Why problem-solving matters
Challenges are a part of work life that help us grow 🌷 —as long as we know how to deal with them.
That’s why you need to figure out how good your candidate is at problem-solving from day one.
Figuring this out at interview can help you learn how your candidate:
- Approaches challenges
- Uses metrics to drill down to the root of a problem
- Performs in difficult situations
- Reacts to personal challenges
The perfect candidates will be results-oriented, analytical and spherical thinkers, stand out for their ability to recognize/predict a problem, and will know how to fix an issue to prevent it from recurring.
These problem-solving interview questions can be used anytime, anywhere and for any candidate level.
Problem-solving interview questions
- Have you ever had to solve a problem alone? How did it work out for you?
- Give us an example of when you’ve predicted a problem and solved it before it became urgent.
- Describe a situation where you faced serious challenges in doing your job to the awesome level you’re used to. How did you overcome it?
- Tell us about a time you successfully used crisis-management skills.
- How would you balance a project that had multiple priorities?
- When do you know it’s time to reach out for help?
Top tip: Always use hypothetical scenarios related to the role and avoid unrealistic, irrelevant problems.
Candidates to look for
- Logical processes: How do candidates approach a problem step-by-step? They should tell you how they identify, analyze and solve the issue.
- Innovative candidates: Creative minds rule. They offer fresh perspectives and add value to your company.
- Commitment and can-do attitudes: Listen out for problem-solving skills in past situations. Were they determined to find the best solution ASAP?
- Great team players: How have they collaborated with their previous colleagues? Do they feel comfortable asking for help?
- Technical skills: Tech roles need specific tech problem-solving skills. Ask questions relevant to the work your future hires will do.
Candidates to avoid
- Silent candidates: If a candidate can’t perform in an interview, it’s unlikely they can perform in another difficult situation.
- Generic answers: When it comes to problem-solving, you need to know detail. Ask follow-up questions to get more insight.
- Problem-focused: You need a candidate who focuses on solutions over problems. They need to identify the problem and then move on.
- Stressed or uncomfortable candidates: Interviews are hard. But, if candidates are so stressed they can’t find an answer, that just proves they don’t handle stressful situations well.