Interivew Question: Provide an Example of How You Deal with Change

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: October 26, 2022

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There is no one perfect way to answer an interview question. However- there are certain methods that can be quite helpful. It is first important to understand the type of question that you are being asked and what comprises a proper answer. The way in which interviews are conducted has evolved over the years. Along with traditional interview questions such as ‘Tell me about yourself-‘ you can expect behavioral interview questions like- ‘Provide me with an overview of how you handle change- including a specific example from your experience.’ Interviewers want to know how you will handle certain aspects of a job- and one of the best ways to determine that is to know how you have handled situations in the past. Therefore- many hiring managers have begun to incorporate behavioral questions in their interviewing process.

Questions about how you handle change are meant to gauge your adaptability. A new job is a big change in itself- and throughout the course of working in a certain position you can expect to have to adapt to changes in your department or the company as a whole. An interviewer wants to make sure that you will be able to properly adjust in such situations. In formulating a proper answer- there are a number of ways that you can approach the question. The STAR method is a great way to give a thorough answer while expounding upon your skills and abilities. Check out these tips and an example answer to aid you in formulating your answer to this common behavioral interview question.

How to Answer the ‘Provide Me With an Overview of How You Handle Change- Including a Specific Example From Your Experience’ Behavioral Interview Question

Be concise

Some interviewees may get a bit frazzled with the two parts of this question and this can cause them to ramble. However- if you remember that the two components are related and meant to support one another- you can answer it properly. The first part of the problem is meant to gain an understanding for your thought process- so explain your mindset and your method of putting your thoughts to action. For the second part- provide an example that supports the mindset you just expressed. Breaking the question down and addressing each part will help you to keep your answer clear and concise.

Share one example

With regards to the second part of this question- when asked to provide a specific example- choose one instance to focus on and go into depth with it. Trying to share more than one example in response to behavioral interview questions may become confusing for the interviewer- or oddly enough may come across as you being vague.

Use the STAR method

The STAR method is an excellent way to help you to articulate your thoughts intelligibly and answer in a way that is easy to understand. It is also quite simple. You just have to remember the three parts:

  • 1. ST- situation or task that has developed
  • 2. A- action that is needed to address the problem
  • 3. R- result that occurs from implementation of the set action

By keeping this method in mind, you can be sure to answer any behavioral interview questions with poise and certainty that all needed aspects are addressed.

Do not harp on the change

Remember- the purpose of this question is to understand how you act towards change. Though it is important to clearly describe the change that you have faced in your example- you do not want to make it the focal point of your answer. If you do- you run the risk of appearing as if you do not adapt well to change- which could serve as a red flag to the interviewer.

Keep your answer positive

It is understandable if you are not fond of a change on your job; however- it is important that you show yourself as able to make it work. The best way to do this is to keep the overall tone of your answer upbeat. Make sure that you share the change and the effect that it had- but do so in a way that you share it in a positive light.

Sample ‘Provide Me With an Overview of How You Handle Change- Including a Specific Example From Your Experience’ STAR Interview Answer

You can never fully predict how a change will affect your job. With changes in general- I strive to maintain a positive attitude and keep in mind the intended purpose for the change. This helps me to figure out how to properly adapt in a way that aids in reaching the set goal. In my previous position I was working part time as an assistant- and I was mostly fulfilling customer service duties. A new full-time customer service agent was hired to fulfill the customer service duties- and it was not clearly stated what my new function would be. I met with my supervisor to gain clarity on her vision for the team moving forward- and I was able to get a better idea of what my contribution would be. This helped me to smoothly transition into my new role- as well as to help train the new representative in her role.

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