How to Answer Covid-19 Pandemic Related Interview Questions?
Whether we talk about new-aged startups or the renowned tech giants – the companies are facing some drastic changes in their work culture, operations, recruitment process, etc amidst this Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, remote working, virtual interviews, task automation, etc. have become a new normal for organizations.
Now, the candidates who’re preparing for the upcoming interviews to get into their dream job need to understand that they’re also required to become adaptable to such changes accordingly. For example, they need to become familiar with the online interview process, they should try to possess those additional technical or non-tech skills that are being preferred by the organizations especially during this pandemic situation, they should prepare themselves for the WFH scenario, and so on…
In a similar context, all the candidates are strongly recommended to prepare themselves for several new COVID-related interview questions also that they might be asked in the upcoming interviews. Such questions will actually allow the interviewers to find out how good you’re in dealing with unwanted changes like the pandemic situation or to assess how productively you used the lockdown period or determine whether you’ll be able to work remotely for the company, etc.
So, let’s get started with such Covid-19 pandemic-related interview questions and know how to answer these questions fluently:
1. How did you spend your time during the lockdown?
Most probably, you’re going to face this question in 8 out of 10 of your upcoming interviews. Though it is not mandatory that the interviewer will ask the question in the exact way as mentioned here – he/she can also ask you like if you have learned any new skills or not in this period, how productive you were during that time, etc. It will let the interviewer know if you’re having that zeal to learn & grow and whether you would be able to make the most out of such situations in the future for the organization’s betterment. Especially if you’re a fresher or final-year college student, what you can do here is mention relevant projects, certifications, webinars, tech or non-tech skills, etc. that you did or learned recently. In addition, you can opt to mention that you spent time developing a new hobby or interest like stock investments, writing, etc.
2. How your career goals got affected by the pandemic?
This question will help the interviewer to know whether the candidate is genuinely interested in the job role or he/she is applying for it just for the sake of getting a job. Let us tell you how: suppose you answer this question in a tone like this pandemic situation made you feel frustrated, and now you want to get into a job anyhow by keeping your career goals or vision aside. In that case, it will take no time for the interviewer to determine that despite having the required tech or non-tech skills, you’re actually not the right fit for the job as you’re not having that genuine interest, enthusiasm, and passion towards the particular job opportunity. So, you’re recommended to give an appropriate answer to this question by saying something like – “My career goals and vision are very much clear to me. Yes, due to this pandemic, everyone’s lives got affected but I tried my best to stick to my career goals and continued my preparation of getting into my dream job.”
3. What challenges did you face in online interviews or remote working?
If you’re a fresher, you might be asked the question regarding the challenges that you’ve faced or are facing in virtual interviews, and in the case of working professionals, the question will focus more on remote working challenges. However, in both aspects, the prime motive of the interviewer will be to determine how adaptable the candidate is with such digital changes or tech advancements. As we can see that after this worldwide pandemic organizations are adopting various new tools and technologies for efficient and optimal workflow – hence, they want to hire only those candidates who are more resilient and can effectively adjust to such drastic changes. So, you’re strongly recommended to not address negative points of remote working or virtual interview that you faced instead what you can do is mention the positive aspects of both – remote working / virtual interviews and traditional in-office work environment & interview process. It will show the recruiter that you’re comfortable in either way.
4. How did you deal with the stress during the pandemic?
Now, you must be thinking that why the interviewer will ask this type of question, right…?? Okay, let us tell you that the sole purpose behind asking this question is to know about the mindset of the candidate in such difficult times and how he tackles the things so that his work-life won’t get affected by all this. For this question, you’re recommended to keep your answer genuine and slightly positive rather than negative. For example, you can craft your answer in such a way – “Amidst this pandemic chaos all around there, it is natural to have some stress for every individual whether it be a college student, working professional, or anyone else. I also felt the same but what I did is I never let that pandemic stress cross a certain limit so that it can affect my personal or professional life. I never sit idle to just overthink about the pandemic situation. I used to keep myself busy with my learnings and my work, spent adequate time with my family members who helped me a lot to pass that hard time, and was always positive about the brighter days ahead.”
5. What lessons have you learned from this Covid-19 pandemic situation?
It can be a tricky question for the candidates as to tell about the lessons or positives out of a pandemic situation is not an easy-to-go task. So, you need to be a bit diplomatic here while answering this question. You can mention things like the pandemic made everyone including you realize that we should give adequate time to our family. They’re the people who’ll always be there in such difficult times. Similarly, you can opt to mention that this pandemic taught us that life is very unpredictable and we should not delay our career goals or plans for the future without any justified reason instead we need to understand that ‘NOW’ is the best time for getting started with it. Moreover, you can also relate your answer with the tech world and professional life by saying things like – “this pandemic taught us the importance of being adaptable. As we can see the pandemic has led to various tech transformations in the tech world, now the individuals who will not adopt these changes and prepare themselves with the required skills – won’t be able to survive in the industry.”
Other than that, even you also can ask the interviewer some questions related to the pandemic situation. However, you should only ask such questions at the end of the interview or when the interviewer itself tells you to do so. These questions can be:
- How did the pandemic affect the company’s environment and workflow?
- What technologies or strategies are you following for a smooth transition to remote working?
- What are the company’s plans for post-covid: remote working or in-office working?, etc.
So, for your upcoming interviews do not forget to prepare for these pandemic or lockdown-related interview questions as they can get you a much-needed edge over other candidates!!