5 Ways to Develop Your Ability to Adapt – and How to Interview for It

October 14, 2020
5 Ways to Develop Your Ability to Adapt – and How to Interview for It

There’s no question which trait is most in-demand by employers in wake of COVID-19: adaptability. As companies and, more specifically, professionals, have had to make adjustments to where and how they work, this characteristic has been essential to continuing to do what we do.

Do you find it challenging to acclimate to new or sudden change? Are you looking to hire new employees that exhibit a willingness to embrace the unexpected? Here are a few ways to develop your ability to adapt — and identify the individuals who have proven that they can.

Developing Your Adaptability

1. Learn to Play Devil’s Advocate

It’s easy to hear a good idea and latch on immediately — quickly moving to the next steps in the development process. Instead, try to take on the role of thoughtful skeptic. Providing different viewpoints — even if you don’t completely agree or support them — can lead to new solutions that may prove more exciting and innovative than the original.

2. Change How You Respond

We often let negative feedback cloud our judgement. But accepting the bad with a little positive resolve can make all the difference. Most importantly: be willing to make mistakes. Write down various ways to solve or navigate around the issue and test, test, test. The simple act of jotting down ideas can be the key to unlocking your creativity, and furthermore, your ability to adapt.

3. Try to Fix a Problematic Process

Strengthen your adaptability muscle with some experimentation. For those who are uncomfortable with trial and error, identify a process or issue that could use improvement. Find something that isn’t urgent or too high-stakes, so you feel more freedom to play and less to perform.

Interviewing for Adaptability

1. Ask “What If” Questions

It’s undeniable: businesses face a lot of change. So, hiring managers should interview for candidates that are not only accepting of this fact, but welcome it. One tactic to identifying adaptability early on is to pose “what if” scenarios in the interview process. Hearing how they would approach the situation and how clear their vision is can give you some insight into how they handle change.

2. Look for an Exploratory Attitude

Gauge the professional’s aptitude for stepping outside of their comfort zone. Do they stick to their favorite restaurant? Or are they on the hunt for a new favorite restaurant every week? Those who are open to exploration in their personal lives tend to extend that to the workplace — helping to keep your company at the forefront of emerging technologies and methodologies.

Do you have any hiring needs or are looking for a new career opportunity? Contact our team today!

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