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Tricks to answering adaptability questions with sample answers

Are you adaptable? Situations like the pandemic have taught us all lessons in keeping up with change. But it’s not just extreme cases like COVID where adaptability matters. The introduction of new processes, hybrid work environments, and coworkers with a variety of personalities are just a few examples of run-of-the-mill situations you’ll face in everyday work life. Employers want to see that you can keep it together under pressure and handle unexpected events efficiently and professionally. In preparation for your interview, take a look at our adaptability interview questions with sample answers.

Ticking all the right boxes

During your interview, there are a few things your prospective employer will be looking out for. Employees who are uneasy about leaving their comfort zones aren’t ideal when it comes to adaptability as well as those with nervous or negative dispositions. Being able to work well in a team is vital, along with an open-minded approach to problems. Read on to learn how to best answer interview questions that determine adaptability.

  • How do you adjust to changes you have no control over?

Wherever possible, use real-life examples that highlight your positive attitude and just-keep-swimming approach. This ties in with testing your emotional intelligence.

Sample answer: “With the dynamic industry we work in, I’ve become used to adjusting to fit ever-changing criteria. At my previous company, the budget for a project I was working on was cut by a third just as we were approaching the deadline. I met with the client to discuss the aspects that were most important to them and removed the less important items that could reduce costs. In the end, the client was satisfied even though the outcome differed from the original  expectations.”

  • What are the biggest challenges you’ll face when you start a new job?

Your interviewer wants to see how well you’ll adapt to a new work environment where you’re surrounded by virtual strangers and unfamiliar processes. Use  this opportunity to talk about the research you’ve done on the company’s culture.

Sample answer: “I’ve noticed that the culture here is very team-oriented so I think that one of the challenges would be figuring out how to work with several new people with very different personalities. I’d sign up for group events and projects to get to know the team better, which is great as I like meeting new people.”

  • Your coworker is averse to adopting a new process. How would you convince them to try a new, more effective method?

Here’s a chance to demonstrate your leadership and negotiation skills. The key here is to show compassion, respect, and persuasiveness.

Sample answer: “I’d ask my colleagues to share their doubts and reservations about the new process and see how we can address their concerns. I’d also show them how the new system can benefit them and give them tips on how to get used to the new procedure such as displaying reminders and task instructions.”

  • How did you adapt to being assigned new tasks that are not part of your job description?

Can you pick up the slack if necessary? Are you a team player or do you disengage once you have completed your tasks? Show your interviewer that you’re up for taking on new challenges to achieve the company’s goals.

Sample answer: “At an event for potential clients, half the waitstaff did not pitch. I threw on an apron and grabbed a tray of champagne glasses to hand out to our guests. I used this opportunity as a fun talking point, while showing the team we were pitching to the extent we would go to in providing them a premium service if they hired us.”

Final thoughts

In an increasingly unpredictable world, the ability to adapt and adjust with grace is a precious commodity. Show that you can stretch the limits of your abilities with a smile on your face and a desire to succeed. Get some insight into what interviewers are looking for when they ask adaptability interview questions, along with some of the top questions asked in interviews.

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