MockQuestions

Adaptability Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 15 interview questions that are focused on your ability to adapt.

Adaptability was written by and updated on March 4th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 15

When have you had to adapt to change in the workplace?

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know about a time you were required to adapt to change in the workplace. Being able to adapt to change in the workplace is an essential skill to possess because change is inevitable. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have had to adjust to changes on the job. How did you handle the transition? Was it a positive reaction?

Written by Rachelle Enns

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15 Adaptability Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. When have you had to adapt to change in the workplace?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know about a time you were required to adapt to change in the workplace. Being able to adapt to change in the workplace is an essential skill to possess because change is inevitable. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have had to adjust to changes on the job. How did you handle the transition? Was it a positive reaction?

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "In my current role there is a lot of staff turnover when it comes to our management team. I have had to adapt to 3 new managers in the past four years. It is not the ideal situation, but I can adjust for the good of the team."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "Last year our company was sold to a competitor, and a lot of our management team changed hands. It was a lot of change to handle in a short time, especially being unsure of who to report to ahead of others. I am resilient, though, and have made the big changes work by keeping my head down and delivering great work, no matter who it goes to in the end."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "In my current management position, we were pushed to obtain ISO certification by one of our potential customers. The changes in reporting and procedural compliance were numerous, and it took a little while to adjust. The training component of my staff was not easy either. However, in the end, it was worth it to secure such a high profile customer."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "Marketing is all about change! Our clients change every day, and the scope of our projects change on a dime. I am resilient to change and look forward to working in an ever-changing marketing environment, with your agency."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I used to work for a retail chain that specialized in leather footwear. Corporate started to introduce vegan footwear options which were a tough sell after becoming so well known for their leather. I adapted to the change by learning more about vegan options, and asking further discovery questions to new customers."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "In my previous role at a high-growth tech startup, the sales organization was restructured, from a new boss to new teams and territories. Some of the accounts I had been nurturing but had not yet converted to a buyer yet were now handed off to another sales rep who received the fruits of my labor. Of course, this fact was very frustrating. However, by sitting down with management to understand the "why" of the change, and how I could best set my new accounts up for success while transitioning my previous ones over to a new rep, I was able to see the bigger objective and ultimately increase my sales performance."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "Our school recently underwent a major renovation which resulted in half of our classrooms being unavailable. My classes ended up being in a portable, behind the school. It was a big change for me because I had to be extra prepared with my supplies and needs for the day. Thankfully the renovation lasted only six months."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "Where I am working, we were covid free for a couple of months and then patients started to be positive when they get tested and we created a new unit for these patients and I was part of the team that works as a floor nurse and it was such a humbling experience."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good! This is a timely example. I'd recommend being more specific about how you adapted to this change. Did your work routine change? Were there different protocols required?

  • 2. When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know about a time that you had to change the path of a project due to new information. Being able to swivel the focus of your project is a necessary skill for success in most careers. Talk to the interviewer about a time when a significant change occurred on the job. How did you handle the implementation of the new information?

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "Last year we saw new federal regulations come through which affected 80% of our ongoing projects. We had to adjust our plans quickly; however, we were able to deliver a timely product that met federal regulations."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "As an administrative professional, my projects are often derailed by other people's schedules running late, deliveries not arriving on time, or vendors not pulling through. Although I am not usually the lead on projects, I do put a great deal of finishing work on the projects that come out of our office so, when deadlines pass, it affects me as well. I keep a positive outlook and work very hard to exceed expectations wherever possible."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "All of our products are thoroughly tested after the design and prototype phase. My production team was certain that the design would hold up to the endurance testing, based on the components used, but it did not. We had to go back and adjust the entire product design to determine the cause and correct the fault."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "I had a large project last month that was nearly complete when the client called to say that the color palette provided was incorrect. Because of this, our team had to re-do all of the mood boards. It took us an additional two days of work but, in the end, the client was delighted with our work, and it resulted in new opportunities to work with them."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I used to work for a food company. The biggest change came when they changed their menu to be gluten free, wheat free, and dairy free. I had a great deal of new information to absorb and had to study the ins and outs of the ingredients all over again. I do like to learn and am methodical in my approach. I created flashcards, studied for a week straight, and nailed it in the new ingredients test the following week."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "I had worked with a VP in the company, the CEO, and a member of the board to craft a strategic national roll-out plan that included which companies and pitches I would be responsible for, and what they would handle. Two months later, after working on the strategy each week as a collaborative team, I was informed that we were putting a pause on the project until further notice. The executives thought the company wasn't ready for such big clients yet, so instead, I had to scale the national roll-out back to be a local market strategy. After the initial sting and frustration of pulling out of the project, I was able to use that same framework to plan local market roll-outs in several major cities effectively. It proved to be a good learning experience, overall."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "Last year I had all of my coursework set, a curriculum written, and class seating arranged. The day before school began, I was informed by my principal that they needed to make my class a Grade 5/6 split rather than just a Grade 6 class. It took me a moment to gather myself and absorb the information. Then, I got to it! I simplified a bulk of the coursework and added more Grad 5 components. I was all set for the first day despite the setback."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      ""¢ S: In my final year, I conducted research on the relationship between inequality and economic growth in my applied econometrics dissertation. Scheduled contact time had stopped a few months before the deadline. A few weeks before, he held a class where he brought up a new econometric technique that we could use to reach a higher level.

      "¢ T: This was a challenge, and I was immediately focused on understanding and applying it to my research.

      "¢ A: I knew his office hours would be extremely busy, so instead of trying to learn it by myself, I went to a prior econometrics lecturer who explained it to me in great detail. This saved me a lot of time because he was an expert.

      "¢ R: As a result, I was able to spend more time on the application and analysis of my results. This taught me to always be studious and learn from others."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good example that was challenging, indeed. It demonstrates flexibility as well as good problem-solving skills.

  • 3. What was the biggest change you have had to deal with in your career?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know the types of challenges you have had to face in your career. You need to show the interviewer that you can remain productive in the face of change and that you are resilient. Assure the interviewer that you can adapt to significant changes in a professional manner.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "The biggest change that I have faced in my career so far would be when my previous company went through a major merger. We had to adapt to new processes and management which was quite challenging. In the end, it worked out well for the company, in a financial perspective, so the changes were well worth the challenges we faced initially."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "The biggest change in my career was learning to report to an entirely new management team when we merged with a competitor. It's difficult to adjust, but I was able to keep an open mind, and met some great new people."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "The biggest change in my career came when my company experienced major layoffs. One-third of my production team experienced layoffs even though our work volume remained nearly the same. I adjusted the schedule, introduced a new overtime policy, and worked very hard to maintain morale despite the changes."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "The biggest change I have dealt with in my career is when my company closed their PA location, and I was asked to relocate to VA. It was a risk on my part, but I chose to follow the company to their new location. It paid off as I continued another five years of success there."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I went through a large change last year when our company purchases another small competitor. We integrated systems, some staff, and a few policies. The corporate head office did the best they could to make the change a smooth one."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "The most prominent change in my career was when I transferred from strategic national account rollout to local market rollout. This move taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to be more adaptable and resilient."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "The biggest change I have had to deal with in my career was when my Spanish curriculum was cut, and I was transferred to a new school where I was to teach English and Mathematics. The new role was slightly out of my wheelhouse, so I spent a lot of time refreshing my knowledge in these areas."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "During my technology internship, I was introduced to the process of completing large quantities of repetitive testing. I had to adjust and create a system that worked for me. It gave me a whole new appreciation of what it takes to implement new technology."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Ok, good start. Can you expand on how you adjusted? What system did you develop? These details will help the interviewer see your problem-solving skills in action and envision how you'd handle similar problems.

  • 4. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know about a time when you were asked to take on a task for which you knew very little. Have you ever had to take on a responsibility or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. Include the outcome, and what you learned.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 5. When have you had to think quickly in response to sudden change?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you can adapt to sudden changes in the workplace. Change is par for the course in any work environment. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of responding quickly, and professionally, to unexpected situations.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 6. When have you faced an unexpected difficulty?

      How to Answer

      How you face unexpected difficulty can say a lot about your character. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have encountered stress in the workplace. Show that you are capable of professionally handling the unexpected!

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 7. When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know when you have shown a willingness to learn new work methods. With changes in technology and policy, most professionals will need to alter their way of work from time to time. It is a great skill to have when you can approach a problem in a new way.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 8. Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion requesting change in an organization.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know about your level of comfortability with change. In addition to being able to handle change, can you also recognize when change is required and be confident enough to present that to your organization? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to suggest change in the workplace.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 9. When change occurs in the workplace, do you naturally adjust or do you first think of the worst?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking to see if you are a naturally positive person, or if you air on the side of cynicism. When a change occurs in the workplace do you view it positively or do you resist the change?

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 10. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know how you handle sudden shifts in priorities. Do you become uber-focused on the task at hand, or are you willing to drop what you are doing, and switch priorities? Discuss a time when you have been asked to change your priorities on a dime.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 11. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know how you react when it comes to setbacks in the workplace. Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 12. How do you react to an increase in your workload?

      How to Answer

      Workloads will increase and decrease as the market demands. The interviewer would like to know how you adapt when the work starts to pile up. Show that you are willing to work faster, put in overtime, or take work home when needed. You will also want to express your time-management abilities.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 13. Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know your preference when it comes to a predictable versus an unpredictable work routine. Discuss with the interviewer if you are the individual who prefers to know what the method will be for the day, or if you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability. It's best to display a balance between the two, using the most current position in your answer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 14. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?

      How to Answer

      Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios. You may never need to take on these scenarios; however, it's great for the interviewer to know that you can adapt your plan on the fly.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 15. If your current company shut down today, what would you do to quickly adapt?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know more about your ability to adapt and thrive, in stressful situations. This question is hypothetical, so you'll likely need to use your imagination when answering. Show the interviewer that you are capable of adapting to a tough situation.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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