Looking for a job is a stressful, laborious and emotionally draining process. Even during normal times, it is not something most people enter into joyously. Possibly the most stressful part of the whole ordeal can be the interview.
A job interview can feel like we are on trial on who we are and what we are worth. In effect, we are being judged — on our appearance, on our ability to communicate and on our experiences. This entire process is distilled into a one-hour meeting.
But there is reason take heart. Searching for a job can actually be liberating. It can instill in us a sense of control. And, it can open us up to new, exciting opportunities.
Still, there is that whole interview thing.
The best way to steel yourself for any interview is to be prepared. Do your research on the company and, if possible, the interviewer. Calm yourself with the thought that you wouldn’t be here in the first place if they didn’t see value in you. Develop answers for the questions you know they’ll ask.
That’s where things have changed.
Most interviews are now conducted virtually. More importantly, the work environment has changed in so many ways that it can affect what employers are looking for. Here are some questions that likely will arise today that you would not have prepped for six months ago:
- Have you worked remotely? If so, how did you adapt to it? Be specific in how you created a productive environment inside your home. Do not give specific details on your home life like kids, pets, roommates, etc. If you do have experience in working remotely, be sure to add that to your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
- What aspects of remote work do you enjoy and dislike? Your prospective employer is looking to see which environment best suits you — in-office or at home. This might be a good time to inquire if the position is permanently remote or will change in the future.
- How do you organize your work-from-home day? Again, be specific. As a potential new employee, it is important to show that you are self-motivated and can operate efficiently (and productively) in a remote environment.
- In what ways would you communicate with your managers and co-workers? Come armed with concrete examples of how you handled inter-office communications with peers and supervisors. You do not know your potential boss’ communication style, so show your flexibility.
- How do you handle technical issues? Your computer glitches, the wi-fi conks out or your phone dies. Stuff happens. Do you panic or adapt?
- How have you handled the stress of COVID-19? Don’t side-step this one. We are all experiencing added stress. What is your outlook? Do you take walks, meditate or connect with friends? This is one way an employer will evaluate how you handle stressful situations as they arise in your new job.
- Would you be willing to work in the office again when/if that occurs? This is a personal decision but don’t be afraid to turn this question around. You need to know if the job is permanently or temporarily remote.
Hopefully, this helps orient your approach to the next interview. If you need more help preparing for your virtual interview, contact your local Goodwill and speak to a career coach.