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How To Address COVID-19 In A Job Interview

How To Address COVID-19 In A Job Interview

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.

How To Address A Layoff Throughout Your Job Search

How To Address A Layoff Throughout Your Job Search

Unfortunately, layoffs have been an all-too-common occurrence recently. As companies try to adjust to a volatile market and ever-changing circumstances, millions of people are suddenly without a job. As you jump back into the job seeker pool, it can be uncomfortable to discuss your layoff. Keep reading for some tips on navigating a layoff, and even making it work in your favor when taking the next step in your career.

Leave On A Positive Note

Your job search starts the moment you receive notice of being laid off. As unfortunate of a situation as it is, handling it gracefully at the moment can pay off in spades. Leaving on a positive note opens the door for a favorable recommendation and the ability for a future employer to confirm that you were indeed laid off rather than fired. So, keep an upbeat attitude and vow to continue a business relationship with your peers and leaders. 

Note It In Your Job Application Materials

Every piece of material you submit should note your layoff. You can include it in your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and actual application. Keep the mention of it brief and as simple as possible. Seeing it in your materials explains a short stint of employment and gives the hiring manager context surrounding your past employment. Additionally, it will likely spark further conversation during an interview.

Briefly Discuss It During Your Interview

“Why did you leave your last position?” is an extremely common interview question. Knowing that it will probably be addressed allows you to prepare ahead of time. Write a quick pitch explaining the layoff. Most importantly, keep it simple. Your interviewer doesn’t need to know the details, only that you were laid off, when, and why. Leave any personal feelings out of it! Then, you can pivot into your future career.

Use It As An Opportunity

While it’s easy to get bogged down in the negative details of being laid off, there can actually be plus sides! Craft your narrative to explain what you’ve been doing since your last position to further your career. Maybe you’ve taken an online course, attended a training, freelanced, volunteered, or even took the time to refresh and redefine your career goals. Employers love to see a candidate that makes lemonade out of lemons!

Need more job search tips?

Addressing a layoff is only one piece of the job search puzzle. If you are looking for more helpful job search resources, we have you covered. Johnson Service Group has hundreds of useful tips and tricks to help you take the next step in your career. Check out our candidate resources today and rise above the competition!

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

There’s no doubt that today’s job market is volatile. No one knows what to expect from day to day. And while that may be intimidating, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get hired. It does, however, require a bit of creativity when it comes to your job search. Follow our tips below, and you’ll be well on your way to your next position.

Give Your Resume A Major Boost

As employers start to reopen their doors to hiring, they will be on the lookout for self-starters. While millions of people were put in the same position during the economic shutdown, those who continued to work on their professional development will shine brighter than the rest. Take advantage of free online courses like the ones offered by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Github.

Prepare To Pivot

The Coronavirus pandemic has permanently altered the way our world goes to work. Millions of jobs have been streamlined, and some won’t return at all. This means you may need to pivot your career path and try something completely different. The good news is that some industries are absolutely booming and are on the hunt for new employees. Explore LinkedIn’s Economic Graph for up to date data on which companies are hiring, the most in-demand job titles, and essential skills.

Put Yourself Out There

We have seen an extremely high number of people gaining employment from a simple post on social media. During challenging economic times, it’s incredible how people band together to lift one another up. Additionally, there are thousands of recruiters combing LinkedIn looking for qualified candidates. Chances are, you’ll be able to make a connection just from putting yourself out there. And the more connections you have, the more exposure you’ll have to opportunities.

Keep An Open Mind

The best thing you can do during uncertain times is to keep an open mind! Nothing is as we imagined it would be right now, and that’s okay. In the meantime, consider doing something totally out of your comfort zone to bring in income. Put your professional skills to use by freelancing. Squeeze your creative juices by opening an Etsy shop to make your favorite hobby profitable. Apply for a contract position to “test-drive” a new role before you dive in full time.

Can’t get enough job search tips? Check out more job search tips below!

Video: How to get a job in today’s job market