What to Expect in a Strategic Interview

Interview session between a man and a woman

Do you know why employers conduct a strategic interview sessions with prospective applicants? No guess say, let’s find out why.

Due to the massive rise in the number of unemployed people in the world, the number of applicants received when a vacancy is advertised exceeds the available roles by 99%.

In fact, a report by Statista published in August 2023, revealed that “Between 2019 and 2020, the number of unemployed people worldwide increased from 191.93 million to 235.21 million, the biggest annual increase in unemployment in this provided time period. In 2022, the number of people unemployed decreased to 205.25 million.”

Sometimes some of these applicants are not even qualified for the role. So there becomes a pressing need to examine the behavior traits of applicants. This is the birth of strategic interviews. 

Hence, with this interview technique, employers are able to decipher the behavioral and other traits of candidates. This enables employers to understand the strengths and weaknesses of prospective employees. 

But there is more. You’ll find out at the end of this article. 

What are Strategic Interview Questions?

Strategic interview questions are questions asked by interviewers to evaluate candidates’ capacity in a specific role.

This is necessary in order to discover candidates’ key attributes and potentials in order to get a clearer picture of how effective they would be in the prospective role.

Usually, strategic interview questions are structured in such a way that candidates are able to express their ideas when addressed. So, expect to receive open-ended questions and get ready to supply enough answers in defense of your skills. 

What are the Types of Strategic Interviews?

There are different types of Strategic interview questions, although this depends on the approach of the interviewer. in this article, I will be considering the most common and frequently used types. So, strategic interview questions can be classified into three groups or categories, namely:

#1. Behavioral Questions 

with behavior questions, interviewers aim to weigh your compatibility with the organizational work culture and goals.

More so, this also focuses on your past behavior toward certain situations. The interviewer will ask you to describe specific examples of times when you demonstrated specific skills during certain situations.

Read Also: Questions an Interviewer Cannot Ask and Why

Examples of Behavioural Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.
  • How do you deal with stressful situations at work and still stay productive?
  • What would you do if you were paired to work with a difficult colleague?
  • What would you do if you were almost finished with a project that you had worked hard on when suddenly the goals or priorities were changed?

#2. Situational questions

The essence of situational questions is to test candidates’ responses to hypothetical situations in the workplace peculiar to the specific role. Usually, the interview would present a scenario and ask you to describe how you would handle it or what you would do to determine your attitude in handling certain situations.

Examples of Situational interview 

  • How would you handle a customer who is upset about a product or service?
  • Describe a time you had a difficult situation 
  • How would you prioritize your workload if you had multiple deadlines at the same time?
  • How would you deal with a difficult colleague?
  • How would you handle a situation where you had to make a decision without all of the necessary information?
  • How would you handle a situation where you had to give negative feedback to a colleague?
  • How would you handle a situation where you had to deal with a customer who is being verbally abusive?

#3. Career Development 

This question helps hiring managers or employers Understand the long-term goals of candidates to know whether or not it align with the company’s present and future objectives.

Examples of Career development questions

  1. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years
  2. How do you stay informed about the industry
  3. What kind of projects are you most interested in?
  4. What are your salary expectations?
  5. What are your work-life balance priorities?
  6. What kind of support do you need from your manager to develop your career?
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How do you Prepare for a Strategic Interview?

Don’t fret, strategic interviews aren’t as difficult as the name suggests. But to ace it, you have to apply a bit of strategy which starts from understanding the questions and approaching each the right way. Here are some tips to help you get prepared.

  1. Do proper research about the company and your role 
  2. Have a plan and structure to address the questions asked 
  3. Practice answering commonly strategic interview questions by creating mental pictures in your head to explain your points
  4. Be confident, composed, and enthusiastic 

With these, you can scale any question you are faced with. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you sound convincing enough, you’ll get just what you need.

Further thoughts:

Strategic interview helps employees Understand the strength and capacity of prospective employers. There are three major types of Strategic interviews. They are situational, Behavioural, and career development interviews. 

To get better with your strategic interview sessions, do proper research on the company and the role you are to occupy. Then practice to get better. 

Don’t forget, put on confidence as a bright smile and you’ll scale the strategic interview with broad smiles. Cheers!

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