How to Answer “Tell Me About a Change That You Have Made With Your Career” in an Interview

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Why do employers ask this question?

During a job interview, employers may ask candidates about changes they have made in their career in order to understand their adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges. This question allows the employer to see if the candidate is open to change and has the ability to adapt to new situations and environments.

How to answer the question

When answering this question, it's important to provide specific examples of a change you have made in your career and to explain the reasoning behind the change. Avoid using vague or general statements and try to provide specific details about the challenge you faced, the actions you took, and the outcome of your efforts. Here are some tips for answering this question effectively:
  1. Think about past changes you have made in your career, and choose an example that demonstrates your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges. This could be a change in job roles, industries, or geographical locations.
  2. Use the STAR format to structure your answer:
    • S: Describe the change you made and the initial challenge or opportunity that prompted the change.
    • T: Explain the actions you took to make the change and how you adapted to the new situation or environment.
    • A: Describe any challenges or obstacles you faced and how you overcame them.
    • R: Share the result or outcome of your efforts and the lessons you learned from the experience.
  3. Emphasize your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges, and explain how the change helped you grow and develop professionally. Share any skills or experiences that you gained as a result of the change.
  4. Avoid complaining or blaming others for the change. Instead, focus on how you took ownership of the situation and found ways to adapt and grow.

How to prepare for this question

Here are some tips for preparing for this question:
  • Review the job description and requirements carefully. Think about the skills and experiences that the employer is looking for, and consider how you can demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges in your answer.
  • Think about past changes you have made in your career, and choose an example that demonstrates your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges. This could be a change in job roles, industries, or geographical locations.

Common Mistakes

1. Not providing specific examples One common mistake that interviewees make when answering this question is not providing specific examples of a change they have made in their career. It's important to give specific details about the change you made, the challenge or opportunity that prompted the change, and the actions you took to adapt to the new situation or environment. Vague or general statements will not give the employer a clear understanding of your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges.

2. Complaining or blaming others for the change

Another mistake to avoid is complaining or blaming others for the change. It's important to focus on how you took ownership of the situation and found ways to adapt and grow. Complaining or blaming others for the change will not demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges, and may give the impression that you are not a team player. 3. Not emphasizing your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges It's important to emphasize your adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges in your answer. If you don't show the employer that you are open to change and have the ability to adapt to new situations and environments, they may question your fit for the role.

4. Not explaining the outcome or lessons learned from the experience

It's important to share the outcome or result of your efforts, as well as the lessons you learned from the experience.

Sample Answers

  1. "I made a significant change in my career when I decided to switch industries. I had been working in marketing for several years, but I had always been interested in the tech industry and felt that I had more to offer in that field.

    To overcome these challenges, I took on a number of internships and entry-level positions to gain experience and learn from industry experts. I also participated in online courses and networking events to expand my knowledge and build my network in the tech industry.

    As a result of my efforts, I was able to land a full-time position at a tech startup as a product manager. I gained valuable experience in project management and product development, and I learned a lot about the startup culture and the fast-paced environment of the tech industry.

    Overall, this change helped me to grow and develop professionally, and taught me the importance of adaptability and the value of taking on new challenges. I believe that my adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges make me a strong fit for this role."

  2. "I made a change in my career when I decided to relocate to a different city. I had been living in the same city for several years and had built a strong network and established myself in my field. However, I felt that I needed a new challenge and a change of scenery, so I decided to move to a new city to explore new opportunities.

    The biggest challenge I faced in making this change was finding a new job in a new city where I didn't have many connections. To overcome this challenge, I reached out to my network and asked for introductions to people in my field in the new city. I also spent a lot of time networking and attending events to make new connections. I also focused on updating my resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight my skills and experience in a way that would be relevant to the local job market.

    As a result of my efforts, I was able to secure a new job in my field within a few months of moving to the new city. I gained valuable experience working in a new environment and learned a lot about the local job market and industry trends. I also had the opportunity to build a new network and make new connections that have helped me to grow and develop professionally.

    Overall, this change helped me to broaden my horizons and step out of my comfort zone. I believe that my adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges make me a strong fit for this role."
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