What are strategic interview questions?
Strategic interview questions go beyond the surface level and help the interviewer to get to know the candidate better. By asking questions that are not strictly about the job, interviewers can gain insights into how the candidate thinks and solves problems. These questions can be about the candidate’s experience, goals, or thoughts on a particular topic.
The following are ten of the most common strategic questions you may be asked in an interview:
1. What do you think are the three most important things a company should do to be successful?
Every company is different and what works for one might not work for another. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some general principles that all companies can benefit from.
First, emphasize that a company’s success depends on its ability to execute its strategy. A company needs to have a clear vision and goals, and it needs to know how to allocate its resources to achieve them.
Second, a company must have a strong understanding of its customers and what they want or need. This means constantly collecting data and feedback from customers and using it to improve the product or service.
Finally, a company must be able to adapt to change.
2. What do you think are the biggest risks/threats to our industry? How would you address them?
In any industry, there are always risks and threats that can potentially disrupt business or affect bottom lines. So, when faced with this question in a job interview, it’s important to be strategic in your response.
You don’t want to come across as naive or negative, but you also don’t want to make grandiose claims that you can’t back up. The key is to focus on the future and what you would do proactively to address these risks.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a position in the retail industry, you might say something like: “I think the biggest risk to the retail industry is the continued growth of online shopping. To address this, I would suggest investing in e-commerce and marketing strategies that focus on the unique benefits of brick-and-mortar stores.”
3. What methods would you use for strategic planning?
To answer this question properly, you first need to understand what strategic planning is. It is a process organizations use to determine their long-term goals and objectives and to develop a plan of action to achieve them.
Second, think about what the interviewer is looking for. They want to know if you’re able to think strategically and plan accordingly. They also want to see if you understand the company’s mission and goals. Keep this in mind when you’re crafting your answer.
Third, give a specific example of a method you would use for strategic planning. Perhaps you would create a SWOT analysis or develop a growth plan. Whatever method you choose, make sure it’s relevant to the company and the position you’re interviewing for.
Finally, explain why you chose that particular method. What makes it effective?
4. What motivates you?
When asking this question, the interviewer is looking to test your self-awareness and gain some insight into how you work. Here’s how to answer it.
First, take a moment to think about what really motivates you. Are you driven by challenges, by the opportunity to learn new things, or by working with a great team? Once you’ve identified your motivating factors, use them to formulate your answer.
For example, if you’re motivated by challenges, you might say something like, “I’m motivated by the opportunity to problem-solve and learn new things. I thrive when I’m presented with a challenge that requires me to think outside the box.
5. What is your ideal company culture?
This is a strategic question that allows the interviewer to gauge if you would be a good fit for their organization.
To answer this question, think about the type of environment that you thrive in. Do you prefer a fast-paced and challenging work setting? Or are you more productive in a relaxed and supportive environment?
Once you have an understanding of your preferences, do some research on the company culture of the organization you are interviewing with. Is it aligned with your ideal? If it is, great! If not, try to find common ground between the two cultures. For example, if you value collaboration and the company values individual achievement, maybe you can find a middle ground by saying that you appreciate working independently but also enjoy being part of a team when needed.
6. What are your thoughts on [current industry issue]?
When asked about your thoughts on a current industry issue, you should take a moment to consider your answer before responding. This question is designed to test your knowledge and opinions on the issue at hand. It is important to be prepared for this type of question and to have a well-thought-out answer.
First, you should make sure that you are familiar with the current industry issue and that you have an opinion on it. You should keep in mind that your answer will reflect your qualifications for the position.
Next, be sure to articulate your thoughts on the issue clearly and concisely. It is crucial to have a well-thought-out answer before you speak so that you do not come across as unprepared or uninformed.
7. How would you handle a situation where [problem scenario]?
This question is designed to evaluate your problem-solving skills. To answer it effectively, you need to do three things:
- Understand the problem. The interviewer will give you some information about a hypothetical workplace situation, but it is up to you to ask clarifying questions if needed.
- Describe how you would solve it. For example, if you are asked how you would deal with a difficult customer, you might say that you would try to understand their needs and find a way to meet them without compromising the company’s standards.
- Explain why your solution is the best option. Be sure to explain your reasoning behind it and how you think it will resolve the issue at hand.
8. What do you think is the most important trait for success in this role?
This strategic question is designed to assess whether you have thought carefully about the position and whether you are a good fit for the company. There are a few key things to keep in mind when answering this question.
First, take a moment to think about the job and what it entails. What skills and qualities will be most important to be successful? Once you have identified several key traits, you can begin to formulate your answer.
Second, try to relate your answer to your own experiences and qualities. For example, if you feel that being detail-oriented is essential for success in the role, you can share a specific instance from your previous work where your attention to detail made a positive impact.
Finally, avoid coming across as cocky or arrogant.
9. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get the job done.
When you’ll be asked this question during the interview, it is an opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving skills, initiative, and dedication. To answer this question effectively, share a specific example of a time when you faced a challenge at work and what you did to overcome it.
Using the STAR method can help you structure your answer to these types of questions.
For instance, you might describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or complete a project under tight deadlines. Explain how you handled the situation and what steps you took to ensure that the job was done successfully. This will show the interviewer that you’re able to think on your feet and handle pressure well.
Be sure to conclude your story by highlighting the positive results of your efforts.
10. Do you have any questions for me?
When you’re in a job interview and the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, it’s important to ask at least one question. This shows that you’re interested in the position and want to know more about it. But, you don’t want to ask just any question. You want to ask a strategic question that will help you learn more about the job and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
So, what are some good questions to ask in a job interview? Here are a few examples:
- What does a typical day look like in this role?
- What are the most important qualities someone in this role must have?
- What are some of the challenges someone in this role might face?
- What kind of development or training opportunities are available for someone in this role?