How to Determine If a Candidates Adapts to Change Well

Innovations in technology have made it possible for the business world to change at a rapid pace never before realized. In the past, many employees learned a certain skill set at the beginning of their career and continued on with little to no change until retirement, but this is no longer the case. When filling a position on your team, making sure the candidate learns quickly and adapts to change easily is essential, as one person stuck in the past can slow the whole team down.


Use the interview process to ask pointed questions about the candidate’s ability to embrace change, to avoid inadvertently hiring someone who avoids variations in their routine at all costs.

Explain how you typically acclimate yourself with a new work environment.

Unless you’re hiring for an entry-level position, the candidate has prior experience entering a new work environment, so find out how they approached it. Anyone who mentions working hard to bond with their new colleagues, taking the initiative to ask lots of questions while getting situated and being open-minded throughout the process is a keeper. On the other hand, those who hint at waiting for others to lead their transition and having trouble with the adjustment probably aren’t the best choice.

If hired, how long do you think it will take you to be productive at this job?

Anyone can say they’ll be productive immediately, but unless they have a plan to do so, that’s an empty promise. Choose a candidate who understands it takes time to learn their way around a new job, but will show up on their first day ready to get the process started.

Detail a time when you had to work with a colleague who was very different than you.

Many employees are very set in their ways, making them difficult to work with. At one time or another, most people have teamed up with a colleague who had a very different personality, so find out how they handled it. The best answers are those involving an ability to adapt their communication style and work preferences to match those of the other individual. Consider it a red flag if the candidate mentions having any trouble changing their ways to partner with colleagues.

How do you expect this job to evolve over the next five years?

The candidate is well aware of the responsibilities currently associated with the job, but as time goes on, these will likely evolve, so you need someone who understands this. If the person seems unphased and has no trouble predicting at least three changes impacting your industry, technology, and the business realm as a whole that will likely impact the position, it’s probably safe to assume they’re unbothered by it. Conversely, anyone who can’t image why anything would change and seems anxious about the mere possibility probably isn’t a great choice.

You have to keep moving forward for your business to be a success, so you need a team of employees who embrace change. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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