If you are job-hunting, know that the selection procedure has changed completely. The process will be mainly digital, and the questions recruiters ask have evolved since Covid-19 entered the scene. We have listed some frequently asked questions.
Is working from home a requirement?
In recent months, many employees have become used to working from home. Recruiters will want to know if working from home is a requirement for you and, if so, to what extent. If you and the employer are not a match in that respect, it is better to find out quickly. But don’t take too firm a stand. Find out what the possibilities are, both in terms of working from home and flexible working, such as flexible working hours. Only then should you decide whether you are happy with the overall package.
How do you deal with structural and long-term homeworking?
Recruiters are keeping in mind that the coronavirus crisis may last for some time. Consequently, companies will continue to need employees who can organise their homeworking independently. You may be asked questions about this. Perhaps working from home for long periods is not a problem for you, as long as you can keep in touch with your team. Indeed, by staying in touch, you can do your job properly and bond with your colleagues. On the other hand, if you don’t like the idea of long-term working from home, you should be honest about this and discuss the possibilities for alternating homeworking with office-based working with the recruiter. That way, you show your willingness to cooperate.
Are you prepared to commute further in the case of structural homeworking?
People who occasionally work from home may be prepared to commute greater distances on days when they do have to go to work. An employer may find this interesting, for example if the company has several branches. This allows them to flexibly deploy talent in different locations. Carefully consider your response, as it may affect your work-life balance. Do ask further questions, like “Is the location easily accessible by public transport?” or “What about traffic jams on the road there?” or “How many days per week or month are we talking about?” to be able to make an informed decision.
How is your adaptability or AQ?
Nowadays, a candidate’s adaptability or AQ is more important than their IQ or EQ. After all, many companies had to deal with continuous change and rapid adjustments in the past year. Employees who know how to adapt quickly now have a competitive advantage. You may be asked questions that test your adaptability, including ‘what if’ questions. Prepare by reflecting on past experiences in which you showed great adaptability. That will help you quickly bring these situations up during your interview.
Have you discovered any best practices because of Covid-19?
The pandemic introduced a whole new way of working. Recruiters will want to know how you dealt with that change. Perhaps you set up a webshop for your current employer, supervised remote working or took initiatives to encourage bonding between colleagues. Make sure to mention this during the interview, and be as specific as possible about your duties and responsibilities.
Has the contact with your supervisor increased or decreased?
How do you feel about that? Since the starts of the coronavirus crisis, employees have had to demonstrate a great deal of independence. In many cases, contact with supervisors was limited to the odd online conversation. The way a candidate coped with that change can say a lot about their personality and way of working, which is why recruiters will ask about your experiences. If you require control and strong guidance, tell recruiters how you are working on this and how you may already have evolved in this area.
How has the pandemic changed your job search?
The pandemic made many people reflect on their career and ask themselves questions. “Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?” “Should I not be looking for something with more social impact?” “Isn’t it time for a job with a better work-life balance?” These days, people consciously seek out a job that is tailored to them. More so than in the past, recruiters will want to hear why you are applying for this particular job. Be sure to have a great answer prepared, to show you’ve thought your actions through. If you researched the company or the type of job you applied for, this is the time to subtly mention it.
Have you become more or less flexible towards your job?
If you lost your job because of the coronavirus crisis, you might have become more flexible about a new job, for example in terms of salary or commuting distance. After all, your objective will be to get back to work as soon as possible. But recruiters are wary of this, because there is a risk you may regret your choice in the long run. That is why you should avoid saying that you’re making concessions simply because you are out of work. Instead, explain you’re so interested in the job that you won’t mind the extra commute. If you’ve become less flexible because you really want to find your dream job, make sure to explain precisely what you are seeking. This allows the recruiter to check whether there is in fact a match.
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