11 Managing Change Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)
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Organisations often deal with many changes throughout their development and growth. Hiring managers may look for employees that can manage these changes well and assist the organisation in continuing to be productive. Learning about managing change interview questions may help you answer such questions during interviews for many types of roles. In this article, we discuss 11 questions that interviewers may ask you about managing change and provide a sample answer for each one.
Managing change interview questions with sample answers
Here are examples of managing change interview questions that interviewers may ask you:
1. What would you do if your manager requested you change your way of working on a project?
Being a part of a project means having to adapt to how the project is developing. A hiring manager wants to know that no matter the reason, you can adapt your work style to what you're currently working on. Before answering, think about how you might respond to a change request from a superior and provide your interviewer with a response that reflects your true thoughts.
Example: "I feel I adapt well to change, so I'd be open to amending how I'm working to support my manager's request. I trust that what they request of me is in the best interest of our work team. I may ask my manager why they're requesting a change so I can understand the request better and apply any feedback I receive to future projects."
2. Tell us about a time when you were opposed to change. How did you handle it?
It's normal to feel opposed to a change proposal, but a hiring manager wants to know how you might handle the request even if you don't love the idea of it. Most times, change helps you improve and grow in your role, therefore, it's important to handle your opposition to change appropriately.
Example: "In my previous role as a graphic designer, the marketing manager let me know what we were going through a rebranding and tasked me with updating all of our company's marketing material. I was opposed to the change because I felt strongly about the current branding and how it appealed to our target audience. To understand the change more, I asked my manager what the reasons were behind the change and shared my opinion on general graphic design principles that support why I was unsure of the update."
3. How do you manage changes in the workplace?
Change is common in any workplace, and an employer wants to know how you might react to change in a new role. It's important that you can adapt to change without compromising the quality of your work. A hiring manager wants to know what they can expect from you if they were to introduce change to your team.
Example: "I manage change by first seeking to understand the reason for the change. I then immediately change as needed to support the workplace and my team. As someone who seeks ways to improve my work environment, I welcome change."
4. Have you ever had to convince your team to accept change? How did you go about it?
A hiring manager may rely on their employees to work together to accept and create change in the workplace. You may help your manager convince others that change is beneficial and necessary, so knowing that you have this experience can help a hiring manager feel confident in your abilities to lead your peers. If you receive this question, think about any time when you had to help your colleagues understand change and why it was important for them to change as requested.
Example: "I've been in situations where I've needed to convince my team that change was necessary. I've found that people appreciate routine, so change can be unpleasant for some, and that it's important to understand why they aren't convinced, so you can explore the change from their perspective. That's what I've had to do in previous roles and it worked out well for our group."
5. How do you stay positive during difficult changes at work?
Your attitude at work can affect your relationships with others and how you manage your work. A hiring manager wants to know that you're able to remain positive, even if you have conflicting feelings about the change in the workplace. Explain what you do to keep a positive attitude, so they know what to expect from you if they offer you the position.
Example: "When I feel there's a major change coming, I take some time to learn more about why it's being proposed and how it may impact my role. Sometimes, this information is already available, so I can wait to find out what's going on before worrying about the change. Once I understand the changes, I'm able to handle any work-related worries that come up."
6. Have you ever worked on a project with a new team? How did you manage team communication?
A hiring manager wants to know what skills you might bring from experience working in a new team environment and how you may manage team communication. If you have worked on projects requiring team communication, explain how you defined different roles, responsibilities and expectations. Be sure to mention any strategies that were successful in team communication.
Example: "I worked as a department manager for a company where I was in charge of multiple teams working on different projects. Each team had its own roles and responsibilities, and new members constantly joined the teams, so it was important that everyone understood what the other team members were doing. We created a communication strategy in advance of the project starting to ensure that everyone knew who they would be communicating with and when they may expect feedback from others."
7. How do you approach a change request?
A hiring manager wants to know how you might handle change at work. While it's important to react well to change and to adapt your work style to changing environments, you also want them to know that you're open-minded about new ideas for improving the workplace.
Example: "I try not to let myself get stuck in a routine or comfortable with what I'm doing. If a change is proposed, I ask myself if the increase in efficiency and quality of solutions is worth the additional effort of complying with whatever the new direction entails."
8. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
A hiring manager wants to know if you can lead a team productively and deal with conflict as needed. This question gives you an opportunity to explain what you've done successfully in previous roles.
Example: "I like to think about ways other people in my workplace may be feeling, before approaching a situation where I might deal with conflict. I've found that talking about other people's thoughts and concerns helps me communicate better with others."
9. What experience do you have with training new employees?
A hiring manager might ask this question if your role involves training new employees. It helps them determine if you have experience handling such a responsibility. If you have, explain your role and how you got the most out of new talent. You may also want to offer examples of new employees that were successful or unsuccessful in their roles.
Example: "In my previous role as a sales manager, I trained over 30 employees from the point of hiring on our company's sales procedures and specific sales strategies for our product line. Many of these employees succeeded in their roles and eventually trained other employees, too."
10. What do you think are the largest obstacles to change?
A hiring manager wants to know what obstacles you may face when implementing change in the workplace. Explain your own ideas on obstacles that often affect the ability of organisations to implement changes, including some examples.
Example: "For me, the most difficult obstacle can come from conflict between employees. I've found that I can successfully implement change by discussing organisational challenges and potential changes with my manager before the change is implemented. This helps me maintain communication with my team and limit conflicts between employees."
11. What is the biggest change you've been a part of?
A hiring manager may ask this question to gauge how you might react to change as a leader. Use this example to demonstrate your ability to be flexible and motivate a team to do the same.
Example: "I worked on a major launch of a new platform for a company. We were responsible for making sure that the platform was ready to launch to our retail partners. It was my role to keep the project on track. I worked with my team members to make sure they understood everything they needed to know about the platform."
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