If you had told me that 2020 would have lockdowns and toilet paper shortages, I would have thought you had taken a ride on the looney train, and yet – it happened! What a year…Though we are all still trying to wrap our minds over what ensued as we resume life hoping to get back to the way things were before, it is safe to say one lasting change took place: remote work.
To keep operations running, as usual, many companies provided employees the opportunity to work from home. To go from commuting several hours to no commute at all each day is, well – amazing! The trouble is, companies want their employees to come back, and employees do not want to. You can’t blame them!
Employers are concerned about productivity, team collaboration, and their company’s work culture. I can understand some of their concerns, though I do think many employees have proven themselves worthy of some flexibility.
As companies begin interviewing candidates for open positions, there are a few new questions that they are asking, specifically designed to gauge where a candidate stands on the stay-at-home spectrum. Here are the top 3 and the types of answers needed to nail them.
1.) Can you complete a project without much supervision?
A recruiter or hiring manager will use this question to determine just how well you can perform from home. When asked, you should provide some specific examples that demonstrate your capabilities. You can do so by:
a.) Drawing attention to a specific project you completed.
b.) Explaining how you remained in communication with all appliable parties.
c.) Discussing your achievements and how they related to the company’s projections.
d.) Showcasing your strengths.
“While working remotely, I ensured our latest commercial build was completed on time and budget through regular Zoom meetings, emails, phone calls, and shared documents, keeping all parties on track to achieve set milestones. In addition, I conducted weekly site visits and accomplished everything per scope while reducing costs by 14%. As a result, my client satisfaction and compliance score skyrocketed, and I was immediately assigned to manage an even larger construction project.”
2.) What adjustments did you have to make because of COVID?
By asking this question, the recruiter or hiring manager is trying to see if you are adaptable. Saying “No changes were needed” is a lie, as we all had to adjust. Please share some of those challenges and how you handled them.
“One of the challenges we faced during the shut-down was the ability to ensure we had enough people on-site to complete the job on time while adhering to social distancing and safety guidelines. I created an even more detailed schedule to make sure our employees and vendors felt safe and did my absolute best to keep as many aspects of the project as possible digitized.”
3.) How do you feel about returning to the office?
This question is fully loaded. The recruiter or hiring manager wants to see if you will come back – they are just asking in a round-a-bout way. The key here is to remain flexible but clearly state your wishes.
“While I am fully vaccinated and able to come into the office, I appreciate having the option to work from home as needed a few days a week. I have found that this works best for me, from a work-life standpoint, and I can be just as productive – if not more. I am truly looking for a hybrid role.”
However, if working in the office is not what you want, share that. Remember, you are interviewing this company too. If they are not a fit for your needs, there are always other fish in the sea.
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