The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, changing the way we work and live. It’s a constant feature on your newsfeeds and your mind. Although the virus is at the centre of nearly every conversation, it can be a touchy subject when it pops up during an interview. So, how should you handle the pandemic issue if it shows up in your next job interview?
Here are a few tips to help you handle it:
The impact of COVID-19 is pretty obvious: wreaking havoc on people’s health, jobs, businesses, finances, and their families. When it comes up in an interview, it’s important to tread carefully because you never know the extent of the virus’s impact on those you’re talking to in the interview room. While it can be tempting to get light-hearted about the matter, you will do well to follow the interviewer’s tone.
Keep politics out.
A job interview is much like a first date – you’re probably meeting the interviewers or interviewees for the first time and don’t know much about their religious and political inclinations. It’s no secret that coronavirus is surrounded by lots of politics and religion. People have different opinions on the government’s approach to the pandemic, vaccinations, and lockdowns. You would do well to refrain from making any political or ethical sentiments even if the other party makes some.
The company’s culture can help.
If the COVID-19 topic comes up, or the interviewer allows you to ask questions, ask how the company is handling the virus. For example, you may want to know if the company lets employees work from home, if staff keep in touch during any mandated lockdowns, or if the company offers any support for its employees. The way a company handles a pandemic will reveal so much about its culture.
It’s all well to be honest. You could be applying for this job because you were laid off due to the coronavirus, or you want to work closer to home. On the other hand, you may be looking for a company that allows you more flexibility. But you should resist sharing too much about your personal life because it may not resonate well with your prospective employer or interviewer.
Sharpen your small talk skills.
Whether you’re the interviewer or interviewee, make “small talk” part of your interview preparations, no matter how silly it may sound. You don’t want to say something you might regret in the interview. Be sure to practice small talk with your colleagues, friends, family members, or even a professional interview coach. A professional coach will do much more than just making you comfortable with small talk. They will teach you how to navigate sensitive topics, such as COVID-19, in the interview.
Recruitment Consultants can help
COVID-19 looks like it’s in no hurry to go away just yet, and is an inescapable part of our lives. If you’re preparing for an interview, whether as a candidate or HR professional, you need to learn how to broach sensitive matters to avoid creating the wrong impression. Being sensitive and mindful that as individuals we don’t all share the same opinions of the virus is imperative as we navigate interviews, onboarding, and general staff management practices.
At Majer, we specialise in permanent, temporary and contractor recruitment services across a range of industry sectors. Some sectors have been impacted more severely than other. Our professional and experienced recruitment consultants can help you navigate sensitive issues around the pandemic and work to help you find the perfect candidate for your next position. Contact us today for more information.