Change management interview questions will focus on your expertise as a change manager.
A good interviewer will mix standard interview questions with those related specifically to change management.
Below, we’ll look at some of these “standard” questions.
Then we’ll cover the main change management topics you should prepare for.
Finally, we’ll see a few interview tips that can help you ace your next interview.
Let’s get started.
Standard Interview Questions
Expect a number of questions to be “standard” across any type of job interview.
These questions will relate to:
- Your background, experience, and education
- Your track record – in this case, related to change management
- Why you want to work for this company
- What your career goals are
- Your strengths and weaknesses
- How you handle difficult situations and challenges
- Why the company should hire you instead of another candidate
These types of questions are typical for any job, not just change manager positions.
We’ll see below how some of these questions may be tailored specifically for your profession.
20 Change Management Interview Questions
Here are some change management interview questions you can expect during a job interview.
These 20 questions have been broken down into a few major categories … these categories are in addition to the “standard” interview questions mentioned above.
Your Track Record
Expect to be asked about your track record, specifically as it relates to change management.
- Have you managed or led change initiatives in the past?
- If so, describe them in detail – their objectives, your methods, challenges you faced, and the results.
- What is the biggest change management challenge you’ve faced? And how did you handle it?
- What is your greatest failure in change management? And your greatest success?
You may also be asked about other aspects of your experience, such as your education.
However, as with most interviews, the focus will likely be on your accomplishments and your experience.
Analysis and Assessment
Your ability to analyze and solve problems is key to your success.
They will want to know how you approach this analysis and how you go about finding solutions.
- How do you recognize the need for change?
- What steps do you take when analyzing the need for change?
- What metrics do you use when analyzing your own program’s performance?
- How would you go about improving your program’s performance?
Examples from your work history can show that you know what you’re talking about.
The interviewer will certainly ask questions designed to test your change management knowledge, such as:
- What change models (or frameworks) do you use? Why?
- Define change management.
- What change management software do you use?
- What are some causes of organizational change?
Knowing about industry-wide change theory, such as Kotter’s 8-step change model, Prosci’s ADKAR model, and the Lewin change model can be helpful here.
Communication is perhaps the most important skill for a change manager.
Expect questions such as:
- How do you win over those who don’t share your viewpoints or enthusiasm for change?
- What steps should you take to obtain executive buy-in?
- What tactics do you use to get support from frontline employees?
- How do you build motivation? How do you make change fun and exciting?
Ideally, you will be able to demonstrate your communication skills during the interview itself.
However, it can be useful to think of a few instances in your career that demonstrate your skills. Think of stories that show your ability to communicate, lead teams, mediate, and negotiate.
Dealing with Challenges
Challenges are a part of any job.
For change managers, though, overcoming challenges can make or break a change initiative.
Questions such as these can help you prepare for your interview:
- Why do people resist change?
- How do you overcome employee resistance?
- What are the biggest obstacles to organizational change?
- What steps do you take to mitigate risk?
As with the other sections here, consider ways you’ve beat challenges in the past.
Also, think of ways to prepare for imaginary scenarios. Interviewers will use them to test your flexibility and adaptability.
A Few Final Tips
Here are a few parting tips to help you ace your next interview:
- Read and write out answers for each question. Or, at least take notes on the topics mentioned above. Naturally, you won’t take this with you. But it will help you formulate an answer beforehand.
- If you are lacking in a certain area – such as your track record – prepare a positive answer. Not: “I have never used change management software.” Instead: “I use project management software and other tools.”
- If you want to showcase something, find a way to work it in. You need to show off your greatest strengths, so don’t be completely passive during an interview – remember that you need to sell yourself to them.
- They are evaluating you, but you should also evaluate them. Ask yourself if this is the kind of place you want to work. And ask them pointed questions about the work environment, how it will help you, and so forth. This shows them you are directed, confident, and self-sufficient.
- Always focus on their needs and how you can benefit them. Everything you discuss – such as your experience and your accomplishments – should be framed to show how it will benefit their organization. Remember, their top concern is ROI, retention, and success for their company.
Finally, remember that this list is not comprehensive.
These topics and questions offer an excellent starting place, however.
The best thing you can do is follow the first tip – writing down and rehearsing your thoughts on the topics and questions.
This alone will help you answer fluidly, confidently, and it will increase your chances of success at the interview.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.