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

1 of 15 Adaptability Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on February 3rd, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
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?

Professional Answer Examples
General
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."

Admin
Answer example

"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."

Manager
Answer example

"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."

Marketing
Answer example

"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."

Retail
Answer example

"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."

Sales
Answer example

"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."

Teacher
Answer example

"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."

Family Physician
Answer example

"Delivering bad news is hard. I always try to be soft-spoken and give the patient and their families time to ask questions. It's important to me to always try to remember that one day I may be the one receiving bad news and to treat those, that I am caring for, the way I would like to be treated."

Landscaping
Answer example

"Changes happened at my last landscaping company on a daily basis. I just try to stay mentally focused on what the changes will be for that day; may it be weather or a homeowner changing their plans."

Zookeeper
Answer example

"In my most recent position we had a lot of turnover with management. It was difficult to learn the new preferences of my supervisors on such a frequent occasion but I was able to handle it well knowing that we all had the same end goal which was to ensure that the animals were properly cared for."

Bailiff
Answer example

"At my last position, I had to complete a project on a very short notice, as revised by the client at the last minute. Notwithstanding the amount of work involved, I got to work immediately. I used numerous lists to keep track of the daily duties to be performed, and delegated some duties to ensure all expectations would be met. The project was completed by the deadline and the client was highly satisfied. This experience enabled me to learn how to adapt to unexpected situations and further develop my time management skills."

Veterinarian
Answer example

"If I suspected abuse of an animal, I would talk with the pet owner to see if they could give me information on the 'injury' or 'illness,' such as when the symptoms began, how long they have been present, etc. Sometimes illness or injury can present with symptoms such as abuse, and proper data collection is important in making a decision. After talking with the pet owner, if I felt like the animal was, in fact, abused, I would report the incident to the appropriate authorities."

Millwright
Answer example

"This last month we had some very big changes to the internal structure of our organization. Many people we laid off and others were replaced due to a merger. Despite all of the changes in our leadership and teams, I have remained in a positive mindset with hopes that the changes will be worked out soon."

Training and Development Manager
Answer example

"As a training and development manager, I am always looking for new ideas and ways of improving employee performance. I want to improve programs so that they meet the needs of my team. When I was working for a tech company we were acquired by a larger company and experienced some major growing pains! I had to develop training materials for the new team members, and I had to move quickly to get it done. I worked closely with the new members of the training team to identify what needed to be changed through using online assessments and hosting meetings."

Auditor
Answer example

"I was working for an audit firm and they had an international client in Spain. I speak Spanish, but the Mexican dialect, so they assumed I'd be able to quickly pick up the Spanish dialect. They sent me out and when I spoke, people would be able to understand me for the most part but I'd sometimes say the wrong words. I quickly learned the correct dialect and verbiage while completing my assignment. From then on, I was the go-to person for all Mexico and Spain travel, and eventually got to go to Italy to learn Italian."

Shift Leader
Answer example

"There was a time when our department was moved under the director of workforce management. Not only did my bosses change, they made major changes to how we did things. I kept up with the changes by communicating frequently and clearly with my boss in the very beginning of the change. I always asked her for feedback on my work and checked in with her to see how frequently she would like me to report to her, and with what information. I like change because change means that we're trying to do something better, and I'm always looking for ways to improve."

Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Answer example

"I had the opportunity, right after graduating, to work overseas with a diverse population. My co-workers and I led a very successful therapy group despite the language barriers and environment. I have also spent time teaching myself Spanish so that I can better communicate with the large Hispanic community in my center's region."

Daycare Worker
Answer example

"It's important to address angry or concerned parents with two listening ears, and an open mind. There will always be a basis to their concern, and whether true or not, it feels very true for them. I like to ask what type of resolution they feel would be most appropriate, and then move forward from there. It's also important to have a program director present if the concern is serious such as bullying or a violation of conduct."

Activities aide
Answer example

"I am very detail-oriented. One of my strengths as an activities aide is to manage multiple tasks with professionalism and good follow-through."

FBI
Answer example

"At this time, I care for my elderly parents and would be unable to relocate. I am flexible in many areas, including the hours which I work, and am open to short-term travel."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 01/07/2017
Last modified on: 02/03/2019

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