Strategic Thinking – Interview Questions


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Interview Question: How would you describe the term ‘strategic thinking’?
Answer Guide: A candidate should see strategic thinking as a process of learning and you turn ideas into reality by developing one’s abilities in team work, problem solving, and critical thinking. They should see it as a tool to help a business or organization confront change, plan for and make transitions, and envision new possibilities and opportunities.
Interview Question: Outline in very broad terms how you would create a strategy for say, a public interest campaign.
Answer Guide: A good candidate will list at least some of the following criteria: A clear defining of the goals and objectives of the campaign; identification of opponents; carrying out a SWOT analysis; imagining and playing scenarios; identifying primary and secondary targets; identifying allies; deciding what resources are required (salaries, expenses, other); devising tactics; drawing up an action timetable.
Interview Question: As part of the above strategic campaign, why should you carry out a SWOT analysis?
Answer Guide: Candidate should believe it is easier to make better and more effective choices after identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis can be applied to a position, an idea, an individual, or an organization and is essential for good decision-making.
Interview Question: How should you go about identifying allies as part of any good business or organizational strategy plan?
Answer Guide: Candidate should be flexible, be an influential decision maker on their own, and manage good relation ships with co-workers. For example, when groups with similar interests create strategic alliances, they are much more likely to achieve their goals. Allies may also be sympathetic insiders. A good candidate should understand these concepts. A sympathetic senior bureaucrat in the right organization who understands your project can also provide the most help. Finding such a person and fostering that relationship shows initiative.
Interview Question: As you develop a strategic vision for your organization what are the five key criteria that you should focus on?
Answer Guide: Answer should include the five following key criteria: Organization; Observation; Views (the environmental view; the marketplace view; the project view; and the measurement view); Driving forces; and ideal position. The candidate’s ability to define his/her ideal position in clear, strategic terms is plus.
Interview Question: What are the three most common reasons why change in management fails in most organizations?
Answer Guide: Candidate should understand the dynamics of change in any form of organization and be able to determine the problems of conflict and how they relate to the change. Candidate should be a problem-solver and handle dilemmas and/or conflicts effectively. They should recognize the potential problems that may arise from a lack of attention and the inability or reluctance to change.

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