Should job seekers be asking potential employers new and different interview questions thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic? The answer is yes, and our experts have several questions for you to consider below.
In CDI’s continuous pursuit of new industry trends, we reached out to our expert member resume writers and career coaches and asked:
What new questions are you advising your job-seeking clients to ask at interviews thanks to the pandemic? Why? What advice do you give on these?
Here are the strategy they provided:
I have my clients ask about current pandemic protocols to ensure they would be comfortable with the situation should they be offered the job. I also have them ask, how the pandemic has impacted the business and what has been done to mitigate any business slowdown or deal with a higher demand (depending on the industry).
I might also have them ask about staffing. Is the company staffed at or close to 100% or if they’re struggling to get enough employees. This would be a red flag if the company is running short-staffed as it may be on new employees to pick up the slack by putting in extra hours.
It’s great to ask employers how they responded to the pandemic and if it was to happen again would they do anything differently. This will give job seekers some insight into their lessons learned and might highlight areas that will be a focus for them going forward.
An innovative work plan is similar to working a flexible schedule with/without a remote work option. It is important to find out if you are able to work remote in case a family member becomes sick with covid-19 or another illness. This is one way to relieve stress and anxiety from employees.
Safety measures are important for employees to know before accepting a position.
Is there a vaccination and/or mask requirement? How will I report symptoms if I become sick?
The care that an employer takes with their employees informs the client of the work culture. The answers to these questions will let you know if this is the right employer for you.
- “How do you help your employees balance work and family and how do you balance this? Please give me some examples.”
- “Is working remotely an option?”
If the answer is No, then at least the client knows and can decide if he/she wants to work for this company. If it’s an option later on, but not now, I would advise my client to negotiate it when she receives an offer and to be sure to get it in writing.
- What are health and safety policies at work? – For your safety and all of your future colleagues.
- What happen if one of your employee gets Covid19? – Just a policy to be advised of since they can ask you to quarantine or/and remote work.
- What is the sick leave policy? Make sure to be well informed because it can impact your salary.
- Is there a Covid Manager in your organization?
For example: how did your business change when the pandemic started, how did you respond to these changes and how did you keep employees safe?
Employers who handled the situation well will be eager to answer these questions.
Going Forward With Interview Questions Job Seekers Should Ask Employers in the COVID Era
Following quarantine, job satisfaction and career happiness have become more important than ever to job seekers. The advice we are seeing from our expert member career coaches and resume writers clearly shows that when you are given the chance to ask questions that it is critical to focus them on exploring how critical it is to ask questions around COVID, their policies and their responses.
Do remember when interviewing that you should focus your questions around showing interest in the company and demonstrating your fit. It’s crucial to balance out questions that let you understand the landscape and culture, but you should also do your homework! You never want to be asking only questions that seem to directly serve your bottom line (like salary). Instead, your questions should be thoughtful and specific to the company and position.
Here are some sample questions excerpted from CDI’s Certified Employment Interview Consultant course:
- Could you describe a typical day in this position?
- What traits are you looking for in the ideal candidate for the position?
- What skills will be most important in this position?
- What do you expect from a new employee during the probationary period?
- What type of training can I expect in the first 30 days?
- Is this a new position? If not, was the person before me promoted?
- To whom would I be reporting?
- Are there any major changes coming internally that I should know about?
- Where do you see this division / company in the next five years?
- Why did you (the interviewer) select to work at this company?
- Is it possible that I might see a copy of the job description?
- Will it be possible to meet with any co-workers before starting the position?
- What type of attire is worn – do you wear uniforms? If so, will one be supplied or will I need to purchase it?
- What can I do to demonstrate to you that I can perform the job?
Additional Lessons from the Pandemic Posts
Watch for a new post each week.