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5 Interview Questions Every Job Seeker Should Ask in a Post-Pandemic World

April 14, 2020

Blog — 5 Interview Questions Every Job Seeker Should Ask in a Post-Pandemic World

4 min read

Chi-Chi Egbo

Manager of Career Services

Juno College

Every day we’re all seeing more about how COVID-19 is changing the world of work. Everything from collaborating across teams, to managing meaningful relationships with colleagues and customers has been affected. Though the experience of working from home is different for everyone, it’s clear that the unprecedented situation we are in will not only affect our day-to-day work, but will have a long term impact on the future of work.

At Juno, setting our graduates up for success in the job market is our top priority, from providing tailored job search prep, to mock interviews, to assisting with final salary negotiations. Our Career Services Team recently shared tips on how to job search in today’s precarious climate.

But what about job searching in a post COVID-19 world? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’re seeking a job in the tech industry or elsewhere, here are 5 key questions that you should ask during a job interview when the pandemic ends.

How is the company doing financially?

This is a big one, and here’s why: one of the many devastating impacts of COVID-19 has been the layoffs. While the tech industry remains hopeful as many companies like Juno are able to operate and offer their services remotely, financial precarity is still inevitable for some.

Job security is closely linked to a company's ability to manage money responsibly and spend profits wisely. Hiring Managers will need to get comfortable with financial health transparency in job interviews. Candidates will begin to care less about daily catered lunches and fancy company retreats if those expenses put their jobs on the line. While this question may seem bold to ask, it is very reasonable given the circumstances of a post-COVID-19 world, and will give you an idea of how transparent a company is with their employees.

How does senior leadership demonstrate flexibility and adaptability?

Companies are well accustomed to asking interview questions to gauge a candidate’s ability to be adaptable at work. But, when the pandemic subsides, this question will become equally, if not more important for you to ask in interviews! It is in moments of crisis where rapid innovation and decisive decision-making become a company’s fuel. While you should definitely still come prepared with your own stories that showcase your flexibility and adaptability, pay close attention to the examples that Hiring Managers provide of their leaders’ performances in tough times.

Bonus points go to companies that can demonstrate they practice flexibility and adaptability regularly, and not only in difficult circumstances! In fact, one of Juno’s core values is that we’re flexible and thrive in ambiguity - we strongly believe this comes hand-in-hand with being dedicated to bringing innovation and change to the tech industry. While we know where we’re headed over the long term, we also know that the path there has lots of twists and turns, and our team doesn’t mind the ambiguity - in fact, we thrive in it!

How is work done?

This question is broad for a reason. If we look past the daily struggle of “your video is still on mute!” during Zoom calls, less-than-ideal work spaces at home that we had to whip together, and the incredible folks who juggle parenting in between (and often during) meetings, we learned that most of our work could be done out of the office. Right now, though we did not choose to work from home every day, when we eventually come out of the other side of this companies will have to make a choice. Leaders will have to decide which remote work pandemic measures will be around for the long haul, and which will become a thing of the past.

Of course, we won’t be expecting companies to be fully remote for many reasons, one of them being that many of us do enjoy our time in the office! However, we recommend paying closer attention in job interviews to mentions of virtual collaboration tools, clear remote work policy, and flexible work arrangements made available to employees.

How did your company weather COVID-19?

When asking this question, look out for transparency, action, and realistic optimism in Hiring Managers’ answers. Companies that own their COVID-19 narrative will be most successful in attracting, hiring, and retaining employees. For interviewers, finding the balance of addressing layoffs and sales losses, with highlighting new learnings, improvements, and wins (no matter how small) is key. Companies will ideally have business recovery plans in place, allowing Hiring Managers to share company focus and strategy in interviews.

The pandemic has also placed what is most important to us at the forefront: candidates will be tapped into their personal and professional values more than ever, and will look for companies that care. From mental health resources, to culture drivers, to community support, Hiring Managers will need to identify if and where their company values showed up in their actions.

How does the company promote cleanliness in the workplace?

Before COVID-19, asking a question about cleanliness at work might have seemed out of place! But here we are — living in a world where singing “Happy Birthday” reminds us how to properly wash our hands, and Lysol wipes are the new golden ticket. Companies that outwardly promote handwashing, using sick days, workstation tidiness, and how often the office is professionally cleaned will get bonus points too! It’s important to remember that even when most companies return to working in-office, COVID-19 will likely still be an issue, just a less dire one. Knowing what precautions your company is taking to keep you safe is vital.

While these questions may seem small, and sometimes a little strange, they will have a big impact on your decisions. Asking questions at your interview not only shows your own enthusiasm and interest in a company, but helps you find out how your possible employer approaches topics and values that are important to you.

Still need to spruce up your resume before your job search?

Check out our downloadable Resume Checklist written by our Career Success Specialists! This simple checklist will help ensure you’re hitting the mark and making your resume stand out from the rest.

Download Resume Checklist

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