Don’t be surprised by the new interview questions during this pandemic.
It’s evident that hiring practices have changed and will continue to change as we evolve out of the COVID shutdown. More interviews will be done via webcam. Start dates might get delayed. Interview questions will change. What?! Has it occurred to you that there might be, or should be, new never-before asked interview questions? Yikes!
An Interview Overview
The interview is an exchange of information between both parties. You need to be sure the company is offering what you want. In addition, the company needs to confirm you are who your resume says you are and that your personality fits the culture of the company. Both character traits and technical skills are judged during an interview. The character traits that are usually judged are professional appearance, attitude, personality, energy, and enthusiasm. The technical skills are what is required for you to provide the company with the most added value possible and are usually identified in the job posting.
It is advisable to be prepared for likely questions by giving them thought in advance and outlining your answers. There is nothing worse than looking like the deer in the headlights. Monster offers a thoughtful technique to prepare for an interview, “Interview cheat sheet and prep tips.”
New interview questions for a new era
Here are three questions an interviewer should ask and that a candidate should be prepared to answer
What this pandemic is putting us through is life-changing. As mentioned above, both character traits and skills are being evaluated in an interview. How you dealt with the changes and how you handled downtime will be of interest to a thoughtful interviewer.
- What did you do during your downtime? Watching Netflix until there is nothing left to watch is the wrong answer. Give some thought to the following and make an outline, so you are prepared. What did you do to take care of yourself and your family? What did you do to “sharpen the saw,” which is Habit 7 from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Keep in mind that sharpening the saw can apply to both skill improvement and your own personal development. Did you do any online training or coursework? Did you learn to meditate or do yoga to deal with work stress? Did you read any pertinent books?
- What did you do (or are doing) to help your employer transition to a new business model? A good follow-up could be, “Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?” Companies will also be running leaner. What have you done and can do to help?
- Has the pandemic changed anything about how you think about and prepare for disasters? This will be unique to your business, and your answer should be both specific and achievable, rather than pie-in-the-sky and as if money were not a limit.
Questions often asked by interviewers.
There are many sources to prepare for interview questions. Indeed has a list of 125 common interview Questions and Answers. CareerBuilder, Monster, and ZipRecruiter offer similar but don’t go quite as overboard. Here are common threads that apply to all industries.
- Tell me about yourself.
- How would you describe yourself?
- What makes you unique?
- Why are you leaving, or why did you leave your job?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What interests you about this role?
- What motivates you?
- What are you passionate about?
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These are challenging times, and whether you are a hiring decision-maker or a candidate, we are here to help.
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