Prepare for your Head of Strategy interview. Understand the required skills and qualifications, anticipate the questions you may be asked, and study well-prepared answers using our sample responses.
The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of the strategy process and how you would apply it in your role as head of strategy. Use examples from past projects that demonstrate your understanding of the steps involved in the strategy process, such as identifying goals, analyzing data and developing plans of action.
Answer Example: “Yes, I am very familiar with the strategy process. In my last role as head of strategy for ABC Company, I was responsible for leading the team through each step of the process. We started by identifying our company’s goals and objectives, then conducted market research to gain insight into customer needs and preferences. Next, we analyzed data to determine potential solutions and strategies. Finally, we implemented our plan and monitored its progress to ensure we were meeting our goals.”
A interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of strategy frameworks and how they can benefit their company. Use examples from your experience to show the interviewer that you know how to use them effectively.
Answer Example: “Strategy frameworks are an effective way to organize and prioritize a company’s goals and objectives. They help ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page and working toward the same goals. They also help organizations create realistic plans for achieving their goals, which can lead to greater success. For example, I recently used a strategy framework to develop a marketing strategy for a client. We used the SMART model to create specific goals, measurable objectives, actionable tasks, realistic timelines and tangible results. This helped us create a comprehensive marketing plan that resulted in increased sales.”
Meetings are a common part of working as a head of strategy. Employers ask this question to learn more about your communication skills and how you can help their team work together more effectively. In your answer, explain a few ways that you communicate ideas in meetings. Try to use examples that show your ability to speak publicly and clearly.
Answer Example: “I find that it’s important to be prepared for meetings so I can communicate my ideas effectively. Before a meeting, I read through any documents or reports related to the topic at hand. This helps me remember important information and gives me ideas about what I want to say. During meetings, I try to speak slowly and clearly so everyone can understand me. I also use visuals like graphs and charts to help everyone understand the points I’m making.”
The strategic triangle is a model for understanding the relationship between three key elements of business strategy. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of this model and how you apply it in your work. In your answer, try to explain what the strategic triangle is and how you use it in your own strategy development process.
Answer Example: “The strategic triangle is a concept that describes the relationship between objectives, resources and constraints. It’s important to understand this relationship because it can help us create more effective strategies. For example, if we want to increase sales, we need to identify the resources we have available and the constraints we face. Then, we can determine which objectives are most realistic given those factors.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your leadership style and how you view success. Your answer should include examples of these qualities in action, such as communication skills, collaboration and problem-solving ability.
Answer Example: “I believe the most important qualities for someone in a leadership role are communication, collaboration and problem-solving. As a head of strategy, I would need to be able to communicate effectively with my team members, ensuring they have all the information they need to complete their projects. I would also need to be able to collaborate with other departments to ensure we’re all working toward the same goals. Finally, I would need to be able to problem-solve quickly and efficiently in order to meet deadlines and ensure quality results.”
The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your ability to measure the success of a strategy and make adjustments when necessary. Use examples from past experiences where you evaluated progress on projects or initiatives, used data to make decisions and implemented changes when needed.
Answer Example: “I use a variety of methods to evaluate the success of a particular strategy. First, I make sure to set clear goals for the strategy at the beginning so I know what metrics to use to measure success. Then, I track those metrics regularly to see if they’re moving in the right direction. If not, I’ll look into why not and find ways to improve the strategy.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with creating new strategies for businesses and how you implement them. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your skills, such as communication, leadership and problem-solving abilities.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of strategy for a large tech company, I helped create a new division that focused on developing artificial intelligence technology. We started with a small team of employees who were passionate about AI and gave them the resources they needed to develop the division. We then slowly expanded the team as they achieved goals and met deadlines. Eventually, we became one of the leading companies in the industry for AI development.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you handle conflict. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you were able to resolve the conflict or at least improve the relationship with the stakeholder.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of strategy for a marketing agency, I had to work with a client who was very demanding. They would often call me at all hours of the day with new requests and changes to existing ones. At first, I was annoyed by their constant contact but I realized that they were just looking for someone to listen to their concerns. I started answering their calls immediately and worked to address their issues as quickly as possible. This helped me build a better relationship with them and improve our working relationship.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan to use your time in this role. Your answer should include a list of specific tasks that are relevant to the job description and demonstrate your ability to prioritize and manage time effectively.
Answer Example: “My first priority would be to develop a strategy for the company’s growth. I would start by conducting research on our competitors, customers and market trends to gain insight into where we are now and where we could be going. Then, I would create a plan for how we can use this information to grow the business.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you would respond to challenges in your work. Use examples from past experiences where you overcame obstacles or changed strategies to achieve success.
Answer Example: “If I saw signs that a strategy was failing, I would first assess the situation to determine if there were any real issues or if it was just an initial hiccup. If there were real issues, I would meet with my team to discuss possible solutions. We would then develop a plan of action to address the problem and determine if any changes need to be made to the original strategy.”
The interviewer may ask this question to assess your experience with data analysis and how you use it to make decisions. Use examples from previous roles where you analyzed data to help make decisions or create strategies for your organization.
Answer Example: “In my last role as head of strategy for a marketing agency, I was responsible for creating annual reports that included data analysis of our client’s campaigns. Each year, I would analyze our clients’ sales figures, social media engagement and other metrics to determine which strategies were most effective. This helped me create a plan for future campaigns that would maximize our clients’ success.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your communication skills and how you ensure that everyone is working together effectively. Use examples from past experiences where you helped create a team atmosphere or worked with a team to achieve a goal.
Answer Example: “When working with a team, I believe it’s important to create an open environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas. To do this, I make sure to regularly meet with each member of the team to discuss their progress and any challenges they may be facing. In these meetings, I also encourage them to ask questions about any aspects of the project they aren’t sure about. This helps me understand their perspective and ensure that we’re all on the same page.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your strategic thinking and how you apply it to a company’s growth plans. Use examples from your experience that show you can identify opportunities, evaluate risks and develop strategies for expansion.
Answer Example: “I would target the healthcare industry because I believe there is a lot of potential there. We’ve seen an increase in demand for our product among doctors and hospitals, so I think it would be smart to expand into this market. I also think it would be beneficial to target the agriculture industry because there are many farmers who could benefit from our product.”
The value chain is a popular business concept that can be used when creating a strategy. The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of the value chain and how you might apply it in your work. In your answer, try to explain what the value chain is and provide an example of how you’ve used it in the past.
Answer Example: “The value chain is a framework for understanding how a company creates value for its customers. It breaks down the different stages of production and distribution and identifies where there are opportunities for improvement. For example, if I was creating a strategy for my previous employer, I would use the value chain to identify areas where we could improve customer service, increase sales or reduce costs.”
This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the role and how you would approach it. You can answer this question by listing the most important elements of a successful strategy, followed by examples from your past work that demonstrate these skills.
Answer Example: “The most important elements of a successful strategy are clear objectives, measurable goals and an effective communication plan. In my last role as head of strategy, I worked with the marketing team to create a new campaign that focused on increasing sales by 25% within six months. We met our goal within three months thanks to our clear objectives and measurable goals.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you use data and analytics to make decisions. Use examples from past experiences where you used data to determine if a strategy was working or not, and how you changed it if needed.
Answer Example: “I use a variety of metrics to determine if a strategy is working or if it needs to be changed. First, I look at the goals of the strategy and compare them to actual results. If the goals aren’t being met, then I know the strategy needs to be changed. Second, I look at sales figures and customer feedback to see if there are any improvements or declines. Finally, I use surveys and surveys to get feedback from customers about their experience with the company.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan to use your expertise to create a strategy that meets the needs of the company. Your answer should include steps that you take to ensure your strategy is effective, including collaboration with other team members and stakeholders.
Answer Example: “I start by researching the current market conditions and trends to get an idea of where the company is currently positioned. Then, I meet with key members of the organization to discuss their goals and objectives. This helps me understand what they hope to achieve with the new strategy and allows me to tailor it to meet those needs. After gathering all of this information, I create a plan that outlines our goals and strategies for achieving them.”
The strategy funnel is a common concept in business strategy. It’s used to describe the process of moving from an idea to a completed strategy. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you understand the concept and how you would use it in your role as head of strategy. In your answer, try to explain what the strategy funnel is and how you would use it in your work.
Answer Example: “The strategy funnel is a useful tool for organizing ideas into actionable plans. At the top of the funnel, you have an idea or a problem that needs to be solved. From there, you move down through different stages of planning until you reach the bottom where you have a completed strategy.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities they’re looking for in a leader. When answering, it can be helpful to mention some of the same qualities that are listed in the job description. This can show that you understand what’s important for this role and how your skills match up with those requirements.
Answer Example: “I believe the most important quality for someone in a leadership position is communication. I think it’s essential for leaders to be able to clearly communicate their ideas and goals with their team. Another quality I think is important is empathy. As a leader, it’s important to understand how others feel and what they need in order to motivate them.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your leadership style and how you would interact with their team. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you used your leadership skills to help others succeed.
Answer Example: “My leadership style is collaborative, which means I enjoy working together with others to find solutions. In my last role as head of strategy, I worked with my team to create a new marketing plan for our company. We met regularly to discuss ideas and feedback from customers. Eventually, we came up with a plan that improved customer satisfaction by 10%.”