Seven questions to ask your interviewer post-Covid

10 min read | Thea Watson | Article | Job searching Interview advice Market trends

Women wearing safety masks in interview with a screen divider on the table

Discover the best questions to ask your interviewer in a post-covid world. 

Choosing a role and an employer has always been a crucial decision – potentially life-changing, in fact. It’s a choice that’s rooted in your personal values and future plans.

However, it’s likely that during the last few years, you’ve been afforded more time to reflect on your career trajectory. Is it heading in a direction that’s right for you? 

It might be that the ongoing challenges have led to a change in your attitude towards work. You might prioritise different things now.

For example, you might be more interested in working for a business that delivers on its organisational purpose. Or maybe you have realised the importance of being adaptable and agile. Maybe you should choose an organisation that provides upskilling opportunities in the new era of work.


Questions to ask your interviewer at a glance

Many people’s professional priorities have shifted post-pandemic. So, should the questions you ask your interviewer during your upcoming interview also change? I think so.

Of course, certain questions will always be important, for instance:

  • “Is this a new role? If not, how has it evolved?”
  • “What does a typical workday look like?”
  • “Can you tell me more about the team?”
  • “What constitutes success for the team and the role?”

Nowadays, it’s also worth adding some more topical questions. These will help you make sure that this role is the best direction for you and your career.

So, what are good questions to ask in your interview?


1. “What were some of the key lessons you took from the Covid-19 crisis from a business and a leadership point of view?”

No organisation was left unchanged by the coronavirus pandemic. It forced many to change long-standing processes, find new ways of working, seek out new markets or even develop new products and services. Of course, there might have been mistakes along the way. You need to know how they dealt with the mistakes, and how those lessons will shape the organisation’s future.


2. “What are your organisation’s strategic priorities, and how has Covid-19 caused these to change? How do you envision this role helping to achieve them?”

Business models had to adapt quickly to the new world of work. As a potential new employee – someone who is likely now looking for more meaning in their role – it’s important for you to understand what the organisation’s new strategic priorities are. How does this role contribute to achieving them? It’s also important for you to know that the organisation is adapting and innovating in this new era of work.


3. “How does your organisation really deliver on its purpose? How will this role help achieve this?”

As our CEO, Alistair Cox, has noted, “The Covid-19 crisis has changed people for good. It has forced us to re-evaluate what really matters to us, and what really matters to the world. It has forced us to question if we are spending our time on this planet in the best way possible, recognising that we are just visitors.” It’s likely, therefore, that you’re feeling more inclined than ever to work for an organisation that shares your personal values.


4. “How are you planning to support employees’ lifelong learning in an agile way?”

The pandemic showed us that everything can change in an instant. So, we must do everything we can to ensure that we are as adaptable and agile as possible. Upskilling and professional development, for example, may have climbed our priority list over the past couple of months. It’s crucial that the organisation genuinely supports its employees in upskilling, giving them the tools and freedom to grow.


5. “What kind of support are you providing to those working remotely or from home?”

Post-pandemic, remote working is no longer seen as a perk, says Cox, “I fully expect to see a permanent shift to more remote working where that is physically possible – giving your people the freedom to work from wherever they want to.” However, this is relatively new territory for many organisations. It’s important to understand what remote support they’ll provide, whether that be in the form of equipment, training or wellbeing programmes.

6. “What is your management style when leading hybrid teams? Do you have any examples of best practice?”

Teams working in different locations and to different schedules presents new challenges for managers. Ask how the organisation plans to (or is already) leading hybrid teams, and if managers learned any lessons from the extended period of remote leadership the pandemic likely brought.


7. “How do you maintain your organisational culture with hybrid working?”

An organisation’s culture is its personality – it can take years to build and requires input from all employees to bring it alive. Importantly, they also need to work to keep it alive – in the good times and bad. However, a hybrid way of working brings a new set of challenges in building and maintaining company culture. It’s important to understand how the organisation does this – whether it's regular catch-ups, or ensuring all communication lines are open and inclusive, for example.

How asking questions can help you build a rapport during a remote job interview

Building rapport with an interviewer can be tough, during both face-to-face and remote job interviews. But asking questions helps the interview feels like a conversation and not an interrogation, making it more enjoyable for everybody. 

Here are a few ways asking questions can help you build rapport during your remote job interview:

  • Asking tailored and considered questions: Of course, key to building rapport is ensuring the questions you ask your interviewer are highly relevant – to the current situation, to the organisation, to the role and to the interviewer. Asking the right questions will ensure you’re perceived as a genuinely interested, competent candidate. You should also actively listen to your interviewer throughout – avoiding a question on a topic that’s already been covered.
  • Following up your answer with a question: You could even consider asking follow-up questions to the interviewer. After you’ve answered their initial question, simply end with a clarifying question such as “I hope I’ve answered your question?” This will help maintain momentum and keep the conversation flowing. The interviewer will appreciate you wanting to answer their questions fully.
  • Thanking the interviewer for their response: When thanking the interviewer for their response, instead of merely saying “thank you”, you could reiterate their points. For example, “Thank you, the point you made around empowering your people to learn and develop really resonates with me.”
  • Taking your time: Importantly, once the interviewer has answered your question, take a pause to ensure they’ve completely finished what they’re saying. Then, thank them for their answer or ask a follow up question. This will ensure you don’t speak over them (accounting for any time lags, particularly when interviewing remotely), whilst demonstrating to them that you have actively listened to their answer.


What you need to remember about asking your interviewer questions

Your remote job interview is just as much about you analysing the role and organisation as it is about the interviewer asking questions. Use it as an opportunity to ask relevant, considered and topical questions, helping you make the best career decision for the future.

If you’re considering your next step, get in contact with one of our expert recruitment consultants for a confidential chat about your career options. You can also visit our Inspire Me in the New Era of Work Hub for more tools and advice. 

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About this author

Thea Watson, Marketing Director of Hays UK & I and UK Board member

Thea is responsible for the UK & Ireland marketing team. She drives the strategic direction of the marketing function, looking closely at opportunities for growth, positioning in the marketplace and sales support. She was appointed to the Hays UK & Ireland Board in July 2017 after joining the UK business in the summer of 2016.

Prior to her current role she was the Vice President of Marketing for the Hays Americas business, joining in 2012. Under her management she built the marketing function from general support to a strategic driver of sales, establishing a central marketing unit supporting Canada, US and four Latin American countries.

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