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Thu Feb 22 2024

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Top Strategic Interview Questions To Ask Candidates In 2024

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strategic interview questions to ask candidates

A strategic plan often allows companies to outperform their rivals and reinforce the company's goals and objectives. Employers and employees work hard to craft and perform these strategic plans to optimize the company's outcome. As a result, most companies are looking for strategic-thinking employees to help them achieve their long-term goals.

Strategic interview questions allow the hiring manager or HR professional to gauge the candidate's critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It offers the employer to see the employee's thinking and decision-making capacity in the workplace. So in this blog, we will discuss some of the top strategic interview questions to ask candidates. But, before that, we will look at the importance and objective of strategic questions in an interview.

Importance and Purpose of strategic interview

While it is necessary to get an insight into the candidate's technical skills in an interview, it is also critical to understand their past roles and experiences to reckon with their conflict resolution and thinking process essential for the company. As a result, strategic interview questions evaluate the necessary assessment of the employee.

  • Identify candidate's strategies: Strategic interview questions help the hiring managers understand the strategic thinking of the candidate. It plays a significant role in accomplishing the long-term goals of the organization. Besides, it guides the candidates to identify risks and work efficiently with apposite solutions for the company.
  • Gain relevant information: Through strategic interview questions, you can find the candidates' goals, talents, competencies, ideas, fears, strengths and weaknesses concerning the organization. Besides, you will be able to understand the candidates' potential and know if they are qualified for the company's goals.
  • Understand the candidates' quality: The strategic interview questions help employers understand the candidates' standard of work in an organization. Moreover, these interviews are an effective tool for finding the best-suited employees for a strategic action plan that involves planning and implementing goals that concern the company's future.

Strategic interview questions to ask candidates include a set of general, behavioural-based, technical and cultural fit strategic interview questions. It helps you to understand the candidates' past work behaviour, strengths, weaknesses, skills, and attributes in an organization. Additionally, these questions will guide you to know all the necessary information you want to know about your candidate.

Below are some of the top strategic interview questions to ask candidates:

General Strategic Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

Asking general strategic interview questions helps HR managers understand the strategic mindset of the candidates and their ability to achieve the company's objectives. You can analyze if the candidate can make the organization's vision and mission into impressive plans and actions. Besides, it is the perfect opportunity to know if they have the specific skills and qualifications for the job.

For example, strategic interview questions to ask candidates for the administrative assistant position must be geared towards assessing their interpersonal skills, time management, their attention to detail, verbal and written skills, etc.

Here are some top general strategic interview questions to ask candidates:

1) What motivated you to apply for this position?

Asking this question will enable you to understand the personality and work style of the candidate in an organization. Through their response, you will know if the candidate is energized and motivated to do the assigned tasks related to the role. Besides, when the candidate demonstrates their work experiences and accomplishments, the employer can identify if they are best suited for the organization.

2) What are your long-term career goals?

The long-term career goals of candidates help you to know how ambitious and goal-oriented they are for the job. You will get an insight into their future career plans and work ethics. Moreover, you can assess how their goals align with the vision and objectives of the company. It is necessary to know whether their career pursuits are realistic professional goals that are valuable to the organization.

3) What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This query is a classic interview question to identify if the candidate is best suited for the company and the role. Besides, it is a perfect chance for an employer to know if the candidate is self-aware of their identity. Here, you can evaluate their perception regarding their skills, strengths and drawbacks. Moreover, this question helps you to know their potential and whether their strengths and weaknesses match the principles and values of the company.

4) What do you know about our company and its mission?

Here, as an HR professional, you can evaluate the candidate's response by examining how much time they spent researching and preparing their answers about the company. In addition, you will understand their level of interest and professionalism in effectively answering the question that demands more research.

5) Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision?

Asking this question will give you an insight into how the candidate has come up with a decision and what was the outcome of the decision. Besides, you can analyze their ability to work under pressure, confidence in communication, and decision-making skills.

Facing a personal interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with preparation and practice, you can excel and land the job.

Behavioural-Based Strategic Interview Questions

Behavioural-based questions guide you to understand the candidates' past behaviour in an organization. You can learn about their self-awareness, self-reliance, skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills based on the past behaviour they showcased in the organization. Given below are a few behavioural-based strategic interview questions to ask candidates:

1) Can you describe a situation where you had to lead a team through a difficult project?

This question is a part of strategic leadership interview questions that enables you to evaluate the leadership competencies of the candidate. From their answer, you can understand how they can manage a team under supervision and how their quality helped to generate the desired outcome.

2) How do you handle failure or setbacks?

Here, you can analyse the candidates' responses on how they acknowledged and handled a failure in their workplace. Their answer will help you to understand their progress and what they learned from their mistakes.

3) Can you describe a time when you had to take initiative to solve a problem?

Asking this question will help you to understand if the candidate has any experiences in their workplace where they used initiative to solve problems. Besides, you will also know if they have the willingness to take a leadership step if any problem arises in your organization.

4) How do you prioritize and manage your workload?

This question enables you to evaluate how the candidates manage their workload and how well-organized they are. Moreover, you will get more insights into their time management skills and ability to work under pressure.

Technical Strategic Interview Questions

These questions come under the strategic operation interview questions asked to understand how candidates apply their technical skills for the company's success. Given below are some of the Technical Strategic Interview Questions to ask candidates:

1) What technical skills do you possess that would be applicable to this role?

Most jobs rely on technical skills since it is a critical factor that defines an employee and their role. As a result, this interview question helps an employer understand the relevant technical skills a candidate must possess to fit into the job.

2) Can you walk me through your experience with [specific software/technology]?

This is a type of introductory question, an employer can ask to quickly learn about the candidates' work experience in the field and their ability to communicate the technical aspects related to the domain. Moreover, it guides you to know if the candidate has the technical skills and if they are suitable for the job.

3) How do you stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments?

Asking this question guides the employer to know if the candidate is passionate about the domain they are working in. Besides, you can learn whether the candidate is putting extra effort to stay up-to-date with trends and technologies.

Cultural Fit Strategic Interview Questions

Work culture or company culture is a set of values, beliefs and missions a company follow to create an inclusive work environment that respects diverse culture and experience and give employees a setting to feel stable and safe.

Therefore, it is essential to hire employees who fit into the work culture to keep the company's harmony intact. As a result, an employer can ask a set of questions to evaluate if the candidate fits within the work culture.

Below given are some Cultural fit strategic interview questions to ask candidates:

1) How would you describe your work style?

Asking this question will help you to see if the candidate fits into the existing team and company culture. You will also understand if the candidate's work ethic, attitude, and personal preferences align with the company's work standards and environment.

2) Can you describe a time when you had to adapt to a new work environment?

If a candidate is able to adapt to a new work environment, it means they can adapt to new changes in the workplace. Moreover, they can face work-related challenges with more confidence and stability. Here, you can evaluate if they can stay flexible and confident when faced with challenges. Besides, you will know the candidates' strengths, weaknesses, and how adaptable they can become in the changing circumstances, etc.

3) How do you manage stress and maintain a work-life balance?

For an employee to become productive and happy at their work, it is necessary to keep a healthy work-life balance. The question 'how do you manage stress and maintain a work-life balance?' helps you to get an insight into the habits of the candidates and how they handle life situations. If the candidate leads a balanced work-life behaviour, they will be more productive and bring more success to the organization.


To conclude, strategic interview questions play a significant role in successful hiring. These questions will help the employers understand the overall aspects of the candidate that is related to their past work experiences, behaviour, skills, etc. Besides, employers use these questions to identify each candidate's efficient strategies that align with the needs of the organization. Moreover, asking strategic questions in an interview is the perfect chance for employers to assess the candidate's critical thinking and problem-solving skills which are essential for the company's business.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What are good interview questions for strategy?

Some of the top strategic interview questions to ask include:

  • How do you set your long-term goals?
  • Tell me about a time when you managed to work well under pressure.
  • How do you handle a situation when you receive criticism from your superior?
  • How would you design a perfect work environment for your company?

2) What is a strategic interview?

A strategic interview is a type of one-to-one interview that involves the interviewer asking questions to the interviewee related to the strategy creation process that involves planning and implementing strategic action plans to achieve organizational goals. Here, the interviewer or employer asks questions to the candidates to evaluate their critical thinking and problem-solving skills based on their past behaviour and work experiences.

3) How do you ask a strategic question?

While you ask strategic questions to the candidates, make sure these questions enable the candidates to provide the necessary information regarding their strategic thinking, competencies and skills suitable for the company's needs and the role. Moreover, these questions must allow the employer to know if they fit the work culture of the existing team and company.