When asked "You were with your prior employer for many years, how will you adjust working for a new company?" in an interview, you need to convince your interviewer that you won't have any problems adjusting to a new set of expectations and a new work environment.
The employer may be concerned about how you will handle the transition to a new job and company, and how you will fit in with the company culture after spending a length of time with another employer.
Best Strategies for Answering
Since an employer is essentially assessing your adaptability, you need to convey how you have adjusted to new situations and demands in the workplace:
- Take an inventory of the transitions you have negotiated in the past.
- Consider the variety of bosses for whom you have worked and their different supervisory and leadership styles.
- If your workplace has retrenched, reorganized, merged or undergone any other challenges in the past, be ready to discuss how you dealt with those changes.
Even though you may have worked for the same employer, your job probably evolved over the years. In that case, you can share how your responsibilities shifted:
- You can describe how the workplace changed over the years, how you handled the arrival and departure of different coworkers, and how you reacted to ensure your continued success.
- If technology impacted your job, share how you mastered new technology to add value to the position.
If this is your first job, you might explain how you adapted to a situation at school, such as your transition to a new college, or changing or adding a new academic major.
Be specific when describing how you adapted to a changing environment. Mention new skills you developed, adjustments made to your work style, or new strategies you applied to generate value for your employer.
Your answer can follow a relatively straightforward model. Describe, using specific examples, the challenges you faced, explain the action you took in response, and discuss the positive results you may have generated.
You can also mention what about this particular company’s culture interests you or makes you believe you will adapt well. For example, if you have heard that the company fosters a lot of teamwork and community, you can express your enthusiasm about becoming a part of that culture.
Examples of the Best Answers
Coming to work for a new company certainly involves a lot of adjustments. However, I have always been able to adapt quickly to new work situations. A large part of this has to do with my ability to get along and communicate effectively with many people. For example, when I started my previous job, I introduced myself to my colleagues right away and felt confident asking them questions in my first couple of weeks when I was unsure of something.
My ability to be open and friendly to everyone, and to communicate my questions or concerns when I need to, will help me adjust quickly to this new work environment. I also know you value the collaboration on many company projects, so I know my ability to foster relationships and communicate effectively will help me in this regard as well.
While I have been at my previous job for ten years, I have had to make a number of adjustments and adapt quickly to many new changes. For example, halfway through my time at Company X, I received a promotion, which required me to do much more work with our content management system.
While I had little involvement with IT in the past, I worked extremely hard over the next couple of weeks to master the system. I stayed late a few nights, becoming familiar with the system, and I reached out to our IT department to ask questions. By the end of two weeks, I felt extremely confident, and within a month, I was teaching the system to a new employee. Adjusting to a new job takes time and hard work, but I know from past experiences that I am up to the task.