COVID-19 Career Help: How are you handling the pandemic?

Whether it is an icebreaker or a job-related question, an interview panel might ask you about how you are handling the pandemic. Such a question could be about changes in work practices, as well as about the impact of emotional and interpersonal changes.

Consider what this question could be about. It may not be so much about your compliance with shut-down rules, such as hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing. Rather, it may be more about your handling change and stress, your adaptability and resilience, and your management and leadership skills.

In preparing how you respond to this question, consider these 12 questions.

  1. Were you responsible for working out how your team would work during the shut-down?
  2. Were you working from home 100% or partially?
  3. Were you familiar with the technology used to stay in touch?
  4. Did you have to learn new skills in order to work from home?
  5. Did you help others to adapt to the new working arrangements?
  6. What problems arose and how did you respond?
  7. Were there any problems you anticipated and averted?
  8. How did you handle challenges impacting your family, such as home-schooling and travel restrictions?
  9. What did you do to stay focused and complete work requirements while balancing challenges?
  10. As a manager, what did you do to ensure that staff stayed in touch, were coping, and were able to complete their workload?
  11. What leadership did you provide in terms of modelling behaviours and providing a reason or vision to keep going?
  12. What did you learn from this experience?
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.