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Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to major change in the workplace. How did you cope?

1 of 30 Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on June 29th, 2018 | 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

Change is prevalent in today's workplaces, and interviewers want to know that you can embrace change. Perhaps your job duties changed, there was a significant change in policy, you had to welcome a new manager, or your company was acquired. These situations make great examples to draw on.

Pick an example where you enjoyed the change the most, or where the result was the most positive. Explain how this change directly affected your job, and tell the interviewer how you maintained a positive approach during the transition. Finally, be sure to mention that evolution is a part of the workplace today, and you recognize that your role as an employee is to embrace it, encourage others to accept it, and be ready to learn new ways of doing things continually.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"Last year, we changed our patient check-in process. I was required to learn a completely new software system in a short amount of time. To tackle this challenge, I took a weekend-long online workshop to master the program. I find that when there is a major change in the workplace, it's best to take the learning curve on as a positive challenge. I encouraged my co-workers to do the same course, and it was beneficial for them as well."

Admin
Answer example

"Our management team was turning over and changing due to a merger. I coped by learning as much as I could about the new company, their style, and their leaders. Luckily I avoided layoff through the process."

Manager
Answer example

"Last year, my company shuffled a lot of our team under no notice which meant that, overnight, the team of 40 that I was leading, became a team of 60. I had a great rapport with the current 40 and needed to come up with a fast strategy for connecting with the additional 20. I chose to throw a team-wide after-work event so that everyone had the opportunity to get to know each other and make meaningful connections."

Marketing
Answer example

"We recently got a new CEO that has many credible years experience in global marketing which brings great value to bring to our team. The leadership style they practice is much different than the former CEO, so our team had to adapt quickly to manage our projects seamlessly through this change. Change is good. it is important to adapt quickly, or you risk falling behind."

Retail
Answer example

"On many occasions, I've had to adapt to a new manager with vastly different management styles and skills than the previous one. As an assistant manager, or team lead, I've been on the proverbial welcome-committee, so I not only have to adapt and welcome them with open arms but provide them with the tools that they need to succeed."

Sales
Answer example

"When our sales team got a new VP of sales it was a huge culture and organizational shock to everyone on the team. It was tough at first because she was new and not as knowledgeable as whom we had been working with before, so it felt like a bad personnel hire. However, once we all got to know each other and learned about her past successes in a hugely successful SaaS business, my team and I came to appreciate her insight and different perspective."

Teacher
Answer example

"The founding member of the elementary Spanish program ran it for 20 years, so when she left, it was a big change for us all. The subsequent chair was a high school French teacher, so it was a total 180. It took a period of adjustment and a summer full of meetings, but we came to respect and understand each other. Ultimately, the change was beneficial. By having a high school teacher as our chair, we were able to communicate more seamlessly with the older grade levels, thereby ensuring that the entire World Language Department connected in its goals, targets, and even execution."

Medical Coder
Answer example

"Last year we upgraded to ICD-10. I was required to learn a completely new software system in a short amount of time. To tackle this challenge, I took a weekend-long online workshop to master the program. I find that when there is a major change in the workplace it's best to take the learning curve on as a positive challenge. I encouraged my co-workers to do the same course and it was really helpful for them as well."

Written by:

Heather Douglass
Heather Douglass has over 20 years of experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
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.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 12/04/2010
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

More Interview Questions

View user-submitted Answers

Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to major change in the workplace. How did you cope?
1.
A major change in a job was when I moved out of the location and had to find another job.
2.
I used to work during the day but a position opened for night shift and I had to adjust to working in the night. I do most of my school during the day and take much rest during the weekend.
3.
Reduced teachers in our department so I helped by teaching health class and creating the online curriculum.
4.
I will analysis the difference and check for solutions to update myself for that change.
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