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Adaptability Interview
Questions

| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 15

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

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Adaptability Interview Questions

  1. 1.

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

      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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, our schedule is changed on a regular basis and always at short notice. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Admin interview

      "Each time my boss changes his schedule, I need to drop what I am doing and rearrange his meetings or travel plans. These changes happen quite often, so I very well know that a schedule made is not always a schedule kept."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Manager interview

      "Every time I have an employee no-show to their shift, I have to shift the day's priorities. I will drop what I am doing, call in a temp or ask another employee to work overtime to cover for the loss. I work in a very reactionary industry and can resist the stress related to change, quite well."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Marketing interview

      "I had to shift my focus when I learned that we were acquiring a smaller competitor within the week. I had to change my plans to incorporate a new team, with new ideas, process, and procedures. Instead of working on the duties I had scheduled for the week, I had to bring our new team up to speed and integrate everyone. It was a stressful time, but I also learned how well I could adapt to sudden change."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Retail interview

      "Every time we receive a new delivery of stock, our team has to change focus on that. We receive the stock, enter the SKU's into the POS system, remerchandise, and place old stock on sale. All this, while our primary focus remains on the customer. It's a lot to juggle, but it's also fun to see the new items we are receiving."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Sales interview

      "Recently, I was given a new sales territory and team with pretty much zero notice. I was able to spend time bonding with my new teammates and learning from their expertise in the new-to-me area. By leaning on the team and being open to a new opportunity, I was able to grow as a salesperson and as a leader in the organization."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Teacher interview

      "Teachers have to shift priorities all the time. We do have our curriculum; however, any small change can completely throw your day. Students can be disruptive, fire alarm testing can occur, or half the class is out due to the flu. You never know what can happen! I change my lesson plans and volume of homework to work around these shifts so that students don't fall behind."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Law Enforcement interview

      "Law enforcement is a very reactionary career path so I am accustomed to being asked to shift my priorities often. It could mean a change in my work schedule, being asked to work overtime, or heading to one call and then being asked to attend another more urgent case. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Temporary Staffing Recruiter interview

      "I am often working on one staffing project when a client will call and tell me that someone didn't show up, or their temp staff member called in sick last minute. In those circumstances, I then have to drop what I am doing to find an immediate replacement. Doing so requires my full attention and a lot of time on the phone. I can quickly adapt, and fully understand how to juggle priorities while simultaneously handling urgent matters."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Concierge interview

      "I had to shift my focus when I learned that we were acquiring a smaller hotel competitor. I had to change my plans to incorporate a new customer service team, with new ideas, process, and procedures. Instead of working solely toward increased productivity, I had to back up work toward bringing our new team up to speed and integrate them into our processes."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Border Patrol Officer interview

      "Border patrol is a very reactionary career path, so I am accustomed to being asked to shift my priorities often. It could mean a change in my work schedule, being asked to work overtime, or being asked to attend another more urgent case. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Chiropractor interview

      "In my current role, our schedule is changed on a regular basis and always at short notice. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Power Plant Operator interview

      "When my day unravels a bit due to unforeseen circumstances, I will take a minute to reassess my priorities. Asking for assistance where needed is also important, at times, to ensure that I am not taken off schedule too much. All in all, I handle unforeseen project and schedule changes quite well. It's always 'one step at a time'."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Technical Support Specialist interview

      "When my day unravels a bit due to unforeseen circumstances, I will take a minute to reassess my priorities. Asking for assistance where needed is also important, at times, to ensure that I am not taken off schedule too much. All in all, I handle unforeseen projects and schedule changes quite well. it's always one step at a time for me."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Radiology interview

      "Working in the medical field requires adaptability. I completely understand that, as a Radiologist, my daily schedule can be turned upside down quite quickly. My mindset has always been to complete any task that is given to me, based on an urgency basis."

      Heather's Answer
       for a Autopsy Assistant interview

      "When my day unravels a bit due to unforeseen circumstances, I will take a minute to reassess my priorities. To ensure that I am not taken off schedule too much I'll ask for assistance."

      Clara's Answer
       for a Water Quality Analyst interview

      "I make it a priority to maintain a current, updated schedule and list of contacts so I have the time and ability to thoroughly plan in case circumstances change. Sometimes, circumstances change abruptly enough to prevent prior planning, such as a family emergency or getting unexpectedly sick. If that is the case, I always inform my supervisor of the situation, share my steps for maintaining coverage, and follow-up once I have confirmed coverage. Communication is key in these situations, so I try to maintain as many touchpoints as possible and remain available virtually - when possible - for whoever is supporting my coverage in case they have any questions or issues."

      Samantha's Answer
       for a Accounting Clerk interview

      "During my regular duties, my manager rushed in one day looking frazzled. I asked if she was ok and she said that her boss had arrived two days early and none of the reports were ready. She asked me to drop everything and handed me a list of reports we needed. I sent urgent emails and started pulling query reports myself to gather as many of the reports as quickly as possible. We were able to get all the documentation to review with her boss pretty quickly and he was satisfied."

      Darby's Answer
       for a Activities aide interview

      "I actually have experienced a time that I had to report a co-worker to my
      supervisor. One of the patients that was involved in an activity I was overseeing reported to me that she wasn't feeling well. She told me that the nurse gave insulin her insulin without checking her blood sugar first. She told me and asked me not to tell anyone. However, I knew that patient
      safety is the responsibility of everyone. So, I did notify the supervisor."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Athletic Trainer interview

      "For the past year I have worked with a semi-pro baseball team. The priorities can change at any moment, depending on injuries that can happen during practice and games. I am very used to changing my priorities depending on the situation at hand."

      Anonymous Answer

      "When was I was in production, sudden changes were par for the course, and I would shift priorities on the fly to accommodate the immediate need. While working on Survivor, I would be in the office helping coordinate crew travel and shoot location procurement (calling in local resources), and nothing ever went to the exact plan."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your response shows that you are no stranger to sudden change. Wonderful example - well done.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "When I was working as a shipping coordinator, sometimes warehouse people asked me to help with their packaging. They were short staff, and I helped them as much as I could. I know how to switch priorities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It seems that you are an excellent team player, as well! Your answer is great because it showcases a variety of skills and characteristics.

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