4 min read

Tell me about a time when you adapt to sudden changes in the workplace.

A possible question about how you deal with sudden changes in the workplace. It’s scary and confusing.

You know something needs to be done, but where do you begin? What do you need to focus on first? What steps do you need to take?

Structure the way in which you respond. Set an agenda for the interview by using STAR. Practice using STAR will make it much easier under pressure when dealing with a new situation at work.

Here are some examples of 'STAR' answers that you can use before the interview.

The company’s social media account was hacked

S - There was one time when the company’s social media account was hacked and the hackers were indiscriminately posting inappropriate content. The company’s CEO called everyone in for an emergency meeting to discuss what had happened, what steps we could take to prevent it from happening again, and how we should respond to concerned customers.

T - My role in this situation was to monitor the social media accounts for any suspicious activity and report my findings to my manager so that he could inform management if needed.

A - I carried out my task by monitoring all of our social media accounts every hour. I also created a checklist of things people should look out for (such as strange usernames or posts) so that they could report anything they found unusual directly to me.

R - The result was that we were able to catch the hackers before they could do any more damage and get them arrested before they could cause any further harm.

I had a new boss who was very demanding

S - I had a new boss who was very demanding. She wanted to make sure that her employees were working hard and spending time on the projects that mattered most.

T - My job was to check in with each of my colleagues every hour and ask them what they were working on, what their goals were for the day, and how they were progressing toward reaching those goals.

A - I found that this helped me stay organized and get work done quickly. It also helped me identify when someone needed help or guidance with their projects so I could assist them in any way possible.

R - The result was that I got along well with my colleagues and made myself available to help them complete any task they needed assistance with, which made them more productive as well as myself.

When our factory sold for produce another production

S - I was working at a factory that produced toothpaste. One day, the owner of the factory called me into his office to tell me he was going to shut down production and sell the company. He said that he had found a buyer who would pay him more money than he could make from the factory if it continued to run. The buyer wanted to keep the factory open, but they wanted to change its focus entirely so they could market their new product globally.

T - My task was to help train all my colleagues on how to use new equipment, as well as provide them with new training materials so they could learn how to operate their new machines properly.

A - I went out of my way by providing my colleagues with extra training materials so they could learn how to operate their new machines properly. I also spent extra time helping them get up-to-speed on using their new equipment.

R - The result was that we were able to successfully change our focus from toothpaste production to manufacturing crayons instead!

My co-worker was on a business trip, and I had to take care of all the things

S -  My co-worker was on a business trip, and I had to take care of all the things that needed to be done for the project he was working on.

T - I had to make sure that all of his tasks were completed by the end of the week and that nothing was left unfinished.

A - I made sure to keep track of all of his assignments so that they would not get lost in the shuffle of my other duties. I also assigned tasks to other members of our team so that we could work together to ensure everything got done in a timely manner.

R - The project was finished on time and with no issues, which meant we did not have any delays or problems during our next meeting.

My company was having trouble getting a new app to work

S -  I think the best example I can give is when my company was having trouble getting this new app to work. It was so frustrating because we were all working so hard but nothing seemed to be going right. We had been working on it for months and it just kept crashing every time we tried to run it.

T -  Our boss wasn't sure what else we could do, so he asked me if I could take a look at it and see if there was anything that could be done.

A -  My first thought was that there must be something wrong with the hardware or software, so I started doing some research online. But then I realized that maybe it wasn't either of those things—maybe the problem was with our environment! So I spent some time trying out different versions of Java and other programming languages, but none of those worked either. Then one day, I decided that maybe we should try a different operating system instead of [system name] and that's when everything started working!

R - I solved trouble getting this new app to work and everything started working!

When my new manager had slightly different expectations for me

S -  I have been in situations where I have had to adapt to sudden changes in the workplace. For example, one time a new manager was hired and she had slightly different expectations for me than my old manager did.

T -  The task, of adapting to the new manager and different expectations

A -  My old manager had been very clear about what she wanted me to do and how she wanted me to do it, but the new manager gave me more freedom to do things my way. At first, I struggled with this because it was so different from what I was used to. However, after a few weeks of trying out different approaches and talking with my peers, I found that there were benefits to this approach as well.

R - For example, by allowing myself some flexibility in how I did things, I was able to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things that were better than what we had done before. This helped us be more efficient at our jobs and helped us solve problems faster when they arose because there were more people working on them.