Behavioural Interview Question – Tell Me About A Time You Changed Directions Quickly At Work

Tell Me About A Time You Changed Directions Quickly At Work


Behavioural Interview Question – Tell Me About A Time You Changed Directions Quickly At Work


In This post we will answer the Behavioural Interview Question – Tell Me About A Time You Changed Directions Quickly At Work.


We’ll cover:


  • A sneak peek into the mind of the interviewer and WHY they ask this

  • What to say when you’re answering

  • And a concrete example of my own experience to get you thinking!


What’s the point of this question?


This question is to find out how flexible you are, (not physically flexible) although yoga is really good for you. But I’m talking about mentally flexible, and this is really tough for many people.

They want you to tell them about a time when you were asked to do something and perhaps all your hard work work wasn’t needed anymore, and something changed?

Have you ever been there?


It’s to see how you deal with things changing on the fly, in other words for them to see how resilient you are.

In most situations, people when asked to change directions, from what they’re doing, they get frustrated, mad, they get into a bad state because they feel like they wasted time, and their time wasn’t appreciated and their work is wasted.

So here’s how you answer:


You answer it by telling a Story (of course).


Use The SARI Formula which we’ll go through here. SARI stands for Situation, Action, Result and Interesting Features.

You want to tell an impactful story that paints a good picture of the situation, how you rose to the challenge and the end result.

DON’T LOVE READING? Watch video here:



If you do love reading, let’s get back to it…


Step 1: The Situation (setting the stage) For Example:


I was working on planning a large corporate retreat for the company executives, we had a lot of it already planned, flights and accommodation were booked etc. Then suddenly the President of the company had a sudden important meeting come up overseas and the retreat needed to be postponed/cancelled immediately.

(They want to see that you’re going to be flexible, adaptable and can move with things changing quickly. This story demonstrates that.)

Step 2: ACTION


What were the actions that you took and what outcome did they lead to?

So for example: Action:

I said: “No problem I’ll get on this right away!” Immediately cancelled the flights, meeting space and hotel bookings trying to get as much money back or credits for future use as possible, got credits for what what I could so we wouldn’t lose too much money and changed the necessary arrangements. I was able to negotiate some extra credit from the resort hotel, as I let them know that we were going to be re-booking in the future with them, and that if they helped us out on this occasion it would mean that we’d be more likely to use them for future retreats too. (In other words, giving us a break here would pay off for them in the future).


Step 3: RESULT


They appreciated the fact that I was able to salvage some of the funds spent on the retreat and negotiate extra credit, it was before the deadline so cancelling the reservation still were able to recuperate some of our money back for the company. If I had waited even one more day to cancel, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Step 4: BONUS Interesting Features


Highlight the learning – whatever it was, how are you different today from this experience?

Here you can highlight your attitude and approach when things like this happen (because they happen all the time).

For example:

I looked at it more of a learning experience than an inconvenience, I realize that things happen in life that no one can predict and are sometimes unavoidable. Getting frustrated and upset just takes away the energy needed to handle things efficiently. So I just role with the punches and get what needs to be done, even at a moment’s notice!



There we have it: The answer to the Behavioural Interview Question – “Tell Me About A Time You Changed Directions Quickly At Work”.

What’s your go to response when faced with switching gears without warning?


How do you deal unexpected changes happen suddenly?

How do you move forward and how do you feel about it?

How did it turn out?

Nailing the interview questions is great! But There is a lot more to interviewing than just answering the questions.

In fact if all you do is answer the questions alone, you’ve already lost the interview.

There is a whole interview strategy at play and if you’d like to learn more you can get started with me by clicking the link below to grab my free guide:

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What you’ll get inside the guide:


  • Top-ten examples of stories that have proven to be impressive interview answers


  • The S.A.R.I. formula breakdown of how to answer these questions


  • The step-by-step of why it works


  • Fill-in-the-blank templates for each question so, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and get going!


  • Now you’ll need to come up with your own stories! (You can steal the ones in the guide if they apply to you though too, I don’t mind)


If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…


I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!


You’ll get all this in a beautifully designed workbook prepared specifically for you to prepare for your interviews.


By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!


Here is some feedback I’ve gotten from this guide, and I get new emails like this every day, and they NEVER get old!




By the end of working through the guide you’ll be totally ready for any situational interview question that gets thrown your way!

Click below and grab it now.

Click here to subscribe

Do you know one person who could benefit from the information in this post? If so, do your friend a favour and share this info with him/her.


And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.


Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week back here in my digital corner.

In Work & Life
I’ve got your back!

-Natalie Fisher