132: How to Answer Interview Questions Related to COVID and Quarantine
How to Answer Interview Questions Related to COVID and Quarantine
Let me start by being clear: I am not speaking about having COVID19. I am speaking to those of you who will be interviewing for jobs, where questions about why you were let go during COVID, or how you spent your time during COVID, might well be asked.
Let’s start with those of you who lost your job because of COVID.
You have a pass.
The biggest message I want to convey here is that no one will question why you were terminated this year – you are one member of a very large club.
On a micro level, you might need to provide some color about your specific organization.
In this case, keep it positive and generic. Here are a couple of possibilities:
“My company was struggling financially before COVID hit, and the owners decided to close the company down as of April 1st.”
(Although this one discloses “struggling financially,” it doesn’t put blame on an individual for that struggle or criticize the company for its struggles.)
“My company was in the hospitality industry, and so was very hard hit. They were able to reopen as of May 1st, but at 25% of their previous staffing levels.”
“My previous employer managed to stay open during COVID as an essential service, but business still dropped 50%. As one of the newest employees, I was one of the first let go.”
Now, let’s strategize on some of the interview questions I can see coming as a result of COVID.
How did you spend your time in quarantine?
This question speaks to your self-motivation, time management, goal-setting, and initiative.
What did you learn about yourself while in quarantine?
This question speaks to your ability to self-reflect and evolve.
What changes did you make during quarantine?
Depending on the changes you made, this question could speak to any number of things.
What goal did you set for yourself during quarantine, and did you achieve that goal?
I love goal-setting questions, and this is a great time to ask this question.
How did you handle being in quarantine?
This is a mindset question. Be honest, but if you struggled, be sure to talk about what you learned from that struggle.
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