Are you looking for a job in change managment or preparing for an interview for change manager?

Do you need change manager interview questions and answers?

Then this blog post is for you.

Like any other job interview, employer asks you certain questions to assess your knowledge, skills and experience in change management. Based on your answers, employer makes a decision that whether you’re suitable for taking up responsibility of managing change or not.

Therefore, your answers in interview determine your prospects of having a good job.

In this article, we provide some sample change manager interview questions and answers that will be surely useful and help you to prepare your job interview.

Change Manager Interview Questions with Sample Answers

The questions outlined below are specifically designed for change manager but it can be used for other positions related to change management.

And if you are an employer or a HR person who is interviewing change manager then questions given below will also be useful for you and help you to ask right questions and hire right person for right job.

Let’s discuss these questions in detail

1. What do you mean by change management?

The interviewer may be interested to assess your basic knowledge of change management. So, he/she may ask you to define change management

Answer Example:

Change management guides smooth transition or transformation towards change and help human resource to adapt to change.

It involves putting in place strategies to manage change and assist people in quickly and easily adapting to change.”

2. What are reasons for change?

This question is also about basic concepts of change management.

Answer Example:

There might be one single reason behind organizational change or there may be more than one reason. The most common reasons of change are: financial or economic, digital transformation, improvement in employees performance, political and social change, legal issues or it could be simple vision of leadership to transform organization.

3. Can you explain some popular models of change management?

The interviewer wants to gauge your theoretical knowledge about change management. You must have basic understanding about most popular models and theories of change management.

Answer Example:

One of the most popular change management models is the ADKAR model.

ADKAR is an acronym of five words Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. These five are building blocks of change management.

The Lewin model explains change through three stages: unfreeze (undoing old behaviors), change, and freeze (sustaining new behaviors).

Another important model is Kotter’s 8 steps model, and its steps include creating urgency, building coalition, creating a vision, communicating vision, removing obstacle, creating short win, building on change and institutionalising change.

Another one Kubler Ross Change Curve Model which precisely explains human emotions during change process. These emotions include shock, denial, anger, depression, experiment, decision, and acceptance.

4. What does change failure mean?

The interviewer will examine your understanding of the term “change failure” here.

Answer Example:

Change failure can occur when initiatives to improve business processes fail to achieve the desired results.  It also occurs when change strategy or plan fail to achieve the intended outcomes.

Poor planning, an absence of support from top management, and insufficient or no resources are some of the causes of change errors.

Change failure can also happen as a consequence of poor change communication and strong resistance towards change.

5. How can you evaluate risks associated with change processes?

The interviewer is looking to see if you can conduct a risk assessment for organizational change.

Answer Example:

I will begin my evaluation by analysing the impact of change.

I would investigate issues such as cash flow issues for various operations, worker resignation, and the complexity of replacing such staff members.

In addition, I will conduct research on actual business practices to understand changes implemented by competitors and how do they manage associated risks.

Furthermore, I will review all precautionary measures and consult with key employees who are likely to be impacted by risks. These strategies will help me identifying potential risks and mitigating their occurrence.

6. What is change readiness and what factors determine change readiness of an organization?

The interviewer wants to assess your knowledge about one of the crucial concepts of change management.

Answer Example:

Change readiness is defined as “the ability to continuously initiate and respond to change in ways that create advantage, minimize risk, and sustain performance.”

Change readiness of an organization can be assessed through three factors: a) to what extent organizational culture and values are in line with desired change; b) to what extent organizational leadership is committed towards implementation of change; and c) to what extent employees have knowledge and skills that are required to implement change and are financial resources available to start change project.

7. What people resist change? And what are different types of organisational resistance to change?

Resistance is natural to change. And it is most challenging part of change management because lot of change initiatives are failed because they meet tough resistance and leaders are unable to deal with it.

Answer Example:

Resistance to change is an act of opposition or unwillingness on the part of employees towards a desired change. Resistance to change appears in many forms and shapes. It can be open or hidden, organized or disordered, smooth or disruptive. It is a complex phenomenon.

There are many reasons of resistance to change. It could be because of fear of unknown and uncertainty, lack of conviction about change, old culture, people are not prepared for change, volume of work, faulty change design, ineffective communication, leadership behavior, perception about capacity etc.

As for types of organizational resistance, it could be group level resistance, individual resistance, organizational level resistance, active and passive resistance, aggressive, cover and overt resistance.

8. How a change manager should deal with resistance to change?

Change manager has a key role in dealing with resistance to change.

Answer Example:

A change leader or manager should adopt a clear strategy to overcome resistance . First, employees have natural coping tendency with change and it takes some time to adjust with change. Second, make change attractive for employees and Third is contingency strategy which refers to managing resistance by taking certain actions like educating about change, effective communication, participation and involving employees in change process, facilitation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and co-optation, implicit and explicit coercion.

9. What is role of a change manager?

The speaker wants to know if you are familiar with the everyday routines of change managers. Describe the daily activities of change managers and include several key functions.

Answer Example:

Change managers are responsible for recognizing and dealing with anticipated resistance to change. They lead change management evaluations to ensure that change activities are aimed at achieving overall improvement.

A change manager is responsible for developing policies and guidelines for on-going or future change. Furthermore, the manager develops actionable deliverables and coordinates change initiatives.

Daily processes and activities are also approved and recommended by change managers.

10. What are qualities of a good change manager?

To be successful at work, change managers must have certain qualities. The interviewer will ask you if you are familiar with the characteristics of a good manager. Give at least three examples of qualities that change managers should have.

Answer Example:

To build trust, mobilize employees, and effectively communicate details about the change, change managers must have strong communication skills.  

They ought to be able to motivate others by illustrating the advantages of change and providing support and encouragement.

A change manager must be intelligent, foresighted, strategic, and decisive. Furthermore, they must be problem solvers.

11. Tell us about a particularly difficult aspect of your job as a change manager.

The interviewer is trying to assess your ability to identify difficult situations as well as your problem-solving abilities as change manager.

Answer Example:

12. What are the main challenges that change managers face while implementing change?

The interviewer will ask you if you are aware of the obstacles that you are likely to face when incorporating radical changes.

Answer Example:

When implementing radical/innovative changes, the human factor is most challenging.  

There are always some people in an organization who are resistant to change. Some people can have a large influence in mobilizing others to oppose planned change.

Change managers face enormous resistance during implementing change, such as the requirement to hire employees with special skills who aren’t available in the market, the incapability of some workers to adopt transformation, and unexpected variables.”

13. Share a major challenge you faced in your previous role and how you dealt with it.

The questioner will assess your ability to handle difficult situations professionally.

Answer Example:

During my previous position, the leadership decided to purchase a new information management system. As a change manager, I was responsible for raising awareness of the upcoming change.

Because I was new to the job, I encountered a lot of resistance from the employees. I met the challenge by developing a comprehensive training plan. The training included a tutorial on how to use the software. Finally, everyone became optimistic about the planned change.

14. How can change managers identify existing gaps between the present state and corporate goal?

The interviewer wants to know if you are familiar with performing gap analysis.

Answer Example:

Change managers can achieve this through gap analysis, which allows them to compare the current and ideal states.” Gap analysis is completed in four steps:

  • Recognizing the current situation
  • Define the desired future state
  • Document gaps
  • Make a plan to get to the ideal state

15. What activities can help change be implemented smoothly throughout the organization?

The questioner is looking to see if you are familiar with methods for implementing change in an organization.

Answer Example:

A variety of change activities are required to achieve change management objectives. These include recognizing change agents and other people to be involved in specific change tasks; establishing related policies, processes, and guidelines; assessing the impact of change on people and the organization; and planning for the effects of change.

16. Outline the goals of change management.

The speaker wants to know if you are acquainted with the goal that drives change management.

Answer Example:

The majority of changes are incorporated to improve existing services, products, procedures, and organizational culture.  

According to this viewpoint, the goal of change management is to create an innovation culture, improve or update an organization’s best practices, adopt new technologies, and switch toward a specific customer base.

Furthermore, change management aims to create incentive programs and make it easier to meet milestones.

17. What would you do if your manager asked you to change your working style for a project?

A hiring manager wants to be certain that you can adjust your work style to whatever project you’re working on.

Answer Example: 

I believe I acclimate well to change, so I’d be willing to change my working style to accommodate my manager’s request. I am confident that what they ask of me is in the best interests of our work team. I may inquire as to why my manager is seeking a change to better understand the request and apply any feedback I obtain to future projects.

18. Please tell us about a time when you were resistant to change. How did you deal with it?

It’s natural to resist change. But a hiring manager is interested in how you’ll manage the proposal even if you don’t agree with it.

Answer Example: 

In my previous position, the marketing manager informed me that we were rebranding and assigned the task of updating all of our corporation’s marketing materials. I opposed to change because I strongly believed in our current marketing strategy and how it appealed to our target audience. To learn more, I asked my manager about the reasons for the change and shared my thoughts on general design concepts that supported why I was hesitant to upgrade.

19. Have you recently read a good book on change management?

The interviewer may want to know your attitude towards seeking knowledge about change management.

Here is the list of top ten books on change management and these can be excellent resource on the subject.

Answer Example: 

I have recently read Professor John P. Kotter’s famous book “Leading Change” published in 2012 and it is a complete guide book focusing the subject change management. In this book, Professor Kotter explained his 8-step process of managing change. This book presents practical tools and change experience of more than 100 organizations.

20. How change manager can use social media in change project?

Social media is nowadays being used to communicate change to employees and stakeholders. Your interviewer wants to know how you’re familiar with contemporary communication tools i.e social media.

Answer Example:

People spend almost three hours per day on social media and more than half of employees in an organization are using social media daily. So, organizations must utilise social media as a change management tool.  Its also crucial to make assessment of internal social media platforms that employees are already using. Change manager must ensure social media channel where two way communication is