Seven pandemic questions you should now expect to be asked in a job interview

Expect to be asked about your working from home setup (Picture: Getty Images/

With the Great Resignation in full swing, more and more of us will be prepping for big job interviews in 2022.

You might already feel a bit out of practice, but it turns out there have been some changes to the ‘getting a job’ process in the past couple of years.

Along with employers struggling to lure in and retain talent, increased offers of flexible working, and changes to work perks, job site Indeed reports that some pandemic-era questions have been added to companies’ interview plans.

So along with the usual ‘what’s your biggest weakness?’ and ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’, you’ll now need to be prepared to answer questions such as ‘what’s your WFH setup like?’.

Indeed asked a bunch of recruiting bosses to share the interview questions they ask now, in a Covid world, that they didn’t before.

Here were some common queries:

  1. Have you been vaccinated?
  2. What type of flexible/hybrid working are you seeking?
  3. How many days would you like to work from home?
  4. How would you feel about not having day to day, face to face contact with colleagues?
  5. Are you comfortable with your home working set-up?
  6. What have been your experiences of the pandemic?
  7. How has Covid-19 affected you?

A heads up on that first question – employers are indeed allowed to ask you about your vaccination status, but as it’s sensitive personal health data, they will need to comply with data protection laws.

The key to answering all these questions is honesty, along with drawing on your experiences over the last two years to showcase your adaptability.

For example, if you organised some Zoom socials with your colleagues to tackle isolation, mention that. The same goes for if you were able to adapt to new systems for remote working, or if you discovered the importance of setting boundaries between work and rest.

You’ll want to chat about flexible working arrangements (Picture: Getty Images)

It’s worth having a look through the questions above and planning some bullet point answers for each. You don’t need to learn a script off by heart, but preparing a little beforehand will make sure you’re not caught off guard.

Mikaela Elliott, senior manager of employer insights at Indeed, says: ‘One of the most common fears jobseekers have when they approach a job interview is that they will be asked something they are not expecting or have not prepared for.

‘But with the pandemic bringing about huge changes to the way we work and upending expectations around work and especially remote and flexible working, interviewers are often asking several Covid-era questions that candidates should take the time to prepare for.

‘If you are not asked about flexible working during the interview, but it is something that is important to you, you can ask your interviewer about how the company prioritises work-life balance and whether it has any flexible working arrangements. This will help you decide whether the company is a good match for you.

‘While employers are asking many new questions, some old favourites will never go out of fashion.

‘Common questions you can prepare for in advance include why you want to work at the company, your goals for the future and salary expectations.’

Indeed’s top tips for nailing an interview:

  1. Research the company – Make sure you also research the company beforehand to learn about its mission, values and industry-related news. This will help to inform some of your answers about why you are a good candidate for the job and how your skills match the role.
  2. Prepare answers – As with every job interview, preparation is key. It’s wise to plan answers to the most common interview questions, such as ‘Would you mind telling me about your career so far?’ and ‘What have been some of your recent successes?’ as well as ‘How have you managed throughout the pandemic?’
  3. Ask questions – Interviews should be a two-way street, and employers often look favourably on candidates who ask well-informed questions – as they can demonstrate a genuine interest in the job as well as industry knowledge. It’s also the perfect opportunity to see if the role lives up to your expectations.
  4. Be authentic – Although preparation and practice can help you succeed in an interview, do be your authentic self. As well as your professional achievements interviewers also want to know more about you, your motivations and the type of person you are. Being authentic during an interview also helps gauge whether the company is right for you.
  5. Check the tech – With many interviews taking place virtually it’s important to check that your equipment is working as it should and that you have all the necessary web links to start the conversation. Be sure to set yourself up in a quiet and comfortable space with your research notes close by.
  6. Close strongly – A good interview should not simply wind down towards the end and one good idea is to end the discussion with a strong open ended question. For example, asking an employer ‘Is there an area you would like me to expand upon’/ or ‘Do you have any concerns about my suitability?’ gives you a good opportunity to leave a lasting impression as well as to clear up any uncertainties.

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