Perhaps, everybody knows that World War II ended no less than 7 decades back. But, in our opinion, this is partially true. Certainly, countries are not at war at these moments, but business organizations are. Like wars, business organizations have to face stiff competition and fight their way up the corporate ladder. This requires considerable time being spent in making strategic business decisions and preferably thinking out of the box. This is the reason why corporates prefer to hire employees that are able to plan strategically and think innovatively.
Strategic planning and thinking is an important aspect in interviews nowadays and interviews prefer to ask questions from this arena. Below is a list of the 21 best interview questions that pertain to this field:
21 Best Interview Questions To Study
1. How Can You Enable Our Company To Expand Its Business Operations?
Strategic thinking is a result of a desire to expand business operations. There are various ways to do so, which an interviewer demands from you through this question.
Sir, expansion is a need as well as a way to conduct businesses. You can not restrict yourself to a single line of operations, rather must diversify and operate in multiple segments. In my humble opinion, entering into new lines of business and franchisee are the two great options to diversify and expand one’s business.If hired, I would search for prospective agencies that are interested in buying our franchise outlets.
2. What Is “Perfection” In The Context Of Strategic Thinking?
This is a word-based interview question and requires you to interpret the term “perfection”.
Sir, in my opinion, “perfection” is a hypothetical term. It is easier to say, but really hard to achieve. From my personal experience, perfection differs from project to project and it maintains an inverse relationship with the difficulty level of projects. However, an employee must work hard and try to achieve perfection by gathering as much information as possible and thinking with caution.
3. Name The Best Strategic Planning Software Available In The Market.
As a strategic thinker, you got to have a good level of acquaintance with the level of technology that is existing in your work profile.
Sure, sir, These are:
4. How Do You Ensure Success In The Context Of Strategic Planning?
This question tests your knowledge in regards to the practical working procedures.
Sir, the best way to ensure success is by breaking a larger business project into smaller fragments or mini-projects and then focusing on each of them one by one. This helps to achieve efficiency in operations and maintains the productivity level of the employees as well.
5. How Do You Motivate Your Team To Work Upon Your Strategic Plans?
Team members play an important role in organizational success and there will always be questions from this arena.
Sir, plans are nothing but a written statement of intent. These plans will hold no relevance until and unless these are implemented and worked upon, which is done by the members of the team. In order to motivate there is always a need for awareness. It is my habit to take at least two orientation sessions with my team members wherein I explain to them all the benefits, that can be achieved through the project.
6. How Adaptable Are You To Changes That Happen At Your Workplace?
Flexibility or adaptability to workplace changes is a common requirement and expectation of business organizations. You must answer this question positively.
Sir, it is common for business organizations to make frequent changes at the workplace. This not only helps organizations to better their processes but also enhances the productivity of the employees working in the company. All the changes that are motivated by the principles of goal congruence are welcomed and always encouraged by me.
7. What Are The Various Areas In Which You Can Make Business Strategies?
This question tests your areas of expertise.
Sir, considering the need and requirements, I have a stronghold on:
- Business expansion
- Human resource
8. Establish A Relationship Between Critical Thinking and Self-Improvement.
This is a deep and intellectual question that requires you to align or relate critical thinking and self-improvement.
Sir, critical thinking is not limited to finding errors or making judgments that are skeptical in nature. Rather, it is influenced by past mistakes and their analyses. It helps a business organization to improve its processes as efforts are usually laid to improve the past errors and negative deviations. These efforts lead to self-improvement and an organization usually heads towards success.
9. What Is The Biggest Issue With Innovative Thinking?
This question tests your knowledge and understanding of “thinking” as a business procedure and the various issues faced in it.
Sir, in my opinion, the fear of failure is the biggest discouraging factor for strategy makers when they try to think innovatively.
10. How Do You Make Business Decisions?
As a strategic manager, you will certainly be required to make business decisions.
Sir, business decisions are crucial in achieving organizational success. We all know, how tough the conduct of businesses is nowadays. Thus, the relevance of an accurate and targeted business decision is quite high. I work in the following manner:
- I gather as much information as possible in regards to the tasks to be performed
- The gathered information is completely analyzed and inferences are drawn
- These inferences form the basis of my decision
11. Assume That, You Are Given Twenty Dollars and You Have To Travel The World. How Would You Do That?
This is an awkward question and there is simply no perfect answer to this question. However, it can certainly impact your attitude and approach. Hence, as an ideal response, just share your thoughts with the interviewer and maintain your body language.
Sir, traveling is a wonderful activity and it certainly relaxes your mind. Given the progress and level of innovation that this world has made, you can comfortably travel around the world in Twenty dollars. All you have to do is, buy a virtual reality headset and download a few compatible videos. I bet, you will get the same level of experience and would certainly enjoy, that too without wasting your paid leaves.
12. We Do Not Achieve Success Everytime. How Do You Manage Your Failure?
Failures leave a devastating impact on the human mind so much so that it crushes one’s confidence. It can seriously impact the performance of an employee at his or her workplace and thus interviewers are always interested in knowing how you manage your failures.
Sir, success is not a guarantee and we can not win every time, despite working hard. Sometimes a single failure is a sign of another series of failures that are just about to begin. That in my opinion is the toughest time for any individual. However, one must always maintain positivity and try to think that this time shall too pass. IN my case, I always strive to create thoughts that are not narcissistic and promote my overall well-being. I achieve this using positive pep talk as a motivational technique.
13. Thinking Out Of The Box Is Risky and Leads To A Lower Cost-Benefit Ratio. Comment On This Statement.
This question tests your knowledge and viewpoints in regards to innovative thinking at your workplace.
Sir, In my opinion “out-of-the-box thinking”, is a disputed term. This is because there could be innumerable interpretations and inferences that can be drawn out of it. It can prompt an individual to make decisions that are quite risky, and at the same time make them a bit less cautious and conservative, for the sake of maintaining fanciness in operations. This statement is partially true, as the cost-benefit ratio can not be the sole purpose to evaluate decisions that are based on innovative thinking.
14. What Is The Relevance Of Gathering Information Before Initiating Any Project?
This question tests your modus operandi and your few attributes.
Sir, it is huge. If you are able to gather relevant data before initiating any project you can cut a lot of risks. I am a detail-oriented person and prefer to gather as much relevant information as possible. Post this, I group the collection on the basis of different parameters, to analyze it.
15. How Will You Promote Our Products/Services Through Strategic Planning?
Ultimately, it is the consumers that come into the game. Only through the promotion of products and services of the company, can it move forward and achieve a higher market share. This question wants you to state the technique, that you have adopted to promote the company’s products.
Sir, the best way to promote the products of a company is by enhancing brand awareness. There are several measures to do so, but in my opinion, Digital marketing has completely revolutionized this sphere. By placing advertisement banners on popular websites, mobile applications, and other digital mediums an organization can create a presence for itself at relatively cheaper costs. Further, an organization must identify its target groups and then devise plans and strategies that could cater to their needs and satisfy their wants.
16. What Do You Mean By SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is a commonly used technique for making business decisions. As a strategic thinker, you got to have complete knowledge of it.
Sir, SWOT refers to:
|S||Strengths||It represents all the unique propositions and strengths of the company in comparison to its competitors.|
|W||Weaknesses||No organization is perfect, and must critically examine itself to identify its weak areas. For example, if a company produces three different products, and one of them pertains to a loss-making business unit, that would be its weakness.|
|O||Opportunities||It depicts all the expansion opportunities and lucrative business proposals that could help an organization to diversify and enhance its profitability.|
|T||Threats||Business organizations operate in a dynamic environment, which is marred by a variety of political, legal, and socio-economic factors. In addition to this, there is a rising level of competition that could severely impact the finances of the company.|
17. How Open Are You In Accepting Criticisms?
Strategic planning is not a hit every time and things might go adversely in a completely wrong direction. Criticisms are common and you must be ready to attend to them.
Sir, negative feedbacks and criticisms are common to experience and one must be ready to face them. People might get depressed or feel bad after receiving them, but I see them as an opportunity to improve my performance. I am open to accepting them, and always use them to find out my mistakes and make suitable changes.
18. How Can You Help Us In Getting Ahead From Our Competitors?
This question tests your approach and attitude.
Yes sir, In all prospects and possibilities I would work really hard and would try my level best to move the company ahead. To do so, I will always conduct a market analysis and scrutiny of the business environment to identify all the opportunities and threats that might be existing in it. Post this, I would analyze, and make plans using my critical thinking abilities and innovative approach.
19. Describe About A Time When You Performed A Task Without Planning.
This is a situation-based interview question wherein you are required to share your practical experiences.
Sir, this happened during my previous tenure, when I was supposed to perform a task with a deadline of fewer than 24 hours. Everything was quite hushed up and I had to be on my toes. I never planned for that task and neither gathered any requisite information. I just used my past experiences for it and was able to give a good performance.
20. How Do You Prioritize Between Different Business Tasks?
This question requires you to state your prioritization technique.
Sir, I completely understand the relevance of this question. Whenever I am assigned several business tasks to be performed in a single day, I usually rank them and arrange them on the basis of their difficulty levels. The tasks that are toughest to perform are usually ranked by me at the top of the order, only to be followed by the tasks that are easier and do not require a greater application of mind. This way, I am able to complete my tasks in a time-bound manner.
21. Can You Share A Practical Experience When You Performed A Task, Of Which You Had No Prior Knowledge?
This is a situation-based interview question wherein you are required to share your practical experiences.
Sure, sir, I have faced this experience while I was undergoing an internship with a business organization. I was supposed to analyze the user manual of a newly developed software and also to find out all the errors and glitches. I was a newbie at that time and had no knowledge of the same. Still, I worked upon it and accepted t as a challenge. I took the help from my seniors and Googles all my queries. Post this, I find out a few errors and complete the analysis successfully.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
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