If you google “questions asked in an interview,” you’ll get thousands of articles and blogs featuring the 10, 25, or 50 most common interview questions and how to answer them. For years, interviewers have remained relatively consistent with questions like: Tell me about yourself? What is your greatest strength/weakness? Why are you the best person for this job? You get the point.
But a global pandemic has made nearly everything, including interview questions, a little less, well, ordinary. As you prepare for your next interview, take some time to consider how COVID has impacted your life, work, and routine. Doing this will help you answer the question we know you’ll get asked:
What did you do during COVID to improve yourself or others?
Here are some ideas to get you thinking. Did you…
→ Start a virtual book club or meet-up?
→ Take an online course or training?
→ Find a mentor or become a mentor?
→ Learn a new hobby?
→ Commit to a new exercise program?
→ Volunteer with a local organization?
→ Expand your knowledge in your industry through books, blogs, or podcasts?
These are all great starting points, but rather than simply telling your interviewer you did this or that, SHOW them.
So, you learned to make homemade sourdough bread? Take the time to develop an engaging story behind the making of the bread. Talk about how you failed multiple times before reaching out to a community of sourdough bread enthusiasts to find a solution. With patience, you ended up making delicious bread that you gave away to a different neighbor each week. And now you have a whole new group of neighbor-friends who get together monthly to bake bread for a local charity.
Maybe this story is a little idealistic, but you get the point. Your prospective employer is looking for someone with ambition, determination, and discipline. They love a candidate who pursues personal and career growth, compassion, and giving back to the community.
Even if you’ve been unemployed for some time or are interviewing for an entry-level or temporary job, there are still ways you’ve been able to improve your life or the lives of others through COVID. Whether you took a course on time management, read a book that changed your life, or organized a monthly virtual game night with friends, you will set yourself apart from the competition if you share your story in a compelling way.
Reflect on this today! You may be surprised by how much passion, growth, and humanity are hidden in the things you’ve done and the choices you’ve made.
And just another little piece of advice – stay positive and stay focused during your interview. COVID may have ignited a fire within you when it comes to social or political issues. An interview is not the time to talk about it. It’s okay to be passionate about what you believe, but bringing it up in an interview could hurt your chances of getting hired. Keep the conversation focused on your skills, personality, and experience. Now go out there and shine!
If you’re looking for a job, send us your resume now! We can help!