With an unprecedented year of uncertainty and the absolute mishap of the COVID19 pandemic, the education sector has not been an exception in taking a serious hit. With a majority of the students clearing their exams at the comfort of their four walls with books open in front of them, and barely attending lectures, the placement cells have become alert towards the quality of the student in accordance with their academics.
Before the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, an average of 10 students in a batch of 100 used to score a pointer above 9. This has seen an increase up to almost 40 per cent of the batch doing so. Thus, the grades would definitely not be the deciding factor for one to land a job post the pandemic. There are certain questions that are most likely to be asked during an interview that would be linked to the pandemic.
An international pandemic presents everyone with challenges and opportunities. College’s are using this historic time to assess how you face a crisis, and how well you pivot. In a sense, they are asking, did you make lemons out of lemonade? And if so, how? The interviews would be heavily focussed upon what did one do differently or what additional things did a student inculcate during the pandemic.
How Are You Holding Up? How Are You Adjusting to Life Post-Quarantine?
This question is more like an ice breaker where the interviewer is trying to understand one’s personality. It’s important to set the context for the rest of the interview. You can have your answer more or less positive and rather than focusing on the negatives, you can talk more about the positives that the pandemic provided you. However, it would also be fine if you highlight the general struggles a person went through during this pandemic.
How have you been trying to stay proactive in this pandemic?
If you were employed during the pandemic, you can speak about that experience. Talk about how you worked to become a better remote employee. Did you learn how to use Zoom more effectively? Did you master Slack or Go To Meeting? If you’re unemployed, explain what you’ve been doing to improve your skills and stay connected to your field. “Mention any self-study and professional development you did. You can speak about any webinar that you attended or a course you had taken up.
How did the pandemic affect your career goals?
Here the college wants to know if you are actually interested in doing the course you are interviewing for or is it just for the sake of it. You may think of a way where you highlight your interest in the said field and how the pandemic helped you in discovering that interest.
What did you do to cope with the stress during the covid era?
The question is directed towards finding out how well you cope with stress in general. It would be important to explain how well equipped you are to cope with stress and pressure situations. It is a personality-based question where the person is trying to understand how thick-skinned you are. You can also speak about some activities that acted as a stress buster for you.
How do you organize your day when working/studying from home?
Even though flexibility is a huge benefit of remote work/study, that doesn’t mean that structure isn’t a necessity. The best remote workers/students are self-disciplined and still follow a routine. You want to highlight the importance of sound management via this question.
How do you feel about working/studying remotely indefinitely?
This question is an indication that the college may move towards remote teaching. It is important to ask them about their long-term plans to get an understanding of your future.
What was the one good thing that came out of the pandemic?
You can focus on how much time you got to introspect upon yourself and go back to some of the hobbies that you had left behind. This question helps the interviewer understand the personality of the student and what does one like to do to remain productive.
While you are being interviewed, it is important that you ask some questions when you are asked to speak. It is necessary to show the interviewer that you actually care about your future.
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