Pandemic Influenced Interview Questions

From the introduction to closing information, the interview script is a critical piece of your hiring strategy that allows you to create a customized set of questions for each opening. Here’s a quick guide to walk you through how to create your customized script including how things have evolved since the pandemic.

Before you begin choosing questions in InterviewDive.com or drafting your own, keep in mind the length of time you are planning for your interview. Especially if you are interviewing online, try to keep the interview length between 30–45 minutes. In-person interviews tend to be a little longer, between 45–60 minutes. Basic questions will generally take between 30 seconds — 2 minutes to answer, and more in-depth questions average 3–5 minutes. So, limit the number of questions you plan to give ample time for a proper introduction to you and the position, for the candidate to ask questions, and for you to provide the need-to-know follow-up information. Generally, the sweet spot is between 8–10 questions.

The first questions you’ll choose are the introductory questions. These are general interview icebreakers that allow you to easily transition from the initial job and company information to questions about the candidate. You’ll want to choose 1 or 2 questions for this section.

Examples: Tell me about yourself.

What interests you about this role and our company?

Moving on, you’ll choose a couple of transitional and verification questions to help put the candidate at ease. These questions aren’t meant to be complicated, but they are there to clarifying and verifying that the candidate meets the basic requirements for work with the company. For example, in this section, you’ll find questions about the candidate’s work status or needed certifications or education.

Examples: We have flexible work arrangements. Do you tend to prefer remote, hybrid, or on-site work?

What level of Six Sigma certification do you currently have?

Next, you’ll choose technical proficiency questions. For example, if the candidate must have proficiency with a particular software or other technical skills that apply to the position, this section addresses those.

Example: Describe the CRM systems you are most familiar with and your past role in implementing new systems.

With those steps out of the way, you’ve arrived at the core competencies required for success in the role. These are usually asked in situational or behavioral styles. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen these evolve to include questions about adaptability and remote work.

Examples: What elements of your current or most recent role became more efficient in a virtual setting, and which were more challenging and why?

How do you build relationships with new team members in a remote environment? Please share an example how of you were successful in doing so.

Finally, choose a closing question or two to wrap things up.

Example: What is something else we should know about you that I haven’t already asked?

The interview isn’t over until you’ve given the candidate a chance to ask their questions. Candidate questions have also evolved since the pandemic began. Be prepared for some standard questions but in our current environment, also anticipate questions about: travel, remote work, time in the office, equipment provided by the company, vaccine requirements, mask protocols, cleaning/safety protocols, and how YOU have built culture and relationship in light of the pandemic and remote/hybrid work.

Read More: Creating Great Remote Interviews

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Shawna Lake

Founder of Deep End Talent Strategies-keeping job seekers and employers connected to what the other side needs and wants in today’s job market.