Most organizations want to avoid on-boarding someone who will make immediate and significant changes. Big changes are hard on staff and usually result in knee-jerk reactions such as mass turnover. It's always best to explain to the interviewer that your plan is to first observe in order to gain a better understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics. Focus your discussion on building a strong rapport with the staff.
Discuss that you will address any urgent and glaring issues immediately; however, assure the interviewer that you will implement major changes only after you have a thorough understanding of the organization dynamics.
"If I were chosen for this position, I do not believe that major and immediate change would be the answer. My first action would be to have a one-on-one meeting with everyone on the leadership team. I would want to learn what their greatest challenges are, and how I could alleviate those difficulties. From there, the trickle effect will be strong and we will see an increase in sales and employee engagement. Only after that would I consider a stronger approach to change."
"I always prefer to observe the every day activity within an organization before making significant changes. I plan to make an impact quickly; however, I don't want to jump the gun and make costly mistakes."
"I like to train in current processes before making changes. I know that my first question would be to ask what is not working. If I can see a quick fix to try, I would try it, but I would likely still need to learn more about the business before making any changes."
"Being the newest person to the organization, I'm always wary of making any big changes off the bat. That said, I'd definitely look at what has been done for 2017 calendar for marketing initiatives and how they impacted sales and sit down with the team to understand the goals for next year so that I can make my best recommendation on how to be impactful in the coming year."
Sales answer example
"It's important to first understand the company culture, dynamics, values, and individual players, not to mention the short- and long-term goals of the organization prior to making changes. That said, I would wait for my own on-boarding process to complete, then shadow the key players on my team, as well as across the organization, to understand how the pieces fit together.
Also, I think it's really important to not only observe but also listen to the team that predates me and hear what they think is or is not working. Only after an active learning, watching, and evaluating period would I begin to effect big change."