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What is flexibility?

Flexibility is your willingness and ability to take on new responsibilities. It is not just a 'can do' attitude but a 'will do' approach. To be truly flexible, you need to change your priorities according to organisational need.

Application form and interview questions

Some examples of application form and interview questions which are designed to test your flexibility:

  • Describe a university situation when you needed to manage your time effectively due to multiple priorities.
  • Tell me about a time when you have had to change your plans due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Why is an ability to be flexible important at work?

If you are unsure how to structure an answer for either application or interview questions, visit the application and interviews section of our website and find out about the CAR (context, action, result) and STAR (situation, task, action, result) models. Our recommendations are based on feedback from employers.

Assessment centres

At assessment centres, business case studies can often be constructed to test your powers of resilience and flexibility. You may be asked to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, and the boundaries of a project may be changed during the activity to see how you change your approach.

Activities where you could develop flexibility

The following activities, both locally and on campus, may be a good ways to develop flexibility.

  • Manchester Leadership Programme This academic module is open to most undergraduate students at Manchester.
  • PASS Leader Voluntary role facilitating groups of lower year students on specific study related topics and strategies.
  • Peer Mentoring Develop teamworking skills by supporting others through their studies and wider university life.
  • Volunteering Gives you the chance to develop a range of skills while giving something back to the community.
  • Work Experience Develop a range of skills and build up your experience whilst at university.
  • Work Shadowing Short-term activity, a day or two, to gain an insight into a particular role or industry.