To the college students who graduated this month from the biggest universities, a huge congratulations!
Sadly, the celebration will be brief — as if finishing college while on lockdown wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, new graduates must grapple with searching for a job while stuck at home.
Most employers would have switched their expectations by now, so you need to adapt. Here’s how the interview may have changed due to the pandemic, and how you can find your footing.
“How have you been spending your time in lockdown?
To this, any new graduates can easily respond with: “I was completing requirements so I could graduate.”
However, the question may also be concerned with how you’ve been honing your abilities since going into lockdown. Given the liberty of time, employers might be examining what you’ve been doing to better yourself; have you been reading, doing chores, working out, or just scrolling through your social media feed all day?
“What have you been doing to cope with the pandemic?”
This sounds oddly similar to the first question, but employers ask this to gauge your emotional intelligence and resilience too.
You may have been volunteering to keep yourself busy, or meditating at home to keep yourself centered — whatever your coping mechanism is, just answer as truthfully as possible. After all, the pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives, so there shouldn’t be any wrong answers to this.
“How do you perform your tasks at home?”
This question tackles two things: what your work-at-home setup is like, and what, if any, are the daily distractions that might keep you from working efficiently.
For this, you might have to share a few information, such as your average internet speed, your work device’s capacity for heavy-duty work, and the time of the day when you would accomplish the most tasks.
“How will life change once the quarantine is over?
If you want a lasting job, then you have to consider how a transition might work out in the future, based on however the global situation develops.
Ask yourself these: once things let up, would you be amenable to return to an office set-up, or would you be firmly settled with working from home regardless? Would things like transportation and scaling be an issue then? Trust us, it’s better to consider these now rather than later.
For new graduates, one sound advice is to start applying for jobs as soon as you can. The faster you can go through interviews, the sooner you can land a job and secure your future despite our current situation.