“A problem is a chance for you to do your best .” Duke Ellington
Great problem solvers tend to be people with a healthy attitude to change and an open mind when it comes to new ideas. You either drown in the problem or you look at it as an opportunity for you to do your best work. Every workplace has problems, that’s life. Employers look for people who have solid problem solving strategies that they use to work through any workplace problems that arise.
Basic Questions About how You Go About Problem Solving:
Every job interview will have one or more questions about how you go about problem solving. If the role you are applying for is comprised largely of routine work you may just be asked a basic interview question like the ones below.
Off course the answer is always – ‘Yes I am a problem solver” but you need to do much more than just that. You need to explain how you go about problem solving. What is your strategy? What steps do you follow? These things matter.
Specific Behavioral Interview Questions About Problem Solving:
Most interviewers will ask very targeted behavioral interview questions to understand exactly how you go about problem solving. The following are 9 behavioral interview questions about how you approach problem solving in the workplace.
1. Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently?
Sample answer to how you are a problem solver.
2. Describe a situation in which you recognized a potential problem as an opportunity. What did you do? What was the result? What, if anything, do you wish you had done differently?
Sample answer to how to show that problems are just opportunities in disguise.
3. What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision? Why?
Sample answer to how you would problem solve before making a decision.
4. Give me an example of a time you discovered an error that been overlooked by a colleague. What did you do? What was the outcome?
Sample answer on how you would tell colleagues they made a mistake.
5. What problem solving strategies do you use to stay aware of problems and resolve them in your work area? Can you give me an example of how this has worked for you in your current role?
Sample answer to show your problem solving strategies.
6. Describe the biggest work-related problem you have faced in the past 12 months. How did you handle it?
Sample answer to show how you handle biggest work related problems.
7. Can you tell me about a time where you have been caught unaware by a problem or an obstacle that you had not foreseen? What happened?
Sample to show how you deal with unexpected workplace problems.
8. Tell about a time when you were able to develop a different problem-solving approach. What steps did you follow?
Sample answer to show how your problem solving strategies.
9. Tell us about a time when you identified a potential problem and resolved the situation before it became a serious issue.
Sample answer to show you can identify problems and solve them.
10. Give a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
Sample to show how you use logic to solve work problems.