In this article, we’ll look at ten change manager interview questions that are designed to test candidates’ knowledge and abilities.
Naturally, questions will vary from interview to interview, and there is no way to predict exactly which questions the interviewer will ask.
However, one of the most common themes in any interview will be to test the candidate’s knowledge – that is, how much does the interviewee actually know about the subject?
Below, we’ll look at 10 types of questions to expect that are aimed at testing one’s change management expertise.
10 Change Manager Interview Questions
In no particular order, here are several of the most important themes to cover when preparing for an interview.
1. What is the definition of change management?
The definition of change management varies from source to source, but typically focuses on the management discipline dedicated to designing, planning, implementing, managing, and optimizing organizational change projects.
Change management typically emphasizes the need for a hybrid approach to organizational change: the human side and the organizational side of change.
Change managers, that is, will manage employees in order to provide them with the skills, knowledge, and motivation they need to drive change forward.
At the same time, change managers will work with stakeholders to design, redesign, and standardize new business processes and systems.
2. Why do employees resist change?
Employees’ resistance to change often stems from fear.
New business processes, for instance, often require employees to learn new skills, adopt new tools, work with new teammates, and operate in new environments.
Changes such as these can be uncomfortable and disconcerting, which can fuel fears such as the fear of inadequacy or the fear of incompetence.
Those emotions, in turn, can create resistance to change.
3. How do you overcome resistance to change?
The first step to overcoming resistance is identifying its source.
Once the cause of the resistance is determined, an appropriate solution can be designed.
For instance, if employee surveys determine that employees are afraid of incompetence, inadequacy, or job displacement, then skills training and effective communication can be a good solution.
Or, if employees feel alienated and unheard by leadership, then communication programs built around total participation can help them feel included.
4. Name three change models.
There are several models for change, each of which has its own emphasis and use case.
In more recent years, change management frameworks provide practical action plans that managers can follow in order to implement change, one step at a time.
Many of these models, however, are based on earlier models, such as the Lewin change management model, which provides a top-down overview of group psychology and dynamics.
5. Define the employee experience and its role in change.
The employee experience refers to the sum total of employees’ experiences and interactions with their employer.
The exact definition of employee experience varies from source to source, but this concept has become popular in recent years since many recognize its critical role in the workplace.
Employees’ experience with their employer can, for instance, impact engagement, motivation, morale, productivity, and turnover.
This holds true both in the day-to-day workplace and in change management programs – if employees have a positive organizational change experience, they will be more supportive of a change project.
6. How do you change organizational culture?
Organizational culture change occurs naturally over time, as a result of new experiences, the changing workforce, and the passage of time.
Factors such as these can be influenced deliberately, through talent management, proactive communication strategies, and behavioral guidelines.
Radical culture changes, however, often require unlearning and relearning, which can often only be accomplished through restructuring.
In some cases, this can be beneficial to an organizational change program, but it can also be taxing and costly, so the risks and rewards should be weighed carefully beforehand.
7. What role does digital technology play in organizational change?
Digitization and digital transformation are major forces driving change in today’s business world.
Many, if not most, of today’s organizational changes are being fueled by digital technology, so businesses must incorporate technology into their change efforts.
For change managers, this means understanding technology’s role in the digital workplace, its role in employees’ day-to-day workflows, and how this interplay will evolve in the years ahead.
While change management will always revolve around the human side of change, it is also important to use new tools and methods to improve results, such as data-driven change management and agile change management.
8. How do you create an employee training plan?
An employee development plan should consider several factors: the employee’s needs, the organization’s needs, and the goals of the change program.
Goals should be set that reflect those needs, and those goals should then be broken down into measurable objectives and milestones.
9. How would you create a communication strategy?
A change management communication strategy, like a training program, should be built around specific goals.
In this case, those goals would be aimed at streamlining and improving the outcomes and performance of the change program.
A few examples of the aims of communication strategies include improving employee support, reducing resistance, enlisting new volunteers, and generating new ideas.
10. How would you obtain buy-in from executives?
Executive buy-in is one of the most important aspects of a change program, and that buy-in can mean the difference between success and failure.
There are several ways to earn that support.
First and foremost, it is important to build a sophisticated change plan that offers tangible bottom-line value to the organization as a whole.
Being able to demonstrate that value, through ROI and performance gains, for instance, will show why the program can benefit the organization – and, in turn, an executive’s specific department.
At the same time, it is also important to foster strong relationships with business leaders, managers, and teams across the organization. After all, effective change management is built upon strong human relationships.
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.