Interview Question: How Easily Do You Assimilate into a New Environment?

Job interview
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When you’re applying for a temporary position, or for a position with a temp agency, you’re likely to be asked some questions relating to your ability to cope with new situations and people. You may also be asked the same or a similar question when you're applying for a permanent position. You should give some thought to how you would answer the job interview question "How easily do you think you assimilate into a new environment?"

Working a temporary job is much easier if you’re able to adapt to new situations, so it’s an important question. You’ll want to be able to answer thoughtfully and in a composed and confident manner. The best way to do this is to prepare your answer before your interview. So, think of the skills, assets, and experiences you possess that highlight your ability to adapt to new situations.

Try to come up with some examples of when you have applied these traits successfully when being met with a new environment or situation. These examples work well for interviews at various companies and any temp agencies you can find.

Not sure where to start? Here are some sample answers to get you thinking:

Examples of the Best Answers

  • One of the things that I find most interesting about working a temporary position is being immersed in a new environment. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing how different offices operate, and I think I assimilate fairly quickly each time.
  • I have worked within many different organizations all with their own way of doing things. There are many ways to achieve the same goals, and I have learned lots of different strategies for success. I think having that experience makes me very adaptable to new situations.
  • I tend to be a little quiet and spend some time observing at the beginning of a placement so that I can assess the requirements of the position. Then I can quickly determine how to be the most productive in the job I'm doing.
  • I came from a very small town in the Midwest, and when I started my first semester at Boston University, it was a little bit of a culture shock. I have always been very people-oriented and curious about the experiences of others. I found that by connecting on a personal level with my dorm mates, I was able to assimilate into the campus culture very quickly.
  • My experiences growing up in a military family prepared me well for assimilating into new environments. We had the opportunity to live not only all over the US, with its wonderful regional mores, but also abroad in some societies quite different from our own. I really enjoy new environments and am confident in my ability to assimilate quickly.
  • Whenever I’ve begun any new assignments, I have found that I was able to assimilate very easily by following a simple strategy. I ask questions, listen to the answers, contribute to the conversation, and ask for feedback. This has always provided me with excellent preparation to take on the new position.
  • Because I tend to be very observant, I am able to quickly assess the structure of the work and the relationships in a new environment. I am good at determining what my role is, and how to be most effective during my post with the company.

Flexibility Is Key to a Temp Job Interview

Part of being able to adapt to a variety of situations is the ability to be flexible. In addition, temporary positions may be long term or short term, day or not, and the pay may vary from job to job, even in the same general profession. Your chances of being hired may go up if you emphasize your ability to work not only with a variety of people and work conditions, but that you can also handle a variety of hours on a flexible schedule.

Additional Temp Job Interview Questions

While questions about your adaptability and flexibility are going to be key, your interviewer will ask a number of additional questions that you may want to think about before you go on your interview. For example, are you interested in long term or short term job placements and why do you think a temporary job would be a good fit for the way you work or your personality?

The best way to be prepared is to practice, practice, practice. Start with learning about these temp job interview questions. You’ll also find a selection of answers you can use as a starting point for your own responses.