25 Head Of Strategy Interview Questions and Answers

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

Strategy is critical to the success of any business, yet it’s a function that is often misunderstood. A company’s strategy is the game plan that it uses to achieve its desired position in the market. It’s the road map that guides the company’s decisions about what products or services to offer, which markets to enter or exit, what pricing to use, and what channels to sell through.

The head of strategy is responsible for developing and executing the company’s strategy. He or she is the architect of the company’s vision and the leader of the team that turns that vision into reality.

If you’re interviewing for a head of strategy position, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your experience, your approach to strategy, and your ability to lead a team. In this article, we’ll provide a list of some of the most common questions asked in a head of strategy interview, along with sample answers to help you prepare for your own interview.

Common Head Of Strategy Interview Questions

1. Are you familiar with our company and our industry?

This question can help the interviewer determine how much research you’ve done before your interview. It’s important to thoroughly research a company and its industry prior to an interview, as it shows that you’re serious about the position and prepared for the interview. In your answer, try to mention two or three things about the company and its industry that you know.

Example: “Yes, I am familiar with your company and industry. I have been researching your organization for the past few weeks to gain a better understanding of its mission, values, and goals. From my research, I understand that you are looking for someone who can develop strategies to help you achieve those objectives.

I believe I am well-equipped to do this job. My experience in strategy development spans over 10 years, during which I have worked on various projects across different industries. This has given me an insight into how to create effective strategies that will bring about positive results. Furthermore, I have a strong track record of success when it comes to implementing these strategies and achieving desired outcomes.”

2. What are some of the most important skills for a head of strategy?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary for the role. They want someone who can lead a team, communicate effectively and solve problems. When answering this question, list some of the most important skills you possess. Explain how these skills helped you in your previous roles.

Example: “As a Head of Strategy, I believe the most important skills are strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. A successful strategy requires an in-depth understanding of business operations and the ability to identify areas for improvement. This includes being able to analyze data, recognize patterns, and develop creative solutions that will drive growth and profitability.

In addition, it is essential to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. As the head of strategy, you must be able to effectively communicate your ideas and plans to stakeholders at all levels of the organization. You should also be comfortable working with cross-functional teams and collaborating with other departments to ensure alignment on strategic initiatives.

Lastly, having a deep knowledge of industry trends and best practices is key. It’s important to stay up-to-date on new developments so that you can anticipate potential opportunities or challenges and adjust your strategies accordingly.”

3. How would you develop a new product or service for our company?

This question can help the interviewer understand your strategic thinking process and how you would apply it to their company. Use examples from past experiences where you developed a new product or service for a client, and explain how you used data analysis and research to develop ideas that were beneficial to the organization.

Example: “When developing a new product or service, I believe it is important to start with understanding the needs of the customer. This involves researching the market and gathering feedback from potential customers. Once these insights are gathered, I would then create an actionable plan that outlines the steps necessary to bring the product or service to life.

This plan should include objectives such as identifying target markets, creating a timeline for development, setting milestones for testing, and budgeting for resources. It should also involve working closely with stakeholders across departments to ensure everyone is on the same page. Finally, I would make sure to measure progress throughout the process and adjust accordingly if needed.”

4. What is your experience with creating and implementing strategic plans?

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your experience with strategic planning and how you approach this process. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your ability to create plans, analyze data and develop strategies that support organizational goals.

Example: “I have extensive experience in creating and implementing strategic plans. I have been a Head of Strategy for the past five years, leading teams to develop and execute successful strategies across multiple industries. During this time, I have developed an understanding of how to identify key objectives and create actionable plans that are tailored to each organization’s unique needs.

My approach is to first understand the company’s vision and goals, then use data-driven insights to build out a strategy that will help achieve those objectives. This includes researching market trends, analyzing customer feedback, and developing innovative solutions. Once the plan has been created, I work closely with stakeholders to ensure it is implemented effectively. I also monitor progress regularly to assess if any adjustments need to be made along the way.”

5. Provide an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision.

When an interviewer asks you to provide an example of a time when you made a difficult decision, they are trying to understand how you make decisions and what your thought process is. This can help them determine if you have the skills necessary for this role. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about a specific situation where you had to make a tough choice that impacted your organization in some way.

Example: “I recently had to make a difficult decision when I was working as the Head of Strategy for my previous company. We were in the process of launching a new product line and needed to decide whether or not we should invest more resources into it. After carefully weighing all the pros and cons, I ultimately decided that investing additional resources would be too risky at this time.

The decision was difficult because there was a lot of pressure from our investors to move forward with the project, but after careful consideration I determined that it wasn’t worth the risk. Instead, I recommended that we focus on optimizing existing products and services before expanding into new areas. This allowed us to maximize our current investments while also protecting us from potential losses. Ultimately, my decision proved to be the right one, as we saw significant growth in our existing products and services over the following year.”

6. If we were to look at your career path, what trends have you noticed?

This question is a great way to learn more about the candidate’s career path and how they’ve grown over time. It can also show you what their interests are, which can be helpful if you’re looking for someone who will fit in with your company culture. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention any trends that have helped you grow as a professional.

Example: “Throughout my career, I have noticed a few key trends in the way that I approach strategy. Firstly, I strive to be an innovative thinker who is constantly looking for new ways to solve problems and create value. Secondly, I am highly collaborative and enjoy working with teams to develop strategies that are both effective and efficient. Finally, I am passionate about staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices so that I can ensure our strategies remain relevant and competitive.

These core values have been instrumental in helping me achieve success in my previous roles as Head of Strategy. I have developed comprehensive plans that have enabled organizations to reach their goals while also driving growth and profitability. My ability to think outside the box has allowed me to identify opportunities and develop creative solutions that have yielded positive results.”

7. What would you do if you noticed two departments within the company were working against each other instead of together?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and your ability to resolve it. Use examples from past experiences where you helped two departments work together or collaborate on a project.

Example: “If I noticed two departments within the company were working against each other instead of together, my first step would be to identify the root cause of the conflict. This could involve conducting interviews with key stakeholders in both departments to understand their perspectives and uncover any underlying issues that may be preventing collaboration.

Once I have a better understanding of the situation, I would then develop an action plan for resolving the conflict. This could include facilitating conversations between the two departments to help them come to an agreement on how they can work together more effectively. It might also involve developing a strategy for improving communication between the two teams or creating incentives for collaboration.

Ultimately, my goal is to ensure that all departments within the company are working together harmoniously towards common goals. By leveraging my expertise in strategic planning and problem-solving, I am confident that I can bring about positive change and foster greater collaboration between the two departments.”

8. How well do you handle stress?

Working in a leadership role can be stressful. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to handle stress and remain calm when under pressure. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and give an example of a time you were able to do so successfully.

Example: “I believe I handle stress very well. I have worked in the strategy field for over 10 years, and throughout that time I have had to manage multiple complex projects with tight deadlines. This has taught me how to prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities when necessary, and stay organized even under pressure.

In addition, I am a firm believer in taking regular breaks and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I understand that it is important to step away from work occasionally in order to clear my head and come back refreshed and ready to tackle any challenges.”

9. Do you have any questions for us about the head of strategy position?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research on their company and are genuinely interested in the position. It’s also a chance for you to learn more about what the role entails, so make sure you ask questions that will help you understand the job better.

Example: “Yes, I do. First of all, I would like to know what the team structure looks like and who I will be reporting to. Secondly, I am interested in understanding the company’s current strategy and how I can help shape it going forward. Finally, I would like to understand the resources available to me and what kind of support I can expect from the organization.”

10. When was the last time you took on a new challenge and how did it go?

Employers ask this question to see if you’re willing to take on new challenges and how you’ve handled them in the past. This can be a great way for employers to learn more about your career path, as well as what kind of work you enjoy doing. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about a challenge that you overcame or one that helped you grow professionally.

Example: “I recently took on a new challenge in my current role as Head of Strategy. I was tasked with leading the development and implementation of a new strategic plan for our organization. This involved working closely with all departments to ensure that their goals were aligned with our overall strategy.

The process was challenging but incredibly rewarding. I worked hard to ensure that everyone had a voice in the process, from senior executives to frontline staff. Through this collaborative effort, we developed an effective strategy that has already started to yield positive results. We have seen an increase in customer satisfaction, improved operational efficiency, and increased revenue growth.”

11. We want to improve our customer service. What ideas do you have for doing so?

Customer service is an important part of any business, and the interviewer may ask this question to see how you would improve their customer service. Use your answer to highlight your communication skills and ability to work with a team.

Example: “I believe that customer service is the foundation of any successful business. My experience as a Head Of Strategy has taught me that there are several ways to improve customer service.

Firstly, I would focus on improving communication between customers and staff. This could be done by introducing more efficient methods for customers to reach out with their queries or complaints, such as an online chat system or dedicated phone line. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that staff are trained in how to handle customer interactions effectively and efficiently.

Secondly, I would look at streamlining processes within the organisation to make sure that customer requests are dealt with quickly and accurately. This could involve automating certain tasks or implementing new systems to help manage customer information.

Thirdly, I would suggest introducing incentives for customers to encourage loyalty and repeat purchases. These could include discounts, free shipping, or other rewards.”

12. Describe your process for making big decisions.

This question can help interviewers understand how you make important decisions and what your thought process is. This can be an opportunity to show that you have a strong decision-making process, which can be helpful for this role.

Example: “When making big decisions, I like to take a holistic approach. First, I assess the situation and identify all of the stakeholders involved. Then, I gather as much information as possible by talking to those stakeholders, researching industry trends, and analyzing data. After that, I create a list of potential solutions and evaluate each one based on its potential impact, cost, timeline, and other factors. Finally, I make an informed decision taking into account both short-term and long-term implications.

I believe this process allows me to make well-informed decisions that are in line with the organization’s goals and objectives. It also ensures that everyone is kept in the loop and has a chance to provide input. This helps build trust and collaboration within the team which is essential for success.”

13. What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that qualify you for this role. Focus on what makes you unique from other candidates and highlight any transferable skills or knowledge you have.

Example: “I believe that my experience and qualifications make me an ideal candidate for the Head of Strategy position. I have over 10 years of experience in strategic planning, business development, and project management. My expertise lies in developing innovative strategies to help organizations achieve their goals.

In addition to my professional experience, I am also highly organized and detail-oriented. I take pride in my ability to think critically and analyze data to develop effective solutions. I am also a strong communicator with excellent interpersonal skills which allow me to effectively collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders.”

14. Which industries do you have the most experience in?

This question can help the interviewer understand your background and how it relates to their company. Use this opportunity to highlight any experience you have that is relevant to the role, such as knowledge of the industry or specific skills.

Example: “I have extensive experience in the strategy field, having worked in a variety of industries. My most significant experience is within the technology sector, where I’ve been employed for over 10 years. During this time, I developed and implemented strategies to drive growth and maximize profits. I also have experience in the finance industry, where I was responsible for creating and executing strategic plans that increased customer satisfaction and improved operational efficiency. Finally, I have some experience in the retail industry, where I managed projects related to product launches and marketing campaigns.”

15. What do you think is the most important thing a head of strategy can do to help the company’s CEO?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership style and how you would interact with the CEO of a company. Your answer should show that you can work well with others, communicate effectively and understand the importance of teamwork.

Example: “As the Head of Strategy, I believe my most important role is to provide the CEO with a clear vision and direction for the company. This means understanding the current state of the business, analyzing trends in the industry, and identifying opportunities for growth. By doing this, I can help the CEO develop an effective strategy that will position the company for success.

In addition, it’s essential to ensure that the CEO has access to accurate data and insights so they can make informed decisions. As Head of Strategy, I would work closely with other departments to gather relevant information and present it in a meaningful way. Finally, I would be available to offer guidance and advice on any strategic initiatives or decisions the CEO may need to make.”

16. How often do you make recommendations that are rejected?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you respond to rejection and whether you take it personally. It also helps them see if you have a track record of implementing strategies that are successful. In your answer, try to emphasize that you don’t take rejection personally and instead use it as an opportunity to learn more about what might work better in the future.

Example: “I understand that not all of my recommendations will be accepted, but I strive to make sure that the ones I do make are well-thought out and backed up with data. When making a recommendation, I always consider the potential risks and benefits associated with it. That way, if it is rejected, I can provide an explanation as to why it may not have been the best decision for the company.”

17. There is a new CEO who wants to take the company in a new direction. How do you react?

This question is a great way to see how you would react in a challenging situation. The interviewer wants to know that you can work with others and are willing to compromise when necessary.

Example: “I understand that when a new CEO comes in, they often have their own vision for the company. As Head of Strategy, I am prepared to work with the new CEO and help them achieve their goals. My first step would be to sit down with the CEO and discuss their objectives and how we can best reach those goals. I would then create a comprehensive strategy plan that outlines our short-term and long-term goals, as well as any potential risks or challenges that may arise along the way. Finally, I would ensure that all stakeholders are on board with the new direction and provide regular updates on progress. By taking these steps, I believe I can help the company successfully transition into its new direction.”

18. How do you keep up with industry trends?

Employers ask this question to see if you are committed to staying up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. They want to know that you can adapt and implement new ideas into your strategy planning. Use your answer to show them how you stay on top of things by reading articles, subscribing to newsletters or attending conferences.

Example: “Keeping up with industry trends is essential for any Head of Strategy. I stay informed by reading industry publications, attending conferences and networking events, and staying connected to my professional network. I also make sure to keep an eye on the competition and see what strategies they are using that could be beneficial to our own organization. Finally, I use data-driven insights to identify emerging trends in the market and develop plans to capitalize on them. By doing this, I am able to ensure our organization stays ahead of the curve and can anticipate changes in the market before they happen.”

19. What strategies have you used to increase market share?

Market share is a key metric for many businesses, and the interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your analytical skills. Use examples from previous roles where you helped increase market share or sales by implementing strategies that increased customer satisfaction.

Example: “I have a proven track record of developing and executing strategies to increase market share. In my current role as Head Of Strategy, I have implemented several initiatives that resulted in increased market share for the company.

One example is when I developed an aggressive pricing strategy to capture new customers. This involved researching our competitors’ prices and creating a pricing structure that was competitive but still allowed us to maintain our profit margins. We also launched targeted marketing campaigns to reach potential customers who were likely to be interested in our products or services. As a result, we saw a significant increase in market share within six months.

Another example is when I created a customer loyalty program to reward existing customers for their repeat business. This included offering discounts on future purchases, free shipping, and exclusive access to special offers. The program was successful in increasing customer retention rates and driving more sales from existing customers, which further contributed to our overall market share growth.”

20. Describe a situation in which you had to think outside the box to achieve success.

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to think creatively. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you had to use your creativity to solve a challenge or overcome an obstacle.

Example: “In my previous role as head of marketing for a small startup, we were tasked with creating a new brand identity that would help us stand out from our competitors. I knew that the company didn’t have the budget to hire a professional branding agency, so I decided to take on the project myself. I spent several weeks researching different brands and their strategies before coming up with a plan for how we could create a unique brand without spending too much money.”

Example: “I recently had a situation in which I needed to think outside the box to achieve success. I was working as Head of Strategy for an organization and we were tasked with developing a new strategy that would increase our market share. We had been using the same basic strategies for years, so it was time to come up with something innovative.

To start, I held a brainstorming session with my team to generate ideas. After discussing several options, we decided to focus on creating a unique customer experience. We developed a plan to create a more personalized approach to customer service, offering tailored solutions to each individual customer. This allowed us to stand out from our competitors and build loyalty among our customers.

The strategy worked well and we saw an immediate increase in our market share. By thinking outside the box, we were able to develop a successful strategy that helped our organization grow. It was a great example of how creativity and innovation can lead to success.”

21. What is your experience with competitor analysis?

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with a specific type of analysis. Use your answer to highlight your skills and how they apply to this role.

Example: “I have extensive experience with competitor analysis. In my current role as Head of Strategy, I am responsible for conducting regular competitive analyses to identify areas where our company can gain a competitive edge. This includes researching competitors’ products and services, pricing strategies, marketing tactics, customer service approaches, and more.

I also use data-driven insights to develop comprehensive strategies that help us stay ahead of the competition. My team and I analyze industry trends, consumer behavior, and market dynamics to create innovative solutions that differentiate us from our competitors. We then use this information to inform our product development, pricing models, and promotional activities.”

22. How do you handle working with different stakeholders and their individual needs?

As a head of strategy, you may need to collaborate with many different stakeholders. Employers ask this question to see if you can work well with others and balance their needs with the company’s goals. In your answer, explain that you enjoy collaborating with people from all backgrounds and levels in an organization. Explain that you are willing to listen to everyone’s ideas and opinions while also making sure you deliver quality results.

Example: “Working with different stakeholders and their individual needs is something I have extensive experience in. As Head of Strategy, it’s my job to ensure that everyone’s interests are taken into account when making decisions. To do this, I start by understanding the goals of each stakeholder and then work to develop a strategy that meets those goals while still being beneficial for the company as a whole.

I also make sure to stay organized and keep track of all the different requests from stakeholders. This way, no one’s needs are overlooked or forgotten about. Finally, I am always open to feedback and willing to adjust plans if necessary. By taking these steps, I can ensure that all stakeholders feel heard and respected throughout the process.”

23. Do you have any suggestions for how our company can better compete with its rivals?

This question can help the interviewer determine your strategic thinking skills and how you might apply them to their company. Use examples from your experience that highlight your ability to analyze a situation, identify opportunities for improvement and develop strategies to achieve success.

Example: “Absolutely. I believe that one of the most effective strategies for competing with rivals is to focus on developing a unique value proposition. By creating a product or service offering that stands out from the competition, you can capture more market share and increase customer loyalty.

In addition, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and industry trends. This means staying up-to-date on new developments in your field and leveraging them to create innovative solutions that give your company an edge over its competitors. Finally, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape so that you can identify opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.

With my experience leading strategy initiatives at previous companies, I am confident that I can help your organization develop a successful strategy for competing with its rivals.”

24. Tell us about a time when you successfully turned a negative situation into a positive one.

This question can help interviewers learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you react to challenges. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation where you were able to overcome adversity or solve a challenging problem.

Example: “I recently had the opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one at my previous job. We were in the process of launching a new product and there was an unexpected delay that caused us to miss our launch date. This created a lot of anxiety among the team, as we had invested a lot of time and resources into this project.

In order to turn this around, I quickly identified the root cause of the issue and worked with the team to develop a plan of action. We decided to focus on creating a more robust testing process for future launches, which would help ensure that any issues were caught early on. In addition, I also implemented a system of regular check-ins with stakeholders to keep them informed about progress and address any concerns they may have.

The result of these efforts was that we successfully launched the product within the desired timeline, while also improving our overall process. The team was relieved and morale improved significantly. It was a great example of how strategic thinking can be used to turn a difficult situation into a success.”

25. What steps would you take to ensure that our strategic plans are being implemented effectively?

The interviewer may ask this question to understand how you plan and implement strategies. Your answer should include steps that you would take to ensure your team is implementing the strategic plans effectively.

Example: “I understand the importance of ensuring that strategic plans are implemented effectively. To ensure this, I would take a few steps.

Firstly, I would work with the team to create an actionable plan for implementation. This would involve breaking down the strategy into smaller tasks and assigning deadlines and responsibilities to each task. This will help keep everyone on track and accountable.

Secondly, I would monitor progress regularly. Regular check-ins with the team and stakeholders can help identify any issues or roadblocks in the process. By addressing these issues quickly, we can stay on target and make sure our strategies are being implemented as planned.

Thirdly, I would measure results. Tracking metrics such as customer satisfaction, revenue growth, and market share can give us valuable insights into how effective our strategies are. This data can be used to adjust our strategies if needed and ensure that they are delivering the desired outcomes.”


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