Everyone can use a bit of spare change. But we’re not talking about money. We’re talking about people’s ability to adapt and respond to change, also known as “change management.” The ability to adapt to new things is a skill that very few people have, and the ability to be a bit less rigid while still being successful on a project is something all employers want.
Behavioral Interview Question: Describe a situation or project which required you to remain flexible and open-minded in order to succeed at something.
The challenge here is trying to come up with a real answer that speaks highly to your abilities. Think about the following:
- Obviously Open Minded – Don’t bring up anything where being open minded is too easy, as this actually makes you sound closed minded. Here is an over the top example: “One time they added a much less experienced person to our team and I was okay with it because I am open minded.” It’s too simplistic and you want to make sure your answer is one where being open minded doesn’t imply you’re closed minded.
- Faking A Story – It is admittedly difficult to come up with a real story, but faking one isn’t really an option here. If you don’t have a good story, go to the default – explain what you WOULD do in that situation, or explain your mindset going into EVERY project about changes that might be thrown your way.
- Just the Story – Remember as always not to share just the story. Share an accomplishment, or a mindset, or a way of looking at things, etc. Give something about yourself that the employer can chew on for a while after you’re done answering.
With that in mind, here is a potential answer:
“Most teamwork settings often feel this way. I remember a time we were creating a content plan for our brand website, and the IT staff wanted meta descriptions, the marketing staff wanted to add category pages, the social media staff wanted blog posts, etc. Every meeting they would change direction based on who offered the best points in that meeting, so I would go back and forth between all of the projects.
My approach to all of these constant changes was to first take note of each meeting and send out a meeting summary, so everyone always knew why I was doing whatever I was doing. Next, I would try to work a little bit on all of the “off” projects so there was some progress in case I was called on about them. Finally, I would do a bit of research to try to weigh in with what I though was the best strategy, since one of the reasons they changed directions often was because they didn’t have a firm idea of what would be best. Overall this type of work environment represented a good learning challenge.”
You can see how you never got mad or frustrated, nor were you complaining. In this example, the reasons for the change were out of your control, you definitely had to be open minded, and you shared a lot of skills and ideas that will help you look great to the employer.
See Also Related Post: How change management can reduce workplace frustration
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