So what did you do in Spring 2020 ? Interview questions in the post-Covid19 world

Posted in: Advice, inspire, Tips & Hints

I’m writing this in mid March 2020. I don’t have a crystal ball…but all things must and will pass. At some point, hopefully not in the too distant future, we will be at least be gradually “coming out the other side” of this unprecedented public health and economic shock.

Just as the 1914-18 war defined an entire generation, I’m anticipating that we all will look back on this period with a host of mixed feelings and thoughts about how it affected our lives, perhaps forever.

Could some of those feelings be pride and personal satisfaction that you personally made the best of an unexpected and exceptional event?

I don’t want this period in my life to be dominated by memories of copious binge watching of box sets (however appealing the thought of catching up on the final series of Homeland and Designated Survivor…which I definitely intend to give in to I might add!). So this weekend I set myself some professional and personal goals…and am planning on “encouraging” my husband and teenage son (and Labrador?) to do the same.

My professional goals outside of my work here in the Careers Service include producing some online learning materials around employability suitable for sixth formers, enrolling on an online TEFL course and “making progress” with learning Italian…ready for the wonderful time when I shall be able to rearrange our family holiday to that beautiful land. Already my tech skills (not my forte) have sky rocketed (relatively speaking) making better use of Teams, Zoom etc. I’m also planning some “self-care” around the things I love to do: growing some salad leaves and herbs in pots, cooking one new recipe from each of my many cookery books (my guilty pleasure) and having a go at online yoga . I’ve also signed up as a volunteer to deliver groceries to those who are self-isolating in my village. Now that I don’t have a daily three hour round trip to Bath I figure I have the time.

So what about you? At the Careers Service we have been running a series of Interview Practice sessions for students who have interviews coming up, or those who just want to experience a formal interview before doing it for real. Will you be ready for what might be to come in those “in real life” interviews in 2020/2021?

What will graduate employers be asking applicants to demonstrate post Covid-19?

Again, my crystal ball is a little hazy…but if I were a graduate employer in the next 6-18 months, these would be the sorts of things I would be interested in exploring at interview:

How did you demonstrate personal resilience, in the face of a highly stressful situation?

• What did you learn about yourself, thus enhancing your self-awareness?

• How did you create momentum to continue your studies virtually and how did you expand your self-directed learning beyond the curriculum?

• Did you develop some new transferable skills by volunteering in your community?

• How resourceful were you in the face of a lockdown?

• Did you demonstrate leadership by setting up and running a virtual project?

• How did you develop new virtual teamworking skills?

• How did you look after your physical and mental wellbeing and that of your friends and family?

• What structures did you design and implement around your daily schedule to ensure deadlines were met and projects delivered?

Why not create a page in your notes app, or in your bullet journal to jot down examples that you could use when you are asked for evidence of these attributes and skills. You never know it could make all the difference at interview for that perfect role...which may seem a very distant possibility right now, but "this too shall pass".

Being human will see us through

I read today that in China robots are starting to replace some health workers in administering tests and medication to infected patients, thus reducing risk for clinical staff and freeing them up to do the “real caring.”

The world of work may never be the same again- how do you plan to grasp the opportunities that even this dreadful situation presents for your future?

I’d love to hear about your goals!

NB. At the Careers Service we’re curating a whole load of resources and answers to FAQs for you, frequently updated:

Posted in: Advice, inspire, Tips & Hints


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