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Pandemic Interview Questions? Yes, Be Prepared.



Previous Interview Advice

Revision Resume has published blogs providing job seekers advice on interviewing successfully. Our main message has always been to be prepared.

  • Plan ahead to make sure you are ready to start the interview on time.

  • Practice classic interview questions so you have an idea of what your answers will be.

  • Research the company so you have questions to ask the interviewer.

  • Review your resume so you are ready to provide detailed answers to specific questions.

Post-Pandemic Interview Advice

Now there is a new pandemic interview question we suggest you be prepared to answer at your upcoming interview. It can be worded multiple ways:

  • Describe your personal growth during the pandemic.

  • Did you pursue any new passions during 2020?

  • How have you developed personally as a result of the pandemic?

  • Did you gain any new skills or knowledge as a result of COVID-19?

The main theme is asking what you did with your time during the pandemic. How did you grow and change as a result of COVID-19?


At Revision Resume, we recognize that COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways. Some were devastated by the passing of loved ones. Others struggled with job loss. Many suddenly had kids at home that needed care so balancing work was difficult. A considerable number of people were very anxious that they or a loved one would contact COVID-19. You may not really have had the time or energy to pursue a new passion or develop new skills, and truth be told, there has been some criticism of employers posing this question. Yet, we recommend being prepared to face the question if it is asked in your interview.


Prepare an Answer Prior to Your Interview

Take some time now, before the interview, to think through a way you can honestly answer this query. Some potential options to contemplate are:

  • Did helping your children with online school increase your computer skills? Did it help you learn how to better manage your time?

  • Did you find a way to decompress that you hadn't previously enjoyed (jogging, baking, knitting, gardening, etc.)?

  • Did you start a new hobby or take an online class?

  • Did you enjoy the extra time home as a family?

  • Did you find that you enjoyed working remotely?

  • Did you find ways to overcome productivity challenges when working remotely?

  • Did you read any books?

  • Did you learn about your own resiliency by dealing with challenging experiences?


Why Are They Asking?

Keep in mind that by asking these questions, an employer is looking to see if you are resilient, creative, a problem solver, and able to handle challenges. They want to see if you are able to adapt when things get tough. Companies want to gauge your adversity quotient (AQ), as that is increasingly considered more important than IQ. Craft your answer to demonstrate these skills, if possible. It is OK to express that you struggled during the pandemic, but try to show that you overcame the adversity you faced.


Questions You Can Ask Them

If the interviewer asks you about how you adapted during the pandemic, it is fair for you to ask the same about the company. Some questions to consider include:

  • How did the pandemic affect the business?

  • How did the team respond to working remotely?

  • How do team members communicate when working remotely?

  • What safety measures does the business currently have in place?

  • Do you foresee a return to the office or continued remote work?

  • What were the priorities of the company in 2020? How about 2021?

  • Does the pandemic change the company culture, goals or structure?


While it may be difficult to face pandemic questions at an interview, being prepared will help you handle any that come your way. Thinking it through ahead of time often allows you to find a way to honestly answer the question in a way that shows you in a positive light. If you do end up with an unexpected question, feel free to ask for a minute to think it through before answering.


For assistance with your career documentation, reach out to Revision Resume! We are happy to help you achieve the career of your dreams!


Related Reading:

Five Common Interview Errors

5 Tips for How to Prepare for an Interview

Have you Heard of AQ? In Post-Pandemic Hiring, AQ may be More Important than IQ!


Looking for additional Interview tips? Click here.


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