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Top Interview Questions to Prepare During COVID-19 Pandemic

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top pandemic interview question answers

Companies are increasingly telling their employees to work from home until the coronavirus pandemic settles down. Additionally, fresher jobseekers are also getting interviewed online by potential employers now.

As a fresher jobseeker, your video interview conversation in the foreseeable future will for sure touch on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Also, recruiters and hiring managers may ask questions related to the global health crisis in the beginning itself. In order to crack this video interview in the current pandemic ridden world, choose a quiet setting with good light and a neutral background for your interview call. Also, request for information about the company’s work timeline and hiring plans during the outbreak in advance.

Here are a few common questions you might face, while the coronavirus pandemic keeps disrupting your normal life. Prepare for these pandemic interview questions with cues from the retorts and pointers given below.

Pandemic-related interview questions freshers should prepare for job interviews

Follow these questions and tips to answer them to answer pandemic interview questions.

Q1 In the coronavirus pandemic, what have you learned about yourself?

Recruiters and hiring managers are bound to ask ‘Tell me about yourself’ during the interview. While they may still ask that basic question, they may modify it to find out what you learned about yourself during the pandemic. Here’s how you can answer them.

Answer – “If nothing else, the horrible COVID-19 pandemic has been a great learning opportunity for me. It is scary, painful, irritating and tiring, but for me this was a great chance nonetheless for some self-revelation. I learnt that I need to manage my finances better and plan a better rainy-day fund, especially with furloughs looming in the news. Once I land a job, I’ll toss a major chunk of it into a plain old savings account. I also realized that I am an ambivert and not an introvert. I actually miss interacting with people! As people, we take a lot for granted. Due to the pandemic we are all locked up inside and now I have realized that I will never again complain about having nothing to do or being bored with my options.”

This is also a way for your interviewer to gauge your emotional intelligence. Your answer will help the employer understand how you manage your emotions during a crisis situation. Besides, the HR would get to know about your resilience, motivation, and attitude from the way you handled lockdown, social distancing and self-quarantine.

Q2 Can you do the job while working from home?

Almost every company which is planning to hire freshers right now might have to stick with online onboarding. So please expect questions on how effectively and efficiently you can work from home. You will also be asked about the resources you have readily available to help you do the job. Talk about having a dedicated work space at home and communicate all your considerations related to timings and availability. After all, working from home is going to be the new normal from now on.

Tips to help you create a powerful resume for a work-from-home job.

Please be rest assured that recruiters and hiring managers will not pry much into your day-to-day life. So keep your answer as professional and thoughtful as possible.

Q3 Are you willing to join office once the pandemic is over?

Everyone who is working from home right now due to the tough pandemic situation, will eventually step out to join back office. At some point in the not-so-distant future, there will be a vaccine administered to all of us and we can then freely travel to work and get on with our regular lives. So be prepared to face this question. You can also question the interviewer later about how safe it would be to join back and how compliant the office setting would be at that time.

In case you are not comfortable with the entire idea of stepping out of home and travelling anywhere at all for a few months, try to look for and apply to positions that are clearly advertised as ‘remote’. Otherwise, you can discuss your preferences clearly with your recruiter or hiring manager. It will finally be up to them to decide if the employer considers you as an appropriate candidate for the job.

Q4 Describe how have you been spending your time during lockdown.

For some people, the workload has shot up during the pandemic for various reasons.  However, for freshers and college graduates, this time will be treated as ‘free’ time, noting less than a vacation. So your answer should convince the interview about how productive you were during lockdown. Talk about courses you did, certifications you accomplished, competitions won or even hobbies pursued. Tell them that you did not wile your time away and rather you have been keeping pretty busy yourself. Also, provide evidence of how proactive you were while dealing with stress. That will make them think that you can bring value to their company.

This type of question is a great opportunity to mention volunteer work you’ve been doing to keep your talents sharp or online classes you’ve been taking to learn new or advanced skills.

Q5 Do you have any questions for us?

Aside from recruiters and hiring managers asking you about the pandemic, you can also ask some questions to your interviewer. Touch on the covid-19 situation as soon as you get a chance to ask questions during the interview. Also, one question that’s important for you to ask is how the company plans to onboard remote employees as full-time permanent employees.

Many companies are now remotely onboarding freshers and employees by sending computers, setting up a VPN, and onboarding new employees successfully. Ask what the process is going to be for you, in case you are selected. Some other questions you can ask are:

  1. Would you expect me to be fully prepared to do the job on day 1?
  2. What will the training and development programs for me be like?
  3. How are you keeping employee morale up and positive during the pandemic?
  4. What is your future plan of action once infections start to wane?

Also throw in a few questions on company culture and training during the pandemic. This will help you to know if your internship & other work experiences can come in handy.

Practice for your video interview for a remote job during COVID-19 pandemic

By now you know that your job interview will be done over video. So start practicing conversation rounds over a web cam. Also practice mock interview questions to nail your video interview. Try to listen to one interview preparation and public speaking podcast or video daily. Keep standard answers ready and memorized to tackle old-school job interview questions. This preparation will make you feel confident over your video interview during the coronavirus pandemic. In the end, ensure to tell your interviewer how excited you are about the position.

All the best.

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