How the Pandemic Has Changed the Questions Employers Ask Job Candidates

*Originally published on

Employers are thinking differently about the skills they need in job seekers who will likely be working from home much more often thanks to COVID-19.

We’re starting to see some traction on the AV job market and that means those who are still waiting for their opportunities to get back in the game are cramming hard on the perfect answers to the questions they’ll surely face when they land a dream interview with their long-time favorite company.

More companies are reconsidering their physical office space these days in light of concerns about social distancing and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic so the old days of coming to the office five days a week—or at all—may be going away in some new roles at companies around the world.

Related: Has Remote Work Changed Hiring in the Pro AV Space?

That means those who are ditching the sweatpants and T-shirt for a suit and tie or other business attire for their interviews—in-person or across collaboration platforms—probably need to be thinking more about starting their new jobs from their couches or home offices and need to be able to talk about that.

Here’s more from The Muse about the changing dynamic of job interviews:

While working from home comes with some undeniable luxuries (like no commute and the ability to work in your PJs), it poses some unique challenges, too (like less facetime with your manager and more distractions).

Hiring managers are well aware of these differences and drawbacks, so when they interview candidates for remote roles, they’re going to be looking for people who not only have the skills to do the job itself, but also understand what it takes to successfully work from home.

“Remote work—whether temporary or permanent—requires a different skill set and type of experience than in-office jobs,” says Neal Taparia, founder of Unscrambled Words, a startup with a primarily distributed team.

So while the remote jobs you’re pursuing may be very similar to in-office roles you’ve had in the past, working from home requires a different work style.

That means when it comes time to interview, you’ll need to be ready to answer questions that are focused around a specific set of remote work skills—in addition to the usual interview questions you might get for a traditional in-office job and questions specific to the role or industry.

The piece says job candidates must show strong aptitude in these areas to be successful in the work-from-home era in which we now live: reliability, communication, independence, initiative, collaboration, organization and conflict resolution.

So, it probably goes without saying that those are the skills employers will be or should be seeking. I guess you could call it the “new normal” of job interviews and career development, but I sure wish you’d find a different way to say it.

Have you started interviewing candidates for open positions since the COVID-19 outbreak? How have you changed your approach?