This interview prep guide was written with the help of business operations and strategy leaders at LinkedIn, Google, and Boston Consulting Group.
Hey there! This article is a part of our series on BizOps. Check out our complete BizOps Interview Prep Course to get ready for your career in business operations.
Preview of Top BizOps Interview Questions: - Measure Success for Instagram Discovery (View Answer) - Design a Strategy for Google to Enter the TV Business (View Answer) - Why Did Food Delivery Time Increase? (View Answer)
When it comes to some of the most impactful roles in modern companies, few compare to that of BizOps (Business Operations & Strategy).
BizOps teams routinely help drive some of the most significant changes that take place within an organization.
At their core, business operations and strategy teams work cross-functionally with almost every part of a business. As a result, the expectations for good communication skills and an ability to be data-driven are very high.
Below, we break down the most important BizOps interview questions and concepts to help you land the job.
We cover what hiring managers are looking for and how you'll be assessed. You'll also get some real-world interview questions to practice and learn from.
Sample Answer: "That’s a great question! Hmm, the situation that comes to mind is a time when I was building the business case for a marketing investment but experienced pushback from our sales team. Does that sound interesting to you?
Sample Answer: "Since we've historically expanded the company through B2B sales, marketing is a pretty underused strategy. One sales leader, I'll call him Mark, kept expressing doubt about the revenue impact we think the marketing spend can have as I was developing the marketing investment case to increase the company's investment in paid marketing.
He's always been a reasonable stakeholder to work with, so I started asking why there was resistance. I scheduled a private meeting with him so that I could learn more about his viewpoint.
He admitted during that conversation that he didn't agree with the way the marketing team was currently measuring its impact. Further investigation revealed that the marketing and sales teams employed comparatively separate strategies and metrics, which is a major obstacle to the efficient operation of both teams.
With that realization, I started two work-streams. First, I broadened the scope of the business case for the marketing investment to specifically address how it relates to the sales team's strategy. The marketing team's prioritization was updated thanks to this viewpoint. Second, I hired a data scientist to assist in developing a stronger reporting infrastructure for marketing so that we could monitor the performance of customers who were acquired through marketing within the sales team.
The business was able to grow 2% faster thanks to the investment case, which ultimately allowed us to spend $8M on marketing while generating $40M in annual revenue."
Sample Question 2
Interviewer: Choose metrics for Instagram Shopping.
Sample Answer: "Okay great. I understand that the goal is to grow revenue on Instagram shopping.
However I want to clarify if we’re thinking about growth in the 6 month time frame or the 3 year time frame. The former would suggest smaller quick-win initiatives (eg. improving conversion rates on existing funnels or offering discounts) while the latter probably require larger strategic investments.
Another clarification question I have is how growing Instagram shopping revenue fits into Instagram’s broader strategy. Is this initiative something that fits into the bigger picture of an overall goal that Instagram or Meta has? How do we want to consider trade-offs between shopping revenue, ad revenue, user engagement, or other key metrics for Instagram? Do we want to focus on creators, merchants, or shoppers?"
I want to start with daily active users because that’s likely our total top of funnel. As the Instagram shopping team, we probably can’t meaningfully influence our growth and acquisition immediately. However, for those who do come on site, we have the ability to nurture them through an order..." Continue reading
Business operations connects diverse data sets to drive strategic decision-making, especially when it comes to actions meant to build the organization's value and increase profits.
Business operations and strategy could involve the following activities:
Amongst many, many others.
"[Bizops is] a decision-support mechanism that helps with everything from optimizing day-to-day operations to carrying out high priority initiatives to tackling the most important strategic questions." - Dan Yoo, former VP of Business Operations @ LinkedIn and Coinbase
Deciding how much to spend on marketing or sales projects, where product marketing should focus their attention, and finding clever ways to boost the brand's profile are all things BizOps teams might find themselves doing.
The BizOps Interview Process
With all the diversity in skills needed for a BizOps job, it's no surprise to learn that the interview process can vary widely at every company.
But, many of them are built with the same essential elements like:
Initial recruiter call to get to know more about your professional experience.
Hiring manager screening to work through a case question and show off your analytical skills.
Multi-round onsite interview going through more behavioral questions and case questions.
These initial recruiter screenings are usually pretty short and straightforward. You can expect these conversations to be limited to behavioral questions, questions about your professional experience, and your motivation for applying for a BizOps role.
For example, you should be prepared to answer some of the following:
"Why do you want to work for this company?"
"What makes you a good fit for this role?"
"Tell me more about X experience listed on your resume."
Make sure to do your homework. Research the company you're applying to, and be sure you can explain why you want to work there specifically.
Prepare several questions of your own ahead of time, whether it be about the role, the company, or the upcoming interview.
Gather and organize all your prep materials before your call. If a recruiter is reaching out via a phone call, feel free to have them in front of you to reference throughout the call if necessary. If the screening is conducted over video chat, however, you should place these prep materials on your computer or next to your webcam, so you can maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
Search for your interviewer on LinkedIn to learn more about them beforehand. Mentioning any commonalities you share with your interviewer is a great way to build rapport quickly.
Hiring Manager Screens
Following the initial recruiter call, many BizOps candidates will need to complete another screening conducted by the hiring manager.
The most common interview question for BizOps roles in this part of the interview is the case question.
Case questions involve working through a hypothetical scenario. For instance, a hiring manager may ask you questions such as:
The hiring manager is using this opportunity to evaluate if you'd be an excellent addition to the team, if you'd be genuinely interested in the work you are doing, and if you'd align with the cultural values of the organization.
Finally, the last stage of the BizOps interview will be a series of onsite interviews.
In many cases, they consist of 3 - 6 rounds conducted over a single day.
Each interview round will last around 30 - 60 minutes and may be conducted by a hiring panel of several individuals or a single interviewer.
You'll likely meet with several of your cross-functional colleagues from other departments, the hiring manager, and possibly some members of upper management.
During these rounds, you'll be asked similar questions from previous interview stages. That is, expect:
Some candidates report being asked a data-centric interview question.
For example, some candidates we've spoken to were asked to work with a set of raw data and provide recommendations or discover insights.
Again, the exact structure of your interview process will depend on the company.
You should always ask your recruiter as many questions as possible regarding the upcoming interview during your initial recruiter screening.
How to pass the onsite interview:
You can likely predict the sorts of case interview questions you'll need to field depending on the company you're applying to. For example, Google may ask you about a search-related problem, a FinTech company may ask you about fraud, etc.
Have questions about the company strategy, vision, structure, culture, and products prepared beforehand to ask your interviewers.
Use the company's product(s) as much as possible. The more experience, knowledge, dedication, and enthusiasm you can demonstrate, the better.
After completing your onsite interviews, don't forget to send your recruiter a follow-up thank you email.
Top BizOps Interview Questions
Below, you'll find short explanations of each kind of BizOps interview question, along with some top sample interview questions.
When you're ready, watch some of the expert mock interviews linked. Then, try your hand at a few sample BizOps interview questions compiled from past interviews.
Data is a massive part of BizOps. You'll need to be ready to answer various data-related questions at different levels of detail throughout your interview process.
These interview questions could be anything from choosing the right metrics for an initiative during a case interview to cleaning and manipulating a raw data set to provide recommendations for future actions.
Nevertheless, no matter what you're asked, the ideal candidate will be able to:
Evaluate and sort raw data to discover insights from messy or disconnected data sets.
Quickly determine initial insights are accurate and dive deeper when necessary.
Suggest and conduct straightforward experiments and use the results to guide strategic decisions.
Select appropriate metrics to track success.
Cleanly and logically present insights and recommendations to different stakeholders based on findings in data.
Another big responsibility of a business operations manager is stakeholder management. As you may know, folks in BizOps typically come from a consulting background.
As such, BizOps teams act as internal consultants for their organizations and help drive strategic decisions within their firms. Of course, making these decisions often involves navigating relationships with various stakeholders.
Because of this, BizOps candidates must demonstrate that they can effectively manage their relationships with stakeholders.
The Stakeholder Management interview questions you'll be asked are designed to evaluate the following things:
Emotional intelligence and communication skills,
Capability to adjust communication for different audiences,
Ability to build and maintain trust.
BizOps Strategic Decision-Making Questions
Ultimately, the whole point of BizOps is to help drive strategic decision-making at the company. This is especially true of decisions that involve or affect multiple teams or departments within the organization.
So, folks in BizOps are hugely influential on the overall direction of the company and on resource allocation.
Whether you're fielding behavioral or case questions, the strategic decision-making interview questions will all evaluate the following:
Do you know how to clarify and structure a question?
Do you have the business knowledge and strong understanding of what to prioritize and think about quickly?
Do you have the stakeholder awareness to take a process that yields a theoretical answer and a realistic, practical outcome that the team can take and operationalize?
You'll likely need to manage several projects if you're applying and interviewing for a junior role. More senior positions will probably have a dedicated project or program manager to take on those duties.
Even so, it would be best if you are still prepared for Project Management questions for your upcoming interview.
The processes that drive execution will likely be unique to the company in question. So, this is usually an excellent area to inquire about yourself towards the end of your meetings.
When asking project management interview questions, interviewers will be looking for the following:
Overall planning and execution skills, possibly at different levels of project ownership.
Knowledge and experience with frequently-used project management processes and tools.
Ability to use tools and techniques properly to track project status and trajectory and mitigate risk.
Tell me about a time you led a team to achieve something?
What got you interested in technology?
Land Your BizOps Job With Exponent
BizOps is one of a modern company's most impactful and essential aspects. If you're interested in jumping into the lucrative and exciting field of business operations, be sure to check out the many interview resources we have at Exponent: