MockQuestions

Leadership Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your job interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples focused on your leadership skills.

Leadership was written by and updated on June 11th, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?

How to Answer

Most organizations want to avoid onboarding someone who will make sweeping changes immediately. Sudden changes are hard on a team and can often result in knee-jerk reactions such as resignations.

Explain to the interviewer that you plan first to observe to gain a better understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics. Focus your discussion on building a strong rapport with your new team.

If you are applying for a promotion within your current organization, you may already know what changes you would like to make upon receiving this position. Share with the interviewer what you have observed while in your current job, the changes you would make, and why you would make those changes.

Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

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Advice and Examples: If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?

  • 1. If you were hired for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?

      How to Answer

      Most organizations want to avoid onboarding someone who will make sweeping changes immediately. Sudden changes are hard on a team and can often result in knee-jerk reactions such as resignations.

      Explain to the interviewer that you plan first to observe to gain a better understanding of the organization's culture and team dynamics. Focus your discussion on building a strong rapport with your new team.

      If you are applying for a promotion within your current organization, you may already know what changes you would like to make upon receiving this position. Share with the interviewer what you have observed while in your current job, the changes you would make, and why you would make those changes.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "If offered this position, I do not believe that major immediate change would be the answer. My initial approach would be to have a 1:1 meeting with everyone on the leadership team. I want to learn what the greatest challenges are and how I can 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 first positive shift would I consider a stronger approach to change."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Admin

      "I would address any urgent and glaring issues immediately; however, I want to wait for the implementation of significant changes only after I have a thorough understanding of your organizational dynamics."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Manager

      "I would prefer to observe the everyday activity within your 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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Marketing

      "Being the newest person in the organization, I would be wary of making any big changes off the bat. That said, I'd look at what has happened in the previous years' calendar for marketing initiatives and how they impacted sales. I would sit down with the team to understand the goals for the next 3, 6, 9, and 12 months so that I can make my best recommendations on how to be impactful in the coming year."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Retail

      "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 will go after it, but I would likely still need to learn more about the business' operations and current struggles before making any changes."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Sales

      "It's important for me to first understand the company culture, dynamics, values, and individual players, not to mention the short and long-term goals of the organization before making changes. I would wait for my onboarding process to be complete, then shadow the key players on my team and within the organization, to understand how the pieces fit together. I think it's essential not only to observe but also to listen to the team that predates me. I want to hear what they think is or is not working. Only after active listening and learning, watching, and evaluating would I begin to effect change."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Teacher

      "I would take a week or two to observe my class before making any changes. I am wary of shuffling kids around too much as most tend to be creatures of habit that resist change. My changes might be in the form of introducing more multi-media and hands-on opportunities or perhaps swapping the seating arrangement."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on June 11th, 2020

      Community Answer

      "I wouldn't change anything right away. I would listen to the team and observe for a few weeks, then make priorities on what I would like to change based on people's feedback and my personal observations."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wonderful response! This is perfect.

      Community Answer

      "I would first attempt to build a good solid professional relationship with my colleagues and staff. I would then get to know what issues within the organization are important to them. I would later try to gain more understanding of the organizations' structure and strategic direction through discussion with senior managers to identify specific changes and look at what these changes would have on the staff group."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds as though you would take a very respectful approach, ensuring that strong relationships were built from the start. Nice response!

      Community Answer

      "Any change would depend on what the manager and director think is the most pressing concern facing the department. Based on that feedback, I would focus my attention on it and set a goal to show significant improvement or resolution of the issue within a 90-day timeframe."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's great that you focus on addressing the pain points that the employer is currently facing. A wise approach :)

      Community Answer

      "First understand the challenges. I plan to make an impact quickly; however, I don't want to jump the gun and make costly mistakes."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good response! Making sure you first understand the challenges of your new position is definitely important. You can also mention how you'll want to gain an understanding of the company's culture and team dynamics before making any changes and that you'll focus primarily on building relationships with your team at first. If you're moving up within a company you already work for and you already know some changes that should be made, you can talk about those too.

      Community Answer

      "I would sit down with the team to understand the goals for next year so that I can make the best recommendation on how to be successful in the upcoming year."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This approach is great because it isn't too aggressive. It shows your willingness to listen to your team while using excellent analytical skills.

      Community Answer

      "I will first learn about the present processes. After I've gained an understanding of why things are done a certain way, then I will be in a better position to recommend areas where improvement can be made and get the team's buy-in."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's a great idea to walk cautiously into change. Your response shows care and respect to your future team.

      Community Answer

      "I would not implement any changes initially. Unless there was a clear directive from my superior that changes were required immediately. I would assess the situation first to determine if changes were required."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      A good start! It’s perfectly natural to want to prove yourself in appreciation for being selected for this opportunity. However, anytime a company brings on a new employee, they want you to set the same impression you set for them on the rest of the teams you are now a part of. Therefore, it is essential you build relationships and gain the trust of those you’ll be working with. So before you begin suggesting changes to systems and processes you haven’t fully learned and immersed yourself in yet, your interpersonal skills and communications skills will take priority over rocking the boat. Once you’ve graduated past your first 90 day onboarding period or probationary period, consider making suggestions which you might feel would be a benefit to your teams. But preface any suggestions with questions, to ensure your suggestions aren’t approaches they’ve already considered and dismissed.

      "“The hiring managers may feel they have enough to go on to say I’m the right person to compliment their teams, but the individual members of my team don’t have full confidence in me yet. So, once hired by a company, the interview process starts all over again. Sure, I’ve proven myself to those who’ve interviewed me, and now it’s time for me to prove myself to everyone else in the same fashion. So this takes the highest priority, otherwise how am I to compliment the teams? So throughout the onboarding period, I’ll learn as much as I can, impressing on everyone my work ethic and interpersonal skills. Once I’ve gained everyone’s trust, then I can start putting my input, ideas and contributions out there.”"

      Community Answer

      "First, I would like to get to know the team, company culture, and systems before I make any changes. That way, I better understand why I want to change it. Once I'm familiar with that, I would spot opportunities where we can be more profitable or more efficient. I would first also talk with my manager and ask for feedback."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very good response! It's great that you would first observe, plan, gain buy-in, and then implement.

      Community Answer

      "Well, I won't look to bring any new change immediately. First, I would like to understand the processes and procedures. I would sit down with the team to identify any opportunity in the organization, in which we all can take care of bringing changes into the process."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your approach sounds respectful and systematic. Very nice!

      Community Answer

      "If hired, I would not make any immediate changes. I would like to learn the daily tasks of the individuals and get to know them more. I would listen to what their needs are and ask what process changes they see are needed. If there is a list, I would prioritize them."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your response clearly outlines your person-centered leadership style and active listening skills. To make sure that you don't completely dodge the question, though, you may want to consider providing a specific timeline for your listening tour. For example, "I would spend the first month learning the daily tasks," and then, "In month two, I would seek to begin implementing changes from the list of priorities,"

      Community Answer

      "I don't think I would implement any drastic changes, I think we all need some time to get used to our new roles."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a safe answer. :) And one that an interviewer would likely agree with since it's probably best to not make any drastic changes right when you arrive on the scene. However, you might want to think through and propose a few smaller changes since that might be what the interviewer expects here.

      Community Answer

      "Starting as a nurse educator, I wouldn't change anything initially. I would go in with the mind to observe and see what challenges team members are facing and then after a group meeting to get their opinions, I will initiate a plan."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great response! This shows your thoughtfulness and willingness to learn from others before presenting your own agenda.

      Community Answer

      "First I feel it's important to evaluate the potential for improvement and then come up with a plan to address those areas."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great. Taking a thoughtful, careful approach to change is wise, and your answer implies this approach.