In our previous post, we discussed some potential interview questions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how to answer them. In part 2, we will talk about a few other prompts you should be prepared to discuss as companies set their sights on the future—and as they decide if you, in fact, will be part of that future.
We Won’t Be in a Pandemic Forever
Yes, it’s true, 2020 has felt like the longest year ever. However, we are going to turn a corner eventually, and you are going to have to show that you are ready for that new chapter—no matter what that looks like…mutated normal or otherwise.
As you read through these queries, consider your own responses—and remember, empathy, adaptability, and resiliency are key to positioning yourself correctly.
- Where do you see your career going in the future?
Maybe you were laid off from an industry like hospitality or tourism, which were both particularly affected. Or perhaps the pandemic has made you take a hard look at your role as a teacher. Ultimately, some professionals have had their worlds shaken to the core. Even on a personal level many individuals have begun to reassess what they want out of life because of the pandemic—because let’s face it, if one thing is clear it’s that life can be pretty damn unpredictable at best. So, think about this question and your own experience. Have you been personally touched by COVID? Has the pandemic made you desire a more stable work environment? Or has it made you simply yearn for a change that allows you better balance so you can appreciate each day more? Be honest and convey your experience.
- What types of lessons has the pandemic taught you?
Jumping off that last question, let’s take a big picture approach. Maybe you learned that you work best at three a.m. or that taking some time out to meditate helps you remain focused and calm. Or it could be that you’ve learned how not to be so hard on yourself for not checking off every item on your to-do list. Maybe you have learned to be grateful for the simple things in life. Perhaps you have learned to simply take one day at a time. It is possible that you have simply discovered how important your family and friends are to your happiness. You don’t have to provide career-related answers to these questions—unless you have something specific in mind. Just show your humanity. This hasn’t been easy on anyone.
- Have you learned any new skills during quarantine?
First off, yes, we all know about the overachievers here—the people who learned Mandarin while taking a masterclass on chess and who dusted off their violin from high school band to play a little Bach. Let us state, those people are the outliers. Most of us were just trying to make sure that we showered each day and looked presentable enough for Zoom while the kids navigated tele-school in another room. Therefore, if you didn’t learn any new skills, you don’t have to make them up. It’s fine to say that you were merely trying to ensure you placed your Shipt order in time for a morning delivery and had enough hand sanitizer and toilet paper in stock in your house. However, if you have learned something new, talk about it. Good for you either way!
- What are your feelings on an eventual return to work?
We know it’s hard to imagine—walking back into an office—but it will likely happen at some point. What type of reaction does that instill in you? Excitement? Fear? Worry? Relief? There is no right or wrong answer here. If you are eager to get back, awesome. If you have concerns, focus on the positive. Instead of saying, “I’m worried about my health and safety,” explain how you have developed new skills and abilities when it comes to working at home and being productive. If you are thinking, “I cannot wait to get some time away from my family” express that you crave structure and a set schedule in your days once again.
In closing, it’s okay to show your vulnerability. If there is one thing that we can appreciate that has come out of the pandemic, it’s that we all seem to be a bit more kind to each other and have realized that whatever we have going on professionally, it’s likely that the personal has been part of it, whether we like it or not. We have dealt with Zoom calls where babies are crying in the background, where dogs are going nuts because the mail just arrived, where kids interrupt, or technology simply fails. That’s been life and it’s okay! So, showcase how your life might not be exactly the same as it was prior to March 2020—and let an employer understand why you are better because of it.
The team at Grammar Chic is rooting you on—and of course, if you need some assistance putting your post-COVID-19 resume together, give us a call anytime. It’s our pleasure to help you.