Interviewing for Adaptability

Why should you gauge candidates’ adaptability skills?

The ability to adapt, whether to changes with technology, client needs, or other unknowns, can make a big difference for companies. You need employees who handle change with ease so you can keep moving forward to meet new demands and address ever changing market conditions. 

Adaptable employees:

  • Embrace uncertainty 
  • Remain calm under pressure
  • Accept changes
  • Are resourceful

When hiring, you’ll want to ask questions that help you evaluate how a potential employee will adjust to changing and unpredictable circumstances and take on new tasks and projects.

What interview questions should you ask to test adaptability?

  • What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when starting a new job?
  • Describe for me a time you had to learn how to use a new tool at work.
  • Describe for me how you adjust to changes you have no control over, for example if a team member unexpectedly quits.
  • If your colleagues had a “this is how we do it” attitude against learning something new, how would you attempt to convince them to follow a different, more effective method of working?
  • Tell me about a time you were assigned new tasks. How did you adapt?
  • Talk to me about how you’d re-adjust your schedule when your manager asks you to prepare a report within an hour? How do you ensure you don’t fall behind your regular tasks?
  • You’ve been working on a client’s project for a while when your manager informs you that the project’s requirements changed suddenly. What would you do?
  • The new HR Manager implements formal performance reviews for all employees. How would you prepare your team if you were previously used to only having informal performance discussions?

What are the signs of an adaptable candidate?

  • Candidates who consider multiple scenarios before making a decision will have more success handling change
  • Candidates who are open-minded and value flexibility
  • Those who have demonstrated prior success in change management
  • Candidates who are eager to learn new skills and aren’t afraid of taking risks
  • Good team players are often adaptable because they’re willing to adjust their working style for the team’s sake and they value collaboration and flexibility
  • Candidates with positive attitudes demonstrate an ability to accept changes without complaining
  • Candidates who seem at ease and relaxed. While some nervousness is normal during an interview, people with strong adaptability skills are able to stay calm under pressure so they can more easily find effective solutions 

Want more sample interview questions? Check our JobSage’s interview library here!

Best of luck with your interviewing!