How Well Do You Adapt To New Situations?

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer

If you go into a job interview, you may be asked, “how well do you adapt to new situations” When faced with this question, you want to go beyond simply stating you handle change well. The hiring manager wants to know how quickly you will be able to function in a new environment.

If you are applying to a fast-paced job, it may also be important for the interviewer to find out how you deal with a rapidly changing workplace. The best response to this question will depend on the type of position you are considering.

Points to Emphasize

When answering the adaptation question, showcase why you can adapt by focusing on your skills, character traits and natural abilities. Feel free to share one or two experiences that prove your flexibility.

  • Emphasize your confidence when faced with unpredicted challenges.
  • Mention how your skillset makes you an ideal candidate for the position.
  • Highlight any past work experiences that required adaptation.
  • Focus on any skills that help you learn quickly such as problem-solving or critical thinking.

Answer in a positive way to show enthusiasm for the position’s challenges, and aim to ask about the demands of the job in return.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

You do not want to spend ten minutes discussing your past work experiences, but you want to allow enough time to prove your point.

  • Do not be overzealous in stating your accomplishments and proficiencies.
  • Be careful to avoid looking nervous or unsure.
  • Do not give a short answer in an attempt to move on to a different question.
  • Do not share false anecdotes.

If you share an example of workplace adaptability and the interviewer continues a discussion about it, follow his or her lead. Otherwise, devote just enough time to the question so that your interviewer feels confident in your stated abilities.

Sample Answer

Here are examples of good answers to the question of adaptation:

I think I excel in new and challenging situations. I’ve never been one to be daunted by an unexpected issue, because I find remaining calm helps you find better solutions. I enjoy getting to know new colleagues and settle into an organization’s methodology fairly quickly.

No two jobs or tasks are ever the same, so I find it is best to always anticipate unforeseen problems. I’ve worked in fast-paced positions before, so I’m confident in my ability to identify and solve problems under pressure.

Remember, the interviewer wants to get to know you, so give him or her thorough and complete answers to every question.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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