Interview Questions To Assess Problem Solving Skills

Interview Questions To Assess Problem Solving Skills

RahulNovember 20th, 20214 min read

Every employee faces challenges in their workplace– and it is a must for recruiters to hire someone with the right skills and mindset who can handle the situation effectively.

Problem-solving skills are one the most significant soft skills which every candidate must have. These skills are crucial for entry-level and senior-level positions where employees have to deal with tight deadlines.

Asking interview questions to assess problem-solving skills will give you a deep insight into how a candidate addresses difficult situations and meet deadlines. These questions will also help you evaluate whether the candidate matches your office requirements or not.

The way you interview a candidate can either make or break a candidate’s career. As a recruiter, ensure that you ask relevant interview questions to assess problem-solving skills to get a real sense of the candidate’s potential.

Why Should You Ask Interview Questions To Assess Problem Solving Skills?

Before onboarding the candidates, it’s essential to conduct assessments to get a clear picture of the candidates.

Asking interview questions to assess problem-solving skills will show how candidates:

  • Perform under stressful situations and how they meet the deadlines
  • Handle complex issues
  • Analyze data to understand the issue in real-time

You can ask questions where candidates have to demonstrate how they address the issues and prevent them from occurring again.

That said, let’s discuss the list of questions to ask a candidate to assess problem-solving skills.

6 Interview Questions To Assess Problem Solving Skills

Describe A Situation When You Have To Resolve Issues With Minimum Resources.

This is the question where you can assess the creative skills of a candidate and what techniques they prefer to handle a particular situation.

You can expect a candidate to share the story of their previous organization of how they handled a situation despite the team’s conflicts and minimal resources. The solution can be theoretical, but they must share the approach with you.

What Steps Do You Take Before Landing On A Final Decision?

How a candidate takes business decisions, and addresses concerns say a lot about a candidate’s problem-solving skills.

This question will help you assess the candidate’s thought process and their preferred strategies to solve an issue. You should be looking for those with a practical approach, which shows that they don’t just ask for help the entire time.

How Do You Handle Situations Where You Can’t Find A Solution?

This is one of the most significant interview questions to assess problem-solving skills as no candidate is perfect, and not everyone can solve 100% of problems.

This question will reveal the candidate’s problem-solving and time-management skills.

What Metrics Do You Track Regularly?

As a recruiter, it’s crucial to understand what metrics a candidate tracks and how they find solutions to solve any issues.

This question will help you understand how much control the candidate has over their professional life.

What Is The Biggest Problem You Have Ever Faced? How Do You Handle Such Situations?

The way a candidate answers this question will reveal the following things about a candidate:

  • What they consider a big problem.
  • What they will share about their previous organization.
  • How they handle difficult situations.

You can expect a positive answer while discussing their biggest problem in their previous organization.

What Makes You A Great Problem Solver?

This question will help you understand the candidate’s preferred working style and assess whether it matches your organization’s requirements or not.

You can expect a candidate to positively answer the question and share their experience of their previous employer. The combination of problem-solving and time-management skills makes a candidate a 'great problem solver.’

6 Problem-Solving Skills To Look For In A Candidate

So, what problem-solving skills do you need to look for in a candidate? Problem-solving skills are related to other skills, including:

Analytics Skills

Analytical skills refer to how a candidate collects and analyzes information, addresses issues, and makes decisions. It is a must-have skill for candidates which can help you improve the business’s overall productivity and achieve the desired business goals.

Adaptability And Flexibility Skills

Situations or circumstances in a workplace can be changed quickly, and therefore, it’s essential to hire someone who can adapt to new changes and solve any issues effectively.

Adapting to and thriving in different situations is more an approach to life than a skill.

Team Working Skills

Team Working skills combine multiple soft skills such as leadership skills, communication skills, and delegation skills. Candidates with solid teamwork skills can help a business to reach its height and outrank its competitors.

Team working skills also include:

  • Conflict management skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Accountability
  • Time-management skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Supportive

Influencing Skills

If your job requires communicating with clients, project management, and teamwork, then the potential candidate must have the right influencing skills.

These skills are more than communication, negotiation, and persuasion. Influencing skills are crucial when you’re hiring for a senior-level position.

Lateral Thinking Skills

An ideal candidate must have lateral thinking skills to find a cost-effective and creative way to address and solve the issues. This skill is valued in creative industries such as the media and journalism and is valued across different industries and professions. It can also be assessed using psychometric tests.

Resilient Skills

Resilient skills refer to experimenting with what works best for your business. An ideal candidate must plan and implement multiple strategies and focus on what works best for their organization. It is all about recognizing issues and coping with new strategies to manage them.

Summing Up

No matter what role you’re hiring for, it’s crucial to find a candidate with great problem-solving skills. The candidate’s cognitive ability, communication skills, leadership skills, and decision-making skills are all important components for you to consider.

The above-mentioned interview questions to assess problem-solving skills will help you identify the right person for your organization.

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