In the job search world, COVID-19 can feel like the giant elephant in the room. Whether you are on the front lines, working from home, or laid off, everyone’s jobs have been impacted in some way or another. As a result, you will encounter it during an interview. And while it may seem challenging to navigate, we have a few recommendations on how to handle it. Here is exactly how you should address COVID-19 in a job interview.
Focus on the Positives
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has created numerous challenges and obstacles both personally and professionally. However, a job interview is not the environment in which to dwell on the negatives. Of course, you can address any adverse effects such as losing your job, working under strenuous conditions, etc., but always aim to end with a positive outcome. Perhaps these problematic situations led you to reprioritize your career, achieve growth, or seek out new opportunities. With so much continued uncertainty, employers value team members who can maintain a positive outlook and flexibility.
Highlight Soft Skills
Speaking of flexibility, soft skills have become a hot-button topic since COVID-19 hit. Hiring Managers are seeking candidates that are flexible, effective communicators, team players, and self-motivated. Now more than ever, these capabilities have moved to the top of every company’s wish list. Be ready to highlight your soft skills and provide examples of when they assisted you in a work environment.
Ask About COVID-19 Policies
Every company in the world has been forced to completely overhaul policies due to the pandemic. Thus, it is essential that you understand how they handled it from the beginning. What safety precautions are in place if the position is in-office? Is job flexibility offered? Have their PTO policies evolved to accommodate time for mandated quarantines? While it can feel like you are putting the Hiring Manager on the spot, it’s important to understand their policies and if they align with what you are comfortable with.
COVID-19 has completely changed the workforce and hiring processes along with it. Use these guidelines to address COVID-19 in a job interview, and you’ll find that you’re much more comfortable broaching the subject with confidence.