Change Management Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 November 2022

Published 31 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The purpose of a job interview is for the recruiter to learn more about candidates by asking them questions to decide if they're a good fit for the vacant position. How you answer the interview questions may determine how far you'll go in the recruitment process. As organisations are constantly changing to keep to speed with evolving customer demand and industry updates, a recruiter may ask about your experience managing change at work. In this article, we provide some examples of change management interview questions and sample answers.

9 change management interview questions with sample answers

Here is a list of nine change management interview questions and sample answers for you to review:

1. How would you react if your manager requested that you change your way of working for a project?

Being a part of a project team sometimes means adapting the way you work to suit how the project is developing. The recruiter wants to be assured that regardless of the reason, you're able to adapt your working style to suit what you're currently working on. Before you answer, consider how you would respond to a request for change from a manager and provide the interviewer with a response that reflects how you really feel.

Example: 'I've been told that I adapt well to change, and I'd be open to adjusting the way I work to suit the project and support my manager's request. I'd trust that they're acting in the best interest of our project team. I may question why they're asking that I change my way of working so that I can better understand what they expect of me and apply any feedback I get to future projects.'

Related: 31 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)

2. Can you tell me about a time when you were opposed to change? How did you handle it?

It's not unusual to feel opposed to change at times, especially if you're asked to change a proposal or something you've worked hard on, but the recruiter may want to know you'll handle the request even if you don't necessarily agree with it. In most cases, change is likely to help you improve and develop in your role, and it's critical that you're able to handle any opposition you have to the idea of change in an appropriate manner.

Example: 'In my previous role as a graphic designer, the marketing manager informed me that the company was going through a rebrand and gave me the task of updating all of our marketing materials. I was initially opposed to the change because I felt very passionate about how the current branding appealed to our target audience. I wanted to better understand the reasons for the change, and I asked my manager about it. I then shared my thoughts on general graphic design principles that explained why I was uncertain of the update.'

Related: Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

3. How do you typically manage change in the workplace?

Change is common in any workplace. Therefore, the recruiter may want to know how you'll adapt to changes at work. You must be able to accommodate change without compromising the quality of your work. An employer wants to know what they can expect from you if they were to introduce changes to your team or working environment.

Example: 'To manage change, I first seek to understand the reasons for the change. As soon as I am aware of the changes I need to make, I adapt as needed to support my team and my work objectives. I am someone who always seeks ways to improve my work, and I welcome change as part of my personal development.'

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4. Describe a time when you have had to persuade your team to accept change? How did you go about it?

An employer may rely on their employees to work together to adapt and implement changes in the workplace. There may be times when you need to help your manager persuade others that change is positive and essential to better performance. The recruiter is likely to be reassured if they know that you have previous experience in this situation and feel more confident in your abilities to lead your team members.

Example: 'I've been in situations before where I've had to persuade my team that change was necessary. I've found that people often value routine, so change can be uncomfortable for some. I think it's important to understand why they're hesitant to change so I can consider it from their perspective. I've had to do this in previous roles, and it worked out well for my team.'

5. How do you stay positive when faced with challenging changes at work?

Your attitude at work can impact your relationships with colleagues and affect how you manage your workload. The recruiter wants to be assured that you're able to stay positive, even if you're feeling conflicted about changes in the workplace. Explain what you do to maintain a positive attitude so the employer knows what to expect from you if you're offered the position.

Example: 'I find that I'm able to stay positive by continuously reminding myself that change is necessary if I want to adapt to the latest trends and continue to develop in my career. As an employee, I've been a part of assisting the company I work for in achieving success, and I welcome that responsibility. I make sure that I keep thinking of the advantages that change can bring and that even though it can be difficult at times, it will bring positive results for the company.'

Related: What Are Competency-Based Interview Questions?

6. What do you think are some of the reasons that people resist change?

A recruiter may ask this question to learn more about your insight into certain matters, such as why some people naturally resist change. It's perfectly acceptable to take a moment to think about your response before replying to this question. You want to provide a well-considered answer that reflects how you truly feel about the question.

Example: 'I believe that people who resist change thrive on routine. Their routine provides them with a sense of security, and any changes to that can make them feel insecure in their situation and uncertain about what they should do next. In my experience, helping someone to understand more about the change and the reasons for it, the more they find it easier to accept and even welcome it.'

7. What is the most significant change you've been a part of?

An employer may ask this question to find out more about a real experience you've had where it's been necessary for you to adapt to a major change in the workplace. Take a moment to think through your previous experiences and explain what the biggest change was, why it was so significant and how you might handle the change.

Example: 'When I worked as a member of the sales team, the director completely changed our sales process. It was a huge change to the way we had been doing things for years, but I trusted that our director was making the right decisions for the good of the company. It didn't take long to adjust to the changes and adapt the way I worked to fit our new sales process. After a few months, the benefits of the changes became clear to all of us when our sales increased, and our customers were more satisfied.'

8. What do you think is the main reason for implementing change?

An employer may ask this simply because they want to understand your thought processes and how you feel about the need for change. There often isn't a right or wrong answer to this sort of question. Even if you don't have direct experience in implementing changes, your answer can demonstrate to the recruiter that you've gained valuable insights from experiencing change at work and show that you've gained an understanding of human nature from working with a diverse range of people.

Example: 'I think the main reason a business wants to apply changes is to grow and realise its potential. In my experience, one of the main reasons for change is when company stakeholders have spotted an inefficiency that's having a negative impact on the business. In this case, change is needed to meet company goals and objectives.'

Related: Interview Question: "Tell Me About Yourself"

9. What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles to change?

If you're asked this question by the interviewer, pause before answering to demonstrate that you're taking the time to think over your response. If you're uncertain of how to answer, careful consideration can help you form a theory that you can share with the recruiter. Many employers ask questions like this to get further insight into your experiences and your outlook on certain topics.

Example: 'I think the biggest obstacle to change is getting people to adopt it. Certain processes and procedures can be ingrained in some employees, and they may struggle to adopt changes. If change is not adopted throughout the company or department, the organisation may not reap the full benefits of implementation. Therefore, I think it's important to fully explain the reason for the changes with all employees and create a plan to introduce change that helps them feel more at ease with it.'

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