Job interviews in times of crisis: 6 questions we can be asked

Job interviews in times of crisis: 6 questions we can be asked

You picked up an interview ? Congratulations ! This is still very good news, but it is even more true in the current context. And preparing for it can also be a bit trickier than usual.

And given the context, impossible to ignore the pandemic that plagues the world. Not to mention that, with some exceptions, your interview will be held at a distance, and that if you are hired, your first days of work will not take place in the offices of the company but at home in telecommuting.

Before you make sure you’ve put on your pants and your background is on Zoom is fairly professional (we forget the one where you seem to be at the water’s edge, under the coconut trees), you will need to be able to answer questions of a new kind. But which ones? To find out, we turned to Alex Jonsson, relationship manager at BrighterBox, a recruiting agency, and Julie Olivieri, talent acquisition at Dataiku.

1. « How do you feel ? »

While it is common to start an interview on an informal note to break the ice, the usual courtesies can today take on a special meaning …

When asking candidates how they are doing, Julie Olivieri tries to take the temperature for the upcoming interview. The answers of some may betray difficulties associated with the current situation, where others seem to take the question much more lightly. Either way, there is no shame in admitting that the Covid-19 crisis is affecting you in one way or another. ” The worst would be for the candidates to appear totally disconnected from the situation, says Julie Olivieri. Everyone is more or less shaken by what is happening. We recruiters can understand this. What matters is that candidates can show that they have understood the situation and are adapting to it. We must not bring out the responses we had prepared before the pandemic, as if everything was going well and we were still in the office. »

2. « And how is your work-life balance right now? »

If you have been in office since the onset of the health crisis, have managed to find a pro-personal balance reflects your ability to be organized, motivated and manage your timetable independently. In the short term, teleworking will remain a reality for many of us. As a result, certain qualities, such as autonomy, productivity and organization, will be more sought after by employers, believes Alex Jonsson. ” The company needs to know that you are able to work on your own, very independently, even when there is no team around you in a real office. »

That doesn’t mean you have to be a calendar and schedule freak though! On the other hand, it is always good, and this even if you do not currently have a job, to show that you have relatively rhythmic days, focused on a certain productivity and your good physical health.

“The business needs to know that you are able to work on your own, very independently, even when there is no team around you in a real office” Alex Jonsson, Account Manager at BrighterBox

3. « Have you learned any new skills in the past few months? »

For Julie Olivieri, candidates including motivation has somewhat disappeared or who have not found the time to train during the first confinement, are not crippling in the eyes of recruiters. ” I expect them to be honest and to have taken recoil : What have they, in this case, learned about them during this period of health crisis? »

Don’t feel like you have to conjure up a productivity marathon during the first lockdown if you haven’t. Of course, the recruiter will want to know if you’ve added any new strings to your bow, but talking about passions that you have developed or the lessons that you have learned from this episode on a personal basis also helps to give it an idea of ​​your personality. ” Learning things about yourself is, for example, discovering a new skill or the ability to take a step back. Not necessarily from a professional point of view, it can also be personal », Continues Julie Olivieri.

But what if you don’t think you’ve learned anything in the past few months? Julie Olivieri insists: even having tested a new recipe, that counts! ” We all discovered new culinary talents, right? (laughs) »

4. « What does your workspace look like at home? »

It is legitimate for a potential employer to ask you about your working environment home. ” In particular to ensure that you have a computer, Internet access, a mobile or landline phone and a correct network », Explains Alex Jonsson.

A recruiter needs to know that you have the equipment you need to run your future job well. Employers are aware, however, that few people have a work space that truly lives up to the name. During the interview, do not hide any difficulties you have encountered in telecommute. But talk about how you got around them or got around them. ” This is a good question to ask as a recruiter, since it also allows us to gauge the creativity of candidates in their way of handling the current situation. Adds Alex Jonsson.

5. « We’re all on Slack. You master ? »

If your interview is being done on a platform that you do not know, consider doing a test beforehand so as not to be caught off guard on the big day. But, it is also useful to be aware of the main digital communication tools. used by businesses.

Note that it is possible to download and try Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom for free. ” We strongly encourage our candidates to show organization and familiarize themselves with the technologies they will have to use on a daily basis., says Alex Jonsson. They had already become the norm in many companies. The pandemic has only accelerated the movement. It is in the best interests of unfamiliar candidates to rectify matters as soon as possible. »

6. « Do you have any questions ? »

Alex Jonsson recalls that before the first confinement, the candidates ” went into the company, met a few team members, and got all the background information about the job before they got a job offer and made up their minds. Currently, everything is done remotely so this information goes by the wayside. Candidates who have successfully landed an interview ultimately have only limited insight into the company they applied to. »

In order not to be completely affected by the situation, do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions during the interview. We thus obtain insights into the internal functioning, company culture, the working methods with the different teams and collaborators. Start by learning about onboarding, training, daily tasks and communication methods. Also remember to ask questions about your potential colleagues and your hierarchy to know, for example, to whom you should report for your work or to whom you can seek answers.

But nothing prevents you from orienting the exchange towards a slightly more informal approach. ” Why not ask if it would be possible to organize a virtual lunch with his future team, to learn a little more about his potential colleagues – perhaps not so much professionally but in an informal, more relaxed way? Suggests Alex Jonsson. Or to find out if individual exchanges are possible as part of the recruitment process?

Businesses should be sympathetic to such requests. This is the case with Dataiku, confirms Julie Olivieri. ” It seems really important to me that candidates can meet more collaborators, especially at this time. So if we need to add a few more steps to the recruiting process to meet their expectations and give them all the keys to making their choice, we do it. “She continues:” It is not only the candidate’s responsibility to adapt to the recruiter: the latter must understand that the recruiting context is different today. »

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