If this isn’t a question in any interview for any job vacancy or university/college placement between now and the year 2030 then I’ll be amazed.
What are you going to say in response?
What might you tell them that will make you stand out from other candidates?
Let’s imagine you are the interviewer for a school/college/workplace. You have two candidates in front of you and you ask them: “So, tell me what you did with your time during the COVID19 Lockdown”
“X-Box, Netflix and Sleeping”Candidate A
“I wrote a newspaper article on how Covid-19 is affecting the elderly population in my village and how we all rallied round to support them. I have already written my EPQ, It just needs marking and submitting to the exam board. I also set up a virtual exercise class so the people in my village could work out together from their own living rooms; I had 288 subscribers and we “met” three times a week.
I also wrote to the Medical Research Council to suggest ways they might use their mouse models in the national effort to fight this wretched virus. I think they might have used one of them. They’ve invited me to a Skype meeting next week”Candidate B
Which one would you take on?
Let’s be certain here. After this lockdown is over and we all go back to our daily lives it will be too late to change our response to this interview question. Our response will be fixed in stone. You will no more be able to change it than you can change what you ate for breakfast yesterday.
But right here, right now lockdown is not over in the UK. It is still going on. You can still choose what your response to this interview question could be, just as you can still choose what you’ll eat for breakfast tomorrow. So make that choice before it’s too late.
Here are some suggestions of things you could do to make yourself stand out from the other candidates:
- Learn something new
- Take an Open University or Future Learn short course. There are hundreds of free short courses covering a huge variety of subjects.
- Take a MOOC. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from EDX are free online courses available for anyone to enroll. There are thousands of these free courses covering almost any subject area, with varying levels of difficulty. You can get a certificate of achievement at the end.
- Learn a new language – What about British sign language? I’m learning this. It’s fun!
- Help your community
- Set up and run an online club for people who can’t get to or afford membership of face to face clubs. Use Video conferencing software such as YouTube or Zoom to run your own virtual group activity. It could be for anything: An exercise club, silent disco, gaming contest, the ideas are limitless.
- Help a charity
- Almost all charities have had events cancelled recently so their incomes have been severely reduced. Sign up to a charity fundraising site such as Just Giving. Then think of a way to raise a lot of money for your favourite charity.
- Create your own website
You can probably think of many more varied and interesting activities for yourself. The key is to not waste your time. Have something to show for it and a story to tell – something that shows how you have improved yourself in some way. Employers love that!!
Whatever you decide to do, take care and stay safe!