Saturday, April 20, 2024

How to Answer ‘How Do You Stay Current With New Technology?’

Must read

Woman working remotely helping others
insta_photos / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

In our increasingly digital world, new technologies emerge every day. They’re impacting every role and saturating our personal lives as well. Even elements that were once mere fantasy, like personal flying cars, are starting to take flight.

Change is everywhere, making it essential that you communicate your adaptability during your interviews.

Recruiters are increasingly interested in candidates’ relationships with new technologies. As you prepare for upcoming interviews, ensure you have a well-prepared answer ready when the subject of embracing change comes up.

Why Recruiters Ask ‘How Open Are You to Working With New Technologies?’ in a Job Interview

Customer service chatbot, an example of artificial intelligence
panuwat phimpha / Shutterstock.com

With artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies shaping workflows and job duties, companies need adaptable, flexible candidates who are open to new tech — even if it hasn’t even been invented yet.

You may be asked some version of “How open are you to working with new technologies?” to assess your potential for future growth, not just your current skill set.

Understanding why this question is asked can help you create an impactful answer. Recruiters are really asking, “Are you a candidate ready to pioneer change or one who prefers the comfort of familiarity?”

Your response gives recruiters insight into how you’ll thrive long-term. Realistically, the modern environment has one constant — innovation.

Organizations need teams who see emerging technologies like AI as tools, rather than threats.

Craft Your Perfect Answer

businessman wearing glasses and headset having virtual team meeting on his laptop
Ground Picture / Shutterstock.com

With an understanding of the “why” behind the question, it’s time to structure an answer. At this point in your interview prep, you know it’s not enough to say, “Yep, I love being on the cutting edge of technology from the minute I wake up.”

You need to illustrate your mentality around change with specific examples. Strive to communicate skills like adaptability, curiosity about new technology trends, and problem-solving.

Show that you’re an avid learner, rather than just listing the technology you’ve worked with. Storytelling can be an invaluable tool in this regard.

FlexJobs Career Expert Keith Spencer advises job seekers to start with a general statement about your openness to work with new technologies. Then, strengthen your response by providing specific examples of times you quickly mastered a new technology and implemented it into your workflow.

Your answer should demonstrate your willingness to learn, develop, and evolve with the company and its technological needs.

Not only that, but embracing technology can show you’re a thought leader in your field, staying up to date on industry advancements.

What To Consider When Crafting Your Answer

Woman working in her office
Inside Creative House / Shutterstock.com

Spencer gives this example answer as inspiration:

“I’m absolutely open to working with new technologies. Technology is constantly changing and improving the way we work, so I think it’s really important to maintain a growth mindset and a willingness to learn new tools that can make us more efficient and improve our quality of work.”

One effective strategy for your interview answers is using the STAR method. The STAR method is essentially structured storytelling.

Begin with the situation, detail the task, articulate your actions, and reveal the results. Double-checking that you’ve included all of those aspects ensures a well-rounded answer.

More Tips for Brainstorming

Thinking woman
mimagephotography / Shutterstock.com

Having trouble coming up with a specific story to share? Use these questions to jump-start your brainstorming:

  • Did you teach yourself new software to improve efficiency in a past role?
  • Did you advocate for a new tool that made your team more productive?
  • Did you ever experience resistance to a technology change on your team? How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever encountered a situation where a new technology disrupted your work process? How did you adapt?
  • Was there a time when you faced a steep learning curve with new technology? How did you overcome it?

Spencer suggests you focus your stories on “something you took the initiative to learn, rather than something you were mandated to learn.”

After brainstorming, reflect on the overall impact of these experiences. Try to weave some data into your narrative, illustrating how these new technologies positively impacted your work and your team.

Aim to demonstrate your engagement with technology in past roles, as well as your eagerness to do so in the future. In your response, incorporate those key skills we mentioned: adaptability, curiosity, and problem-solving. Let these naturally emerge as you recount your experiences.

Acknowledge the Significance of AI in Modern Industries

Young woman doing video interview
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

It’s becoming more likely that artificial intelligence will come up during your interview.

These days, AI is more than just a buzzword. It’s radically transforming nearly every industry. From health care to retail to finance, it’s fundamentally altering how we work and live.

Prior to your interview it’s important to understand the impact AI has on you and your career … as well as how to implement it in your life.

1. Understand and Embrace AI

two women meet in a professional job interview
mentatdgt / Shutterstock.com

Understanding AI means doing more than acknowledging its existence. To appreciate its impact, you need to grasp how AI is disrupting your specific industry and stay updated with the latest AI developments.

You’ll demonstrate to recruiters that you’re a forward-thinker who is prepared to harness new AI iterations for your role and your team.

And, it’s not just enough to know how it’s being used in your industry, but you should know how to use it yourself.

How are you able to use these technologies to streamline your workflows? How do you use it to boost productivity?

At the same time, know where it could cause roadblocks or not work for your career.

2. Acknowledge the Impact of AI on Your Career

Young woman in job interview
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Communicate that you embrace AI technologies as opportunities, rather than threats. This is a key step toward future-proofing your career and the company you ultimately end up working for.

This proactive approach shows recruiters that you’re not just open to technological change — you’re eagerly anticipating it. While there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the unknown about AI and it’s application, you don’t want recruiters thinking you’re “stuck in your ways” with technology.

Prior to your interview, do some research to see how the company works with or utilizes AI.

And, if it comes up in conversation early in the interview, engage the hiring manager in dialogue on how the company uses it. That will help you prepare your answer ahead of time.

Sample Answers to ‘How Open Are You To Working With New Technologies?’

Happy woman on a laptop
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

With a clear understanding of why this question is asked and a list of situations you’re looking to share, you’re ready to craft your answer. Use these examples as inspiration to polish your answer.

1. Showcase Adaptability and Eagerness

Woman using video chat on laptop
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Remember, you want your answer to communicate that you’re not only open to new technologies, you’ve already embraced them. Consider an answer like this:

“In my previous role, I noticed we were relying heavily on outdated customer management software. It was slowing down our process, so I took the initiative to research more efficient tools.

“After learning and testing a few, I presented my findings to my team, advocating for a switch to a more modern platform. This decision ultimately increased our productivity by 30%.”

2. Reveal Curiosity and Proactiveness

Senior worker
Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock.com

If you’re naturally curious about tech trends, don’t be shy about sharing that. You could say:

“I’m not only open to new technologies — I actively seek them out. For instance, when AI started making waves in our industry, I attended several webinars and courses to understand how it could help us develop more impactful presentations.

“I created a presentation, noted the steps and the time saved, and proposed the AI-driven solutions to our management, which we are currently testing.”

3. Highlight Problem-Solving Skills

woman working from home
metamorworks / Shutterstock.com

Use your problem-solving skills as a differentiator, as in this response:

“Our team faced a major workflow challenge when our marketing department transitioned to remote work. I came across a collaborative tool that I felt could resolve some of the bottlenecks.

“I learned it on my own time, presented it to the team, and helped everyone get on board with using it. I realized that it isn’t enough to embrace change when I work on a team. To meet our deliverables, I needed to ensure that everyone on the team was comfortable with the changes as well.”

4. State Your Willingness To Learn and Grow

Older woman works from home on her laptop
Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock.com

Or, you can demonstrate your willingness to grow with the company, as shown here:

“I’m excited about the possibilities that new technologies bring. In my last job, I voluntarily participated in a pilot program for our new project management tool. I ended up becoming the go-to person for questions about the tool on my team, which was rewarding.

“I’d love to bring that same enthusiasm for tech and learning to a future role here.”

Remember, the key to a successful answer is to show, not tell. These sample answers each provide tangible experiences that demonstrate key skills, like adaptability, curiosity, problem-solving, and a willingness to learn.

Ready to Impress: Embrace Technology To Future-Proof Your Career

Young professional woman
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Once you understand the nuances of the question, and you’ve prepared your story-based answers, you’re ready to impress. It’s hard to know what questions are going to be asked during your interview.

However, with AI and other technology at the forefront of many industry conversations, it’s increasingly likely that it will be a talking point. Now, you’ll be ready to discuss new technology with confidence.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.

More articles

Latest article