the interview you will clarify any questions you might have about your working arrangement.
Bonus tip: Practice with a friend!
If the interview will be held virtually, practise in front of a camera or through the app that will be used. Get your friend to ask you the above questions and practise your answer with them. Finally: good luck!
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