How to Answer
Most organizations want to avoid on-boarding someone who will make immediate and significant changes. Significant changes are hard on the staff and usually, result in knee-jerk reactions such as mass turnover. It's always best to 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 the staff.
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.
"If offered 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 the 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."
Admin Answer Example
"I would address any urgent and glaring issues immediately; however, I would want to wait for the implementation of significant changes only after I have a thorough understanding of the organizational dynamics."
Manager Answer Example
"I always prefer to observe the everyday 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."
Marketing Answer Example
"Being the newest person in the organization, I'm always wary of making any big changes off the bat. That said, I'd look at what has happened to the 2018 calendar for marketing initiatives and how they impacted sales. I would 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."
Retail Answer Example
"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."
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 before making changes. That said, I would wait for my onboarding 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 essential not only to observe but also listen to the team that predates me and hears what they think is or is not working. Only after active learning, watching, and evaluating period would I begin to effect change."
Teacher Answer Example
"I would take a week or two to observe my class before making any changes. I am always wary of shuffling kids around too much as most tend to be creatures of habit that resist change. My changes may be in the form of introducing more multi-media and hands-on opportunities or perhaps swapping the seating arrangement."