Work-style: Openness

Definition & Sample Interview Questions

Markellos Diorinos avatar
Written by Markellos Diorinos
Updated over a week ago

Openness to change: Chasing new perspectives

The openness to change trait measures individuals’ tendency to be open to explore and try new things and the extent to which a person can deal with changes in the environment. Evidently, coping with constant changes can be challenging as some individuals may find it intimidating, while others may perceive change as a way to grow, learn and improve. The trait has two opposite poles namely Conservative and Open to change. Let’s look into both poles to better understand how we assess the openness to change trait.

Conservative: Conservative individuals tend to be more close-minded. They prefer having a specified routine in the workplace and they tend to withhold from situations where they are exposed to change. When faced with changes, new tasks or demands, they may feel uncertain about what the future holds, experience fear of failure and loss of territory.

Common descriptors: traditional, attached to familiar and respecting traditional ideas.

Open to change: Individuals who score on the higher range of this trait tend to be intellectually curious, imaginative and open-minded. They enjoy fast-paced environments and they naturally notice how improvements could be made in every task of their job.

Common descriptors: experimental, liberal, analytical, critical, flexible and freethinking.

In accordance with research findings, Bryq assessment provides an evidence-based way to assess the Openness to Change trait in order to provide you with insights that can assist in making informed decisions about the suitability of the candidates based on their scores on this specific trait.

Openness to Change Interview Guide

Along with this information, it is also useful to use the interview questions listed below that can assist in drawing revealing answers and get you on your way to corroborate on the degree of candidates' tendency to be open to change.

Note that there is no right or wrong answer as the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your unique company culture.

Top 2 questions and expected answers for each end of the scale

1. Describe a time you were assigned new tasks due to a team member's resignation. How did you adapt?

Open to change: Individuals who score closer towards the open to change end of the scale are most likely to answer that they perceive the change as being generally positive and that they liked the challenge of being assigned to new tasks. They will perceive their new assignment as an opportunity to learn new things and/or experiment on new creative approaches. They are likely to question the tried-and-true existing solutions and look for improvements that can be made. Overall, they are likely to focus more on the future opportunities that may stem from this change.

Conservative: Individuals who score closer towards the conservative end of the scale are most likely to answer that the change was challenging or frustrating for them as they suddenly had to be involved in tasks which were unfamiliar to them. They will highlight the fact that they generally feel more secure and confident when they don’t have to deal with unexpected demands or transitions.

2. The new HR Manager implements formal performance reviews for all employees. How would you prepare yourself if you were used to having only informal meetings with your manager?

Open to change: Individuals who score closer towards the open to change end of the scale are most likely to answer that the new process is positive as formal performance reviews will benefit the organization. They tend to have a future- focused orientation and are happy to embrace positive changes in their work environment.

Conservative: Individuals who score closer towards the conservative end of the scale are most likely to answer that they felt uncomfortable with the change in the process and that they preferred the established way of performance reviews. They are likely to be cautious about this change considering the potential adverse consequences that may be caused.

Question pool:

3. If your coworkers had a “this is how we do it” attitude to learning something new, how would you try to convince them to follow a different, more effective method of working?

4. You have been working on a project for a while when your manager informs you that the project’s requirements changed suddenly. What would you do?

5. Tell me about a time you had to learn how to use a new tool at work. How long did it take you to understand how to use its features?

6. Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a change in direction, whether it was a new business strategy, change in a project or customer focus, or leadership at the top. How did you react? What was the outcome?

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