Job Interview Question And Answer: Describe A Situation Where You Demonstrated Flexibility

Posted October 13, 2011, by Josie Chun

Flexibility is the ability to adapt to different people and circumstances, and handle unforeseen events with grace. It’s a valuable trait in any employee and an essential quality in certain occupations and industries, so be sure you can demonstrate it to your interviewer with concrete examples.

Are you the kind of person who easily adapts to different professional and social environments? If so, describe these environments and how you smoothly move between them. Perhaps in the past you worked as a temp and constantly changed locations, environments and cultures, working in a large insurance company one week, a government office the next and a small family-owned business the week after. Look back on your employment history and see if you can identify significant differences between your various employers while demonstrating how you thrived in each situation.

Also think about specific situations where you demonstrated flexibility. Perhaps you were managing a large project at work and had to deal with very different personalities, adapting your style and approach to get the most out of every team member, or while managing that project an unforeseen circumstance arose or your client suddenly changed their mind about something that required you to quickly change tack. Describe how you were able to swiftly accommodate the new condition while maintaining your good humour – this will show your facility for rolling with the punches and thinking on your feet without getting rattled.

Don’t be afraid to use an example from outside work if it seems appropriate – like the time you planned a large outdoor birthday party for your child but were faced on the day with torrential rain, gale-force winds and a power outage. Yet, thanks to your positive attitude and resourcefulness, you were able to successfully entertain a houseful of boisterous, cupcake-fuelled kids with your sanity intact – no small feat, and one that would impress even the most hardened interviewer.

See our full list of interview questions and answers to help you in your next interview!

Josie Chun

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