You may be asked analytical interview questions if the job you’re applying for demands you to think critically or solve difficulties.
These problem-solving questions will vary by industry, but they will center on your experiences, understanding a problem or scenario, and responding to it in a logical and effective manner.
While you can’t predict which questions an interviewer will ask, familiarizing yourself with business problem-solving questions will help you prepare for this part of the interview.
We’ll look at what problem-solving interview questions are and why companies ask them in this post.
Then we’ll look at some of the most popular problem-solving questions and offer advice on how to respond to them in your next interview.
What are the different problem-solving interview questions?
Employers ask problem-solving interview questions to assess a candidate’s ability to gather data, analyze a situation, weigh the pros and disadvantages, and make a rational choice.
These questions, also known as analytical skills interview questions, will typically focus on particular times when the candidate assessed a situation or had to solve a problem, as well as the processes they took to get and understand the essential information before solving the problem.
To solve a problem well, you need to develop the right skills. Discover: Problem Solving Skills; Definition and Examples
These types of questions help employers better understand how a candidate obtains information from a variety of sources, evaluates that information using critical thinking, makes business-oriented decisions, and communicates their findings or recommendations to team members.
What are the Examples of Problem-solving Abilities?
The following are some examples of problem-solving abilities:
Taking the lead
Taking initiative entails stepping up to the bat when necessary and taking action without being asked. People who take the initiative show that they can think for themselves and act when necessary. Furthermore, you actively seek ways to have a positive impact at work.
Thinking outside the box
Creative thinking refers to the ability to look at a problem from a different perspective in order to come up with a solution.
People that are creative can come up with innovative ways to accomplish things, solve issues, and overcome obstacles. Original minds, and creative people can bring unconventional perspectives to their work.
Companies refer to the capacity to come up with quick and ingenious solutions to problems at work as resourcefulness. Resourceful people are innovative in their approaches to solving problems.
Ability to think analytically
These abilities refer to the ability to collect information, deconstruct a difficult problem, consider pros and disadvantages, and make rational conclusions.
Analytical thinkers assist the company in overcoming challenges and can identify viable concerns before they become major issues.
Thinking critically can help you prepare for an interview. Consider: 10 Smart Brain Teasers For Interviews You Can Encounter
The firmness of purpose or resoluteness might be described as determination. Determined people, in particular, are tenacious and do not give up easily or when they experience a setback. The determination provides these individuals with the motivation to persevere and keep.
What Are Good Problem-Solving Outcomes?
You want to make sure you’re presenting a positive conclusion whenever you answer interview questions regarding problem-solving or give examples of problem-solving in a cover letter.
The following are some positive results of issue solving:
- Reducing the time or money spent by the company
- Making money for the company
- Keeping a consumer happy
- acquiring new clients
- Understanding a safety issue
- Identifying and resolving a staffing/scheduling issue
- Taking care of a logistical problem
- Understanding a company’s hiring problem
- resolving a software/technical problem
- Making a company’s operation more efficient and faster
- Developing a new business procedure in order to increase the company’s profitability
- Improving the brand, image, and reputation of the company
- Getting good feedback from customers/clients for the organization
How you Can Improve Your Problem-Solving Ability
If you can show that you’re a problem solver, you’ll get hired for better jobs and make more money throughout your career.
So, if you want to develop your problem-solving skills, I recommend that you carefully analyze an issue and circumstance before taking action.
You never want to come across as rushing or making rash conclusions while discussing problem solutions with companies. When you address challenges, they want to see fact-based or data-based decisions.
Then, to improve your problem-solving skills, examine the outcomes of previous answers.
You’ll be able to tell what works and what doesn’t.
Consider how you can improve your research and analysis skills, as well as how you can improve your communication skills, such as identifying the right people to talk to and “pull-in” to assist you if needed.
Finally, even in difficult situations, practice remaining cool.
Take a short walk outside. To cleanse your mind, take a break from your phone and computer.
Except for safety issues, a job problem is rarely so urgent that you can’t take five minutes to think about it, and you’ll receive better results if you handle difficulties by acting logically rather than reacting in a panic.
Sample answers to problem-solving questions
Let’s look at some of the most popular problem-solving interview questions, as well as some sample solutions.
Consider a few distinct examples of when you successfully addressed an issue when preparing for your interview, including the problem, the measures you followed to solve the problem, and the outcome:
- What do you do when you face a problem?
- Describe an instance when you had to deal with a difficult situation at work.
- How do you balance the benefits and drawbacks before deciding?
- How would you deal with an angry or unhappy customer?
- What are some indicators you monitor regularly? How are you going to alter your strategy based on the facts you’ve gathered?
- Tell me about an instance when you had to make a last-minute modification to your intended course of action. What steps did you take to deal with this situation?
- Your boss wants to buy new software to help the teamwork more efficiently, and she wants your opinion. What is your reaction?
- Describe when you needed to address a problem but didn’t have all the information you needed. What exactly did you do?
20 Best Examples Of Problem Solving Interview Questions
1. What do you do when you face a problem?
“When I face a challenge, I usually begin by doing research or looking at instances of how others have solved similar problems.” I’m able to choose which strategy to fix the problem is best for me and the company based on my research.
Then I decide what steps need to be taken to resolve the issue, and I begin the process while talking with my superiors and coworkers.”
2. Tell me about when you had to deal with a difficult situation at work.
Answer: “I had a customer who came in to pick up a dress that she had ordered online when I was working as a retail manager.” When I went to pick up her order, however, I discovered that the garment had been returned to the sales floor and purchased by another customer. I called another one of our stores and requested that the same garment be held in the customer’s size. Within two days, I had it delivered to her house. The client called the corporate headquarters a week later to express her gratitude for the gesture.
3. How do you balance the advantages and disadvantages before deciding?
Answer: “When I have a list of pros and cons to examine before deciding, I begin by determining if the drawbacks would prevent me from attaining my intended outcome or impose undue strain elsewhere.” If that’s the case, the strategy isn’t likely to work. I’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks to see if they outweigh the advantages. If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, it is worthwhile to pursue and deal with any unfavorable consequences as they arise.”
4. How would you deal with a disgruntled or unhappy customer?
Answer: “As an email marketing manager, I frequently use open rates and conversion rates to assess the effectiveness of my campaigns.” If open rates are poor, I’ll go over the content again to make sure it applies to the reader, or I’ll try changing the subject line to make it more intriguing. If conversion rates are poor, I’ll evaluate the email copy to ensure it’s clear and appealing, as well as the offer, to ensure it’s relevant and helpful to the target audience.”
5. Tell me about a time when you had to make a last-minute modification to your intended course of action. What steps did you take to deal with this situation?
“When I was working as a catering manager, we were told the night before an event that the items we required to cook the appetizers would not arrive on time and would come after we needed them.” I made a list of the necessary ingredients and stopped at the store on my way to the event. The appetizers were ready in time for the function thanks to my crew and I. The appetizers were so well received by all the attendees that the party planner noted them, especially in her online review.”
7. Your boss wants to buy new software to help the team be more productive, and she wants your opinion. What is your reaction?
“First, I’d inquire about the most crucial features and the company’s budget,” for example. With this information, I’d begin my search for productivity software that meets the necessary needs while remaining under budget. I would analyze the software’s potential to fulfill future needs, as well as user reviews, in addition to features and price. I’d reduce it down to the top three with a top recommendation once I had a list of five or six alternatives. I’d give my manager my advice, along with a few reasons why this option was the best.”
8. Describe a time when you had to solve a problem, but didn’t have all the necessary information about it beforehand. What did you do?
“When I was working as an office manager, our company’s CEO informed me that staff productivity was low and that I needed to find a solution.” I consulted the team members by interviewing and sending out quick surveys because there are various reasons why productivity may be declining. After gathering this data, I discovered employees lacked a system for keeping track of and organizing tasks. I advised the CEO to install a new project management system, and once it was implemented, productivity rose by 10%.”
Other Common Problem-solving interview questions
9. Describe an instance when you had to tackle a problem without the help of management. What method did you use, and what was the outcome?
10. Give an example of a time when you recognized and resolved a problem before it became critical.
11. Tell me about when you foresaw a potential issue with a stakeholder. How did you keep it from getting worse?
12. Describe an instance in which you experienced significant difficulties in performing your job effectively. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
13. Consider an instance when you successfully applied your crisis-management abilities.
14. A new project you’re in charge of has a lot of financial potentials, but it might also land the organization in legal trouble. What would you do in this situation?
15. Are you the type of person who tries to handle a problem on their own before seeking help?
16. Describe when you employed a unique approach to solve a challenge at work.
17. What do you do when you’re confronted with a challenge you’ve never faced before?
18. Give us an example of when you recognized you could not fulfill the deadline. What exactly did you do?
19. What is the best way to create a troubleshooting procedure?
20. What, in your perspective, makes you such a good problem solver?
While the problem-solving interview questions you are given will differ from job to job, the samples and ideas provided above will help you prepare for your interview.
Before you go to your interview, write a few of the questions and practice answering them with a buddy. If the interviewer asks an analytical question for which you are unprepared, pause for a moment to consider your response before continuing.