17 Head Of Research Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a head of research, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

The head of research is responsible for the management and coordination of research activities within an organization. They work with a team of researchers to develop research proposals, conduct research, and write reports. The head of research is also responsible for ensuring that research is conducted in a ethical and responsible manner.

If you are applying for a head of research position, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your research experience, management style, and ability to lead a team. In this guide, we will provide you with a list of common head of research interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next interview.

Common Head Of Research Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the types of research methods used in this industry?

This question is a great way for interviewers to assess your knowledge of the industry and how you might fit in. When answering, it can be helpful to list out some common research methods and briefly explain what they are used for.

Example: “There are many different types of research methods that I am familiar with. One method is primary research, which involves collecting data through surveys or interviews. Secondary research uses existing information as its source, such as published reports or articles. Another type of research is desk research, which is when someone gathers information from books or journals. There’s also experimental research, which tests new ideas by conducting experiments.”

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your previous research roles and how did you overcome them?

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your problem-solving skills and how you approach challenges. Use examples from previous roles to highlight your critical thinking, analytical and interpersonal skills.

Example: “In my last role as a research scientist, I was tasked with finding new ways to improve our company’s product line. After conducting extensive research on similar products in the market, I found that many of them had more advanced features than ours. This led me to create a list of improvements we could make to our current product line. I presented this information to my team, who helped me develop strategies for implementing these changes. We then worked together to implement these changes to our product line.”

How would you describe the relationship between research and development within an organization?

This question helps the interviewer assess your understanding of how research and development work together to create new products or services. Use examples from your past experience to explain what each department does, how they interact with one another and why it’s important for them to do so.

Example: “Research is essential in determining which projects are worth pursuing. It provides valuable information about customer needs, market trends and competitor strategies that can help a company decide whether to invest in a product or service. Development uses this information to create prototypes and test ideas before bringing them to market. This ensures that we’re creating something our customers will want and need.”

What is your experience with leading and managing research teams?

This question can help the interviewer understand your leadership skills and how you’ve managed teams in the past. Use examples from your experience to highlight your communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Example: “In my current role as a senior research analyst, I lead a team of five researchers who work on different projects for our company. We meet weekly to discuss progress and challenges with each project. I also hold one-on-one meetings with each member of my team every month to check in on their performance and provide feedback. These regular meetings allow me to get to know my team members better and give them an opportunity to ask questions or voice concerns.”

Provide an example of a research project you led that had a significant impact on the organization.

This question allows you to showcase your leadership skills and how they helped the organization. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific project that was successful or one that had an impact on the company’s bottom line.

Example: “In my last role as head of research for a large technology company, I led a team of researchers who were tasked with finding ways to increase sales by 10% within six months. We started by researching our target market and found that many customers were looking for more affordable options. We then created a new product line that offered lower-priced products while still maintaining quality. The new product line increased sales by 15% in the first quarter.”

If hired as the head of research, what is your strategy for building and maintaining relationships with external research firms?

This question allows the interviewer to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate with others. Your answer should include a specific example of how you have worked with external research firms in the past, or how you plan to do so if this is your first time working as a head of research.

Example: “I believe that collaborating with other research firms can be beneficial for both parties. In my last role, I hired an outside firm to conduct a survey on our customers’ satisfaction levels. The results were helpful because they allowed me to see where we excelled and where we needed improvement. I would use this strategy again if I was promoted to head of research.”

What would you do if you had a strong hunch about a potential research topic but there was no existing data to support it?

Interviewers want to know that you can use your own intuition and experience to make decisions about research topics. They also want to see how you would go about gathering the data necessary to support your hunch. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to gather the information needed to prove or disprove your hypothesis.

Example: “If I had a strong hunch about a potential research topic but there was no existing data to support it, I would first try to find any existing studies on the subject. If I couldn’t find anything, I would start by surveying customers to get their opinions on the matter. From there, I would begin collecting more specific data through surveys and interviews. Once I had enough data to support my hunch, I would present my findings to senior management.”

How well do you think you can work with senior management to explain complex research concepts to a non-technical audience?

As a head of research, you may need to explain your findings and recommendations to senior management. This question helps the interviewer assess how well you can communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand way. Use examples from past experiences where you’ve had to do this successfully.

Example: “In my last role as a lead researcher, I was tasked with presenting our findings to upper management on a quarterly basis. I found that using visuals and analogies helped them understand the data we collected and what it meant for the company’s future. For example, when explaining why we needed to change our marketing strategy, I compared our current approach to a football team running outdated plays. The analogy made it easier for them to understand the importance of changing our strategies.”

Do you have experience writing reports and presenting your findings to large groups?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience presenting your findings to a large group of people. This is an important skill for head of research positions because you may need to present your findings to senior management or other stakeholders in the company. In your answer, try to explain how you feel about public speaking and what strategies you use to make it less stressful.

Example: “I do have some experience with public speaking, although I am not as comfortable with it as I would like to be. To get over my fear of public speaking, I started giving short presentations at local meet-ups and eventually moved up to larger events. Now, I find that I enjoy public speaking and look forward to learning more about the topics I speak on.”

When deciding on a research method, what factors do you consider?

This question can help the interviewer understand your decision-making process and how you apply critical thinking skills to your work. Use examples from past experiences to explain how you make decisions about research methods, including what factors you consider when choosing a method and why you chose it in that situation.

Example: “I consider several factors when deciding on a research method. First, I look at the goals of the study and determine which method will best support those goals. Then, I assess the resources available for the project, such as time constraints or budget limitations, and decide whether the method is feasible within those parameters. Finally, I consider my own expertise level with each method so I know if I am comfortable enough to lead the project using that method.”

We want to improve our customer satisfaction scores. What types of research would you recommend we conduct?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of research and how you can apply it to improve the company’s performance. When answering this question, make sure to highlight your ability to analyze data and use that information to create strategies for improvement.

Example: “I would recommend conducting customer satisfaction surveys on a regular basis. These surveys allow you to collect feedback from customers about their experiences with your products or services. You can then use this information to identify areas where you need to improve. For example, if many customers are complaining about shipping times, you may want to hire more delivery drivers to ensure orders arrive within a certain time frame.”

Describe your experience with statistical analysis software.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with specific software programs. This can help them determine if you have the necessary skills for the job and whether or not you would need training on how to use the company’s preferred software program. In your answer, describe which statistical analysis software you’re familiar with and what types of projects you used it for in previous roles.

Example: “I’ve worked with several different statistical analysis software programs throughout my career. I started out using SPSS when I was a graduate student, but I also learned SAS and R as part of my master’s degree. Throughout my time at my last position, I primarily used SAS because it was the most efficient way to analyze large data sets. However, I’m comfortable learning new software programs as needed.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications for the role. Before you go into the interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate. Focus on what makes you unique from other candidates.

Example: “I am passionate about research and innovation. I have been working in my field for over 10 years, so I have extensive experience with leading teams and managing projects. My background is also very similar to this company’s mission statement, which is why I applied for this position. I believe I would be a great fit for this role.”

Which industries do you have experience conducting research in?

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience level and how it applies to their organization. Use this opportunity to highlight any unique or impressive research projects you’ve worked on in the past, including what they were about and how they helped your company or clients.

Example: “I have extensive experience conducting research for both private and public organizations. In my last position as a senior researcher at XYZ Company, I led a team of researchers who analyzed consumer behavior patterns and preferences to create more effective marketing strategies. We also used our research findings to develop new products that met customer needs and increased sales.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a head of research to have?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have the skills and abilities needed for this role. You can answer this question by identifying a skill from the job description and explaining how you use it in your work.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for a head of research is communication. This person needs to be able to clearly explain their ideas to other researchers, managers and clients. I’ve found that my ability to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand way has helped me get buy-in on projects and develop strategies that are effective and efficient.”

How often do you recommend performing research audits?

Audits are a common practice in research, and the interviewer may want to know how often you recommend performing them. Use your answer to highlight your knowledge of industry standards for audits and when they’re most beneficial.

Example: “I believe that research should be audited at least once per year. Audits allow researchers to evaluate their current processes and determine if there’s room for improvement or if any changes need to be made. I find that annual audits help ensure that our research is always meeting client expectations and providing valuable insights.”

There is a discrepancy between your findings and the conclusions another department has reached. How do you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and whether you are willing to challenge others. Your answer should show that you value your own research and understand its importance in the company.

Example: “I would first make sure I understood why they came to their conclusions. If there was a misunderstanding, I would explain my findings and ask them to reevaluate their data. If it seems like they have done extensive research and still disagree with me, I would present my findings to upper management so they could decide what action to take.”


17 Vice President Of Communications Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

17 Accreditation Manager Interview Questions and Answers