Important Questions to Ask About COVID-19 at a Job Interview

When you interview for a new job, you usually have an opportunity to ask the hiring manager a few questions. While most professionals focus on areas like the company’s culture and what they need to know to thrive in the role, the COVID-19 pandemic has made some other questions increasingly relevant.

If you have a job interview coming up, here are a few important questions to ask about COVID-19.

What Safety Procedures Has the Company Put in Place?

This question allows you to find out if the company is at least following the standard set forth by the CDC and OSHA, something that’s especially critical if you’ll be working on-site. Ideally, the hiring manager will be able to review any best practices they’ve embraced or the primary elements of their safety plan. Additionally, if you have a question about any aspect, they should be able to address it with ease.

For example, you may want to learn about the steps they take if an employee arrives at work ill.You may also want to find out how they handle it if a worker is diagnosed with COVID-19 and has been in the workplace at any point two weeks prior to their diagnosis. If the hiring manager isn’t forthright about their procedures or seems poorly informed, that could be a red flag.

If I Experience Any Symptoms or Need to Self-Isolate, What Will Happen?

At times, new employees don’t have access to specific benefits, like full use of their sick leave. It’s wise to ask if the company has any policies specifically regarding COVID-19 that could apply, particularly if you have to self-isolate due to potential exposure even though you don’t have outward symptoms.

For example, will they may emergency leave options available? Are they unnecessary because new employees have full access to their benefits? What if you run out of leave but still can’t safety return?

Find out about any policies that address the pandemic in advance. That way, if you do become ill or have to self-isolate, you’ll know what’s available.

Are Remote Work Options Available? If So, Will Using Them Negatively Impact My Career?

If your job could feasibly be handled remotely, it is wise to find out if you have the option of telecommuting, at least while the pandemic is a concern. However, you also want to gauge how the hiring manager feels about remote work, particularly if they were initially planning on you reporting to an office.

Some managers aren’t as open to long-term telecommuting as others. If the hiring manager is resistant to the idea, you have to decide if you’re okay with coming into a workplace before you would typically like or if you’re willing to deal with the potential ramifications that may arise should you refuse.

Ultimately, all of the questions above are crucial to ask in the current climate. If you’d like to learn more about navigating a job search during COVID-19, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.


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