With all the interviews our clients are doing at the moment it has become clear that the interview question of the moment is “What did you do during COVID lockdown if you were furloughed or unemployed?”

How are you answering this during your interviews? There are lots of variations on this question and it is a question employers are using to understand more about your character and what you did with your time. There is not a right and wrong answer here, but the answer should show your awareness of how you used that time or what you had to do to handle how the lockdown affected you.  Honesty is the best policy here, even if you feel you could have used your time more effectively then honesty about that is also the right thing to do.

I think what is important also is to try and rise above the impact you believe COVID might have had during your job hunting and try not to use it as a reason for not securing an opportunity. The recruitment world has still been strong over the last 6 months and most recruiters will confirm that they have been surprised at the amount of opportunities they still have. It is also important to be clear that COVID wouldn’t have prevented you doing well in your degree, but maybe how you handled those last couple of months had an impact.

Employers are looking for accountability in their employees, individuals who are happy to step up and either have handled the situation well, or know what they would have done differently looking back. And then be prepared for the next question if you have suggested you would handle the situation differently should it arise again. Because it did arise again.  “What did you do differently with this more recent lockdown to have a better experience?”

I will be honest with you, if I were interviewing and had to answer these questions, the answer to my first question would be brilliant as I got behind a routine of exercise and I had time to cook a meal every evening, saving money and having better eating experiences.  But the second lockdown, I haven’t handled as well. I am pushing through like the world, but the time does come where you feel like you have used all of your positive energy the first time round and now you are a little bit tired of it all.  So that is where I am at, but my handling of that situation is the fact that I know the end is near and therefore it is the routine of my daily tasks that deliver on the day for me.

Like I say there is no right or wrong answer, but don’t hide from it.