The workplace chameleon, the one that can best adapt to their surroundings and survive when faced with a difficult situation, is the one that is going to continue to thrive no matter how many pressures they’re faced with. That’s what employers want. Maybe not so much an employee that hides from predators, although staying away from office politics is good advice for anyone but definitely an employee that knows that they can take a difficult situation and make it better. It is highly likely that you will be asked a behavioral change management question like the one below.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell us about a time that you had to adapt to a particularly difficult situation. What steps did you take to manage it?
This is both a behavioral question about adapting to change, and a question about your ability to handle pressure. That makes it either a highly valuable question or a highly dangerous question. You have to be able to handle the pressure, and you want to be able to prove that you are someone that’s going to overcome whatever is thrown at you. The answer is going to be very specific to you, but you need to make sure your answer is:
- Confident – Share your answer with pride.
- Positive – Don’t complain about anyone.
- Solution Focused – What did you do? What did you learn from it?
Find what makes you a problem solver, and one that adapts well to change. See our posts on 3 Types of problem Solvers – Which One Are You? to identify your style and then make sure you are clear on How You Go About Problem Solving.
An example answer includes:
“One time I had to take over for my supervisor when she took some unexpected leave while still taking on my own job. I admit I was definitely intimidated, as I was already swamped with work at the time and I wouldn’t have anyone under me to delegate to.
But one of the first things you learn about work is that there is always time in the day if you plan well and organise yourself, even if it seems overwhelming when you’re pulled every which way. So before she left, I asked her if she could create a list of her day to day tasks. Then I listed my own, eliminated any tasks that could be postponed or were not critical, put the remaining tasks in a schedule, and did them at the times that were allotted. It wasn’t perfect, since taking on two jobs at once is never going to be perfect, but I was able to hold down the fort until she returned. Then a few years later, I was able to move into her old role because of the experience i had gained and the work I did during that time.”
One of the things that makes this answer good is that most people can relate to it. People take leave all the time with little warning, and when they go the person’s role gets delegated to everyone else in the short term. Most people have experienced that, and so sharing some type of answer similar to this one shows you’re someone that is used to adapting to change.
See Also Related Post: How Do You Handle Change?
See Also Related Post: How to Show You Can Apply Change Management With Ease