Change Management Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 March 2023

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Employers desire candidates with experience in change management as it is essential for them to keep up with regular industry development and changing customer demands. Interviewers often ask change management questions during job interviews to assess the adaptability, agility and flexibility of candidates. By understanding the purpose of interview questions related to change management, you can prepare responses highlighting your experience with managing workplace changes. In this article, we share some frequently-asked change management interview questions and discuss some sample answers that you use to prepare for your upcoming job interview.

What is the purpose of change management interview questions?

Change management interview questions help organisations evaluate whether candidates can help them adapt to changes in economic situations, markets, technologies, competitors and customer demands. These questions can be about launching new products, retraining existing employees, hiring new employees, appointing new leaders and adopting new business strategies. Such questions can also ask candidates how to remain productive while managing business changes. Change management questions also usually cover the following topics:

  • Ability to recognise the necessity for change

  • Foresight to prepare and implement practical, measurable plans

  • Strategy to lead and manage the change process

  • Capability to persuade people to adapt to the forthcoming changes

  • Necessity of taking timely action to make corrections or improvements

Related: Your Guide to The Functions Of Management

Change management questions with sample answers

The following change management interview questions and answers can help you to prepare for future job interviews:

How would you ask your team to change their working style for a new project?

Interviewers frequently ask this question to find out how you can handle new projects that require different strategies and approaches than the ones with which you and your team are familiar. It is essential that your answer reflects your ability to adapt and lead your team effectively. You can mention different ways you would change the project processes and workflows.

Example answer: "I would call a team meeting, explain the specific requirements of the new project and ensure that the team understands why we require a different approach. I will then discuss the specific changes we are making and let them know that there may be further changes as we progress with the work. I may then ask them for their feedback and, if possible, include some of it in the work strategy and workflows."

Related: Your Guide To The Strategic Management Process

How would you convince a team member who is resistant to the proposed change?

Everyone in the team may not be accepting of the proposed change. The interviewer wants to know if you can handle conflict and be persuasive with this interview question. You can describe how you would discuss the matter with your team member. You can also mention what you would do if you cannot convince them.

Example answer: I would first ask the team member to explain the issue they have with the proposed change. I can then assess if they have a valid reason for their opposition. If they do, and it could impact the project, I may reach out to the client and let them know we require certain adjustments.

If the team member has a more personal reason, such as being uncomfortable with their assigned work or having a conflict with a colleague, I may suggest other tasks that they are willing to do. If they dislike the project and are not willing to compromise, I may shift them to another team to work on another project."Have you ever been opposed to change? If so, how did you handle the situation?

People, including managers, can be averse to change for various reasons. When interviewers ask this question, they want to know how you plan to handle change proposals you find contentious. Your response can indicate an appropriate way of refusing something or adapting to it acceptably.

Example answer: When I worked as an illustrator with Wavewood, the art director asked me to make changes in the illustrations that were not appropriate for the book. I had read the book, but the art director had not, and they were relying on outdated editorial and meeting notes. I asked for a meeting with the editor and the art director and, using quotes from the book, explained my reasons for opposing the proposed changes. Fortunately, they agreed with my view."In your opinion, why are many people resistant to change?

By asking this question, the interviewer may want to know if you have unique insights into the process and psyche of change. It is advisable to research the topic ahead of the interview and prepare a comprehensive and balanced answer. Your answer can reflect your ability to see different perspectives and aspects of change management.

Example answer: People may be resistant to change for several reasons. They may dislike or disagree with the change that the company is proposing. They may also have a set routine and may find it too troublesome to readjust to something new. In my experience, most people are willing to make the adjustments if you can explain how the changes can improve our work processes or benefit the project that we are doing.

Related: How To Develop Effective People Management Skills

In your opinion, what is the most important reason for making changes?

When interviewers ask this question, they want to understand your reasoning process. It is important to note that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. You can share your experience and discuss the most beneficial result of making a change.

Example answer: In my opinion, the most important reason for making changes is to realise the company's business growth potential. You can only grow and advance the business if you are willing to change and adapt to new economic, social and technical developments. For instance, you have to adjust your production goals to align with market demands. If you fail to do that, you may end up in a situation where you have insufficient production to meet consumer requirements, or you produce more than what the market demands.

Can you describe the biggest change in which you participated?

Interviewers often ask this question to learn about your practical experience in managing workplace changes. It can help to detail a scenario that you think was significant. You can explain what the change was about, why it was necessary, and the steps you took to implement it in your workplace.

Example answer: When I was in charge of the sales team at the car dealership where I worked previously, it became evident that we would require to make some changes to increase our sales and improve our customer relations. I called for a team meeting, explained that we would be changing our sales process and provided everyone with details of the steps we would be taking. I also asked for their input, and the team offered many excellent suggestions that we incorporated into our plan.

I assigned new tasks to everyone, and we got started on our new processes with a new strategy. Although we did have a few difficulties adapting to the changes, the benefits became apparent after a couple of months. Our sales went up, and we got more positive reviews from our customers.

Related: Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Can you name one of the biggest obstacles to workplace change?

The purpose of this change management question is to get your insight into implementing change in the workplace. Changes may not always go smoothly, and it is essential to be aware of the obstacles you might encounter. You can answer by giving an example of your practical experience in your workplace.

Example answer: In my experience, the biggest obstacle to workplace change is implementing the change without hampering continuity and productivity. It can be difficult for many people to leave accustomed processes and procedures, and they may inadvertently revert to their former ways. It may be necessary to provide each team member with detailed guidelines and a checklist for reference and ensure they work according to the new plan. It is also essential to monitor and check the work frequently to make sure it progresses as per goals.

How do you maintain a positive attitude while implementing complex workplace changes?

The interviewers may ask this question to probe into your workplace relationships and management style. They may also want to know how you handle difficult situations. You can answer by explaining how you keep your emotions under control in the workplace and try to find a compromise to get things done effectively.

Example answer: I try to stay positive by reminding myself frequently that change is part of life and it is essential to adapt to remain successful. As a manager, it is my responsibility to implement necessary changes, and in the process, I may sometimes have to make difficult decisions. I try to find alternatives if possible, and if required, I take a tough stance and get things done.

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