Here at HR Coaching, we advocate for the use of Attribute focused interviewing. Typical hiring processes are focused on skill sets which fills a temporary hole in your organization. Hiring for Attributes assures you will have a great fit for your organization no matter what role you’re putting them into now because they will grow with you into the future.
For this article we’ll focus on Adaptability.
How many days do you work where each and every day is exactly like the day before it? I’d venture a guess that answer would be zero. The world that we live in is unpredictable and a day at the office is no exception. One of our favorite quotes is “the only constant is change”. Given the constant changing landscape of the business world, individuals who can adapt quickly to changes are the ones who will succeed.
When you’re looking for someone to add to your team, you want to avoid someone who panics with each little change. The ideal candidate is someone who can take changes and setbacks in stride while still charging towards their goals. What’s important is not just how they react when faced with a change, but what they do about it.
Below are a few example questions you can ask a candidate to discover their adaptability.
1. Tell me about a time you completed an assignment or task that took you longer than you anticipated.
What to listen for: What setbacks did they encounter? Did they work to minimize the impact of those setbacks? Did the candidate change they way they approached the task given this new challenge or did they do things the same way and hope it never happened again?
2. Tell me about one of the biggest changes you’ve made in your life. How did it affect you?
What to listen for: You’re looking for intentionality here. You want to see that they identified an area of weakness or an area for improvement and made the choice to change it. How adaptable were they to the new situation? Did it take a long time for them to stabilize after the change or were they able to adapt quickly?
3. Tell me about a time at your last job where something surprised you or happened that was out of the ordinary.
What to listen for: What was it about the circumstance that surprised them? Was it a departure from their normal routine that derailed their plans or was something permanently changed about their environment. How long did it take them to get back on track?
Hopefully this gets you on your way to evaluating your candidates for their attributes instead of purely on their skill set. See our full list of hiring attributes here and if you would like to see more example interview questions, look at our best interview questions here.
What level of adaptability are you looking for from your newest team member? Do you need help with questions you could ask your candidates? Send us a note to our email. You may be featured in our next article!