Life is a change, and yet we do not like it. The older we become, the harder it is to adapt to changes–be it at home, or at work. Hiring managers and interviewers are aware of our weaknesses. And they also know that change is ever-present in a modern corporation of 21st century, and try to hire people who can adapt to changes, or even make them (from managerial positions). That’s why they will typically ask you at least one questions related to your ability to make changes or at least to accept them. In this article I will show you 7 great sample answers to such a question.
Before we proceed to the answers, I want you to remember a couple of things. First of all, do not be afraid to talk about hard things in the interviews. Hiring managers love honest candidates, and major changes are often connected to unpleasant experiences. Maybe you lost someone you loved, or your partner left you. Perhaps you had to move, or accept a second job because you struggled with money. Or you were diagnosed with some illness and had to make profound changes to your dietary routine. All these are good examples for your answer, and you shouldn’t be afraid of talking about them in the interviews.
Secondly, the main point here is to demonstrate that you can make, or accept, major changes, when necessary, or when beneficial for you or for your employer. That’s the attitude they seek in the best job candidates, in the people they want to hire. On the contrary, if you claimed to be afraid of making changes, or even said you that you hated change, they would not hire you. Keep it on your mind when facing such questions in your interview. Let’s proceed to the sample answers.
7 sample answers to “Tell me about a time you had to make a major change to your daily routine” interview question
- The best example is from one year ago, when I decided to take on a part time job at a gas station while still studying at college. Since I cannot afford to work in the mornings or afternoons, due to my school obligations, I worked mostly evenings and night shifts. I had to make many changes to my routine accordingly, foregoing some free time activities and Friday nights out. But I knew why I was doing it, trying to get some experience on my resume, and also to earn money I needed to support my studies. Of course, it was hard at first and my body had to adapt to working at night. But I eventually managed to combine working and studying. Now I finally graduated, and looking for my first full time job. No doubt I’ll have to make some changes to my daily routine again, but I am looking forward to it.
- I had to make a major change three years ago, when doctor diagnosed me with dangerously high cholesterol levels. It wasn’t a surprise though, since we had the history of this medical condition in my family, and I really didn’t do anything to help the issue. Spending my time sitting and working on a computer during the day, and watching TV in the evenings and eating unhealthy food, I could hardly expect a different outcome. But I decided to change things. I started to do Nordic walking twice a day, waking up at 5:30am to manage to do my exercise before going to work. I also became vegetarian, and started to eat more healthy food. These were all major changes to my daily routine, and on some days I found it super hard to get up from bed in the morning, or resists junk food. But I persisted, and eventually not only improved my cholesterol levels. I dropped twenty pounds, and I feel better than I felt when I was twenty years old…
- The major change I didn’t make. But I could not avoid it. My partner died in a motorbike accident. It was like a lighting striking from the sky, it happened completely unexpectedly. And I had to change everything, because we lived together and used to go almost everywhere together. Things that belonged to my daily routine suddenly lost their sense. And I found it hard to bear with it–as you can certainly imagine. But I did not give up. I started to visit a therapist, and asked friends for help. Eventually, little by little, I found new hobbies and started going to places with other people. The sessions with the therapist also helped me a lot. My daily routine today is completely different as it was five years ago, but I have accepted it. We cannot turn back the clock, and people do not return from their graves. It is what it is, and these days I enjoy my daily routine. Hopefully the job with you will soon belong to it.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the most difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, solving problems, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 50 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
- I had to make such a change when I lost my job during the pandemic. Because I was totally unprepared for it. A loyal employee of the government contractor for over ten years, I had my routines which I followed day after day. Suddenly there was no reason to wake up early, and nowhere to go after my morning coffee. Though I felt hurt and disappointed and lacking motivation, I knew I could not afford to stay idle for long. I have bills to pay and a child I love and want to provide for. Hence I quickly developed a new daily routine. Reading for two hours in the morning, I was working on my skills in psychology and HR. Then I always spent one hour browsing job boards, looking for fitting offers. After that I cooked lunch–something I wasn’t used to do since I always dined in restaurants. And so on, and so forth. I came with a new routine, and with a clear goal–to find a new job, in human resources, this time in the private sector. And I am happy to see that my effort is finally yielding results, interviewing for this great job with you…
- Unless I return back to school times, I am still waiting for such a moment. Because I always had similar jobs in big corporations, which more or less required the same daily routine. You wake up at 7am, eat something, go to work, stay overtime, come back home late, do some sports or watch TV–if you have any energy left, and eventually eat dinner and go to sleep. However, I had to make many changes within my job, because we were a small and agile team, and making changes while constantly trying to improve the effectiveness of our work was one of the principles we followed in the company. I can assure you that I did not have problem with that. I am actually someone who hates routine, and it is important for me to always learn and try new things.
- Well, I had to make major changes when my kids left to live in the dormitory. Honestly speaking though, I embraced such a change. Finally, after years of spending my time mostly working and caring for the household, I had some time for myself. I started reading books again, meeting with old friends, and basically I didn’t find it hard to find the house empty in the morning, and in the evening. In my opinion, everything is a question of attitude, and point of view. Every situation has a bright side, and a dark one. And I prefer to see the glass half-full instead of half-empty. Hence instead of missing the presence of my kids and their smile at home, I focused on the opportunities their absence brought to my daily routine.
- Honestly speaking, I am making such changes almost on a monthly basis now. The pandemic has changed so much in my life. I had to adapt to losing my grandmother, someone I had been very close to, and had used to visit almost daily. Then I also lost my part time job, the school was closed, then they reopened it and closed it again, and so on, and so forth. Plus I also had some health issues that were hard to address since many places did not operate due to the pandemic. My daily routine was changing almost constantly. And though I did not always find it easy, especially the uncertainty I faced, I always tried to give my days some meaning, even when I did not go to job, or to school, or anywhere. Planning and time management have always been my strengths, and I always managed to come up with a meaningful plan of tasks for the day, even though I lost my regular activities…
Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- Can you tell us about any skills or experience that might be helpful in this job?
- How do you handle success?
- What motivates you?