4 Pandemic Interview Questions to Add to Your List

June 3, 2020 | 315 views

4 Pandemic Interview Questions to Add to Your List
4 Pandemic Interview Questions to Add to Your List

I have been fortunate enough to continue in my role with ScheduleBase during this pandemic. It unexpectedly included a sudden, and unexpected, double role with a sister company. When you add all the issues that we’ve had to deal with lately, I realized how much I had to flex in order to succeed. Every workday is now different and, yet, the need to provide amazing service to our customers is unchanged.

However, I have changed. Nearly every day, I recognize a new skill or ability that helps keep our business moving forward (and keeps me sane). From resilience to new technical skills, I realized that there are also characteristics of employees that I have come to value more. Because of that, I’ve added a few questions that we’ll be using as we hire new employees. 

These pandemic-related questions offer a different glimpse into how a prospective hire will perform:

Are you willing to be back in an office? Well, this is new, eh? Before, we were wondering if people could handle remote accountability and self-direction. Now, many may not be willing to go back to the “good ol’ days” around the water cooler. Who knows what the office will look like in six months or a year? Confirming an employee’s flexibility now will save us from headaches later.

What personal insights did you discover during the pandemic? The answer to this is probably not as important as the act of being introspective. Whether we’ve had enormous amounts of free time or were swamped at all hours of the day, most of us did some soul-searching. I’m interested in hearing what a person discovered, but mostly want to know that they had the mindfulness to consider how they were changing.

How did you schedule your days? We might discover the 24/7 workaholic without boundaries, or we will hear about a better work-life balance than we ourselves could ever achieve. Discipline (or lack of it) might become very evident. Some need schedules made for them, and others are self-starters with little need for supervision. We can learn a lot about how people used their time.

What new things did you learn? The answer to this might be as straightforward as a new software program or a bread recipe. But self-improvement is a wonderful characteristic of an employee. Expanding knowledge and the willingness to do it without anyone’s expectation demonstrates a learner’s mentality. I would think such people will be easily trainable and hungry to learn and apply new skills.

It will be a long time before we understand the nuances of how shelter at home orders change our pool of job prospects. The answers to these few pandemic-related interview questions will expand our understanding of how resilient and purposeful people were in a unique pandemic environment. It is an opportunity to evaluate different personality characteristics in future interviews.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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