The Covid-19 pandemic has been around us for some time and it seems like it’s not going to go away completely anytime soon. So as we make headways into the new normal, we are learning to coexist with the virus while carrying on with our normal lives – at work, leisure or study. With this in mind, employers may ask questions relating to the pandemic, as a way to learn of your practical approach of dealing with adversity or situation, just like how unexpected things happen from time to time during work.
- How has the Covid-19 impacted your career goal?
- How are you adjusting to life post-pandemic?
- Are you adapting well to working from home, and how?
- What have you learnt during the pandemic?
- How do you feel about returning to workplace in 2022?
- What’s one good thing that emerge from this pandemic?
- Do you prefer to work remotely or from home?
- How are you holding up?
The key objective of asking these questions is to find out how do you view, approach and resolve problems in times of adversity and how effectively you can maneuver out of any crisis. Some employers would also want to find out if you’re personally affected whether it is emotionally or financially that potentially might affect your future contribution, so be sure to pick up the pieces and look at the brighter side of things before you start a new job! Here’re some guidelines on how you can navigate these questions:
Put things in perspective
Whether or not you’re personally affected, what most employers want to know is how you overcome any challenge, as the old saying goes ‘how you do one thing, is how you do everything’! So briefly touch on what happened and then quickly move on to how you overcome, resolve and emerge stronger from the episode. If unfortunately you’re still in a pit but want the job badly as the main avenue to stick your head out, do still focus (almost 100%) on the Hows and not Whys as you’ll want to sound as forward-looking, positive as possible and not let emotions drown the best of you. Remember, job interviews are for, well, jobs, and don’t harp too much (if you absolutely have to) on personal matters such as relationships, finances, childhood, and what not.
Sprinkle some “Rags to Riches” story
Well, not literally rags to riches, but you get the gist – talk about how you’re adjusting from a sudden change of routine makes you feel uncomfortable but you’re able to quickly adapt and make the best of the situation. Ultimately, everyone else alive today faces the same situation, so you’re not alone. Again, the last thing you should do is to harp on the ‘rags’ side of things or worse, going into detail like a grandma telling stories. The key here is not to overdo things.
Go with the trend if possible
Well, you’ve seen the news, and the governments’ directives. Companies are legally obligated to follow government directives and regulations, hence if you’re asked on your views of, say compulsory return to office come 1 Jan 2022, and you have a view which is bucking the trend, chances are if the employer sniffed a slight chance of a ‘tough nut to crack’, it’s quite possible that they will think twice on this application. That said, if you have good reasons for voicing out your opinion, i.e. medical, personal belief, by all means substantiate them but then again, follow rule number 1 (put things in perspective) and you’ll never go too wrong.