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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article29 September 2021European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

Top 9 COVID-19 questions employers should ask candidates at job interviews

COVID-19 has radically changed the hiring process for employers. The pandemic has also led to a shift in the type of skills that companies are looking for in applicants. We have prepared a few questions to help employers select the perfect candidate.

Top 9 COVID-19 questions employers should ask candidates at job interviews

How are you adjusting to life after lockdown?

This simple question has two objectives – it serves as a conversation starter, and it helps the candidate to get in the right mindset for the rest of the interview. The answer can also give you an initial indication of the candidate’s resilience and adaptability.

Have you worked remotely before? How did you adapt?

In a post-COVID-19 world, the ability to work effectively and efficiently from home is a valuable skill. Although people can learn to work remotely, teleworking does not come easy to some people. With this question you can determine how comfortable the candidate is with working from home.

What have you learned during the pandemic?

This question is also twofold. When the pandemic hit Europe in 2020, many people used the extra time to acquire new skills either through informal learning or certified courses. The answer to this question can show you how open the candidate is to self-improvement and lifelong learning. You can also take this question in a different direction and ask it in a more general way – for example, in terms of life lessons.

How did you cope with stress during COVID-19?

This question will give you a better idea of the candidate’s resilience and adaptability, as well as their ability to cope with stressful situations. With COVID-19, the world of work is expected to become more unpredictable, so it is important for employees to be able to handle change well.

How do you feel about working from the office?

For some candidates, starting a new role at your company might be their first time having to work in an office since the pandemic. Some applicants might still feel hesitant to return to the office, which is understandable. It is important to know what the candidate’s position is on this topic, so that you can determine whether it fits with your company’s policy.

How do you feel about working remotely in the medium to long term?

If we have learnt anything from the pandemic, it is that we do not know how things will change in the medium to long term. New restrictions and lockdowns are likely scenarios, so it is important to see how the candidate feels about working from home in the foreseeable future.

How do you develop relationships with co-workers while working from home?

If the candidate has indicated that they have experience in working remotely, you can ask them how they communicated and bonded with their colleagues during that time. With this question, you can determine the candidate’s communication skills and ability to be a team player.

What tools and equipment do you need to work from home?

A good employer should make sure that their employees have all the necessary equipment to do their job efficiently and professionally from home. Ask the candidate about the type of equipment they already have, so that you can determine whether you can meet their needs if they are hired.

The pandemic has been hard for businesses and employees in particular. Job insecurity, furlough schemes and health concerns have decreased the motivation of thousands of workers in Europe. Here are a few tips for employers to boost employee morale.

Related links:

How to motivate employees returning to work after COVID-19


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