How to Ace a Job Interview in the COVID-19 Era

Published June 2nd, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
Covid-19: Job Interview Tips and Questions to Consider
The more qualified you are and the more flexible your search for your next professional opportunity the bigger your chances are. (Shutterstock: kora_sun)

Similar to everything else, the job market has been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but chances of employment are slowly rising as world countries ease lockdowns and businesses resume operations.

Whether you were a fresh graduate when COVID-19 broke out, early this year or lost your job amid the government's restrictions and economic closures, this is the right time to start applying for a new job.

The more qualified you are and the more flexible your search for your next professional opportunity, the bigger your chances of finding a job, but you need to keep in mind that hiring might not go as usual as pre-Coronavirus times.

Virtual Interviews

First of all, you have to be prepared for a remote online interview just as much as you're ready for a regular in-person one.

For a face-to-face interview, you used to make sure you know the full address of the office and to make it to the place a few minutes earlier than the exact interview start time.

Now you need to make yourself familiar with the video conferencing service that will be used and its features; so nothing delays your interview.

Also, check your internet connection and have a plan B in case you lose your WiFi connection. Maybe prepare a hotspot using your smartphone or have the application you'll be interviewed through. 

For a virtual interview, dress just as formal as you would for a regular one and test the headset and its microphone beforehand for better communication.

Choose your background carefully to avoid making a sloppy impression.

Finally, inform everyone you live with that you would appreciate a quiet hour with no interruptions or noises.

Questions to Expect

Preparing good answers to the most expected questions is key to winning the position you're applying for. Look up ones related to the industry, the company, and the post.

Additionally, you should expect a new set of questions that wouldn't have existed if not for the recent crisis triggered by the Coronavirus. 

Some employers might be interested in knowing your attitude towards the crisis, whether you were able to keep control of your life or not. They might also try to know whether you followed governments' instructions during the lockdown or not, which could reflect how much respect you have for rules.

If the job includes a remote work option, expect your interviewer to inquire about your work-from-home routine and commitment, how your productivity was affected in the new work environment, the technological skills you've developed during your remote work experience, in addition to the approaches you follow to stay motivated with minimum supervision.

Questions to Ask

While you might have questions about the different responsibilities you will be in charge of, there are a few questions you can consider now that most companies are emerging from an unprecedented emergency.

For example, you can ask for more details regarding the company's switch from office operations to home-online ones, whether it was a smooth one or not, and whether it has affected their progress which will tell you more about how resilient it will be in future unexpected circumstances.

You can also explore permanent work from home options if you think you do a better job working on your own, or if you live far from the physical office.

In the post-Covid-19 world, having health insurance is getting more significant than ever before, so you might want to ask about benefits and whether a decent health insurance plan is included.

Finally, you can ask your interviewer about the precautions that the company has taken to face future emergencies, including a potential second wave of the pandemic; to see whether they have long-term plans. A company with a strong strategic planning vision has better chances of success in the long run.

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