Job Interview Question & Answer: What Are the Steps You Follow to Study a Problem Before Making a Decision?
Why Interviewers Ask This Question
Job hopefuls often deal with interview questions about their problem-solving skills. Hiring managers want to check that candidates have a system to recognize issues on the job and solve conflicts. Interviewers who ask “What are the steps you follow to study a problem before making a decision?” are looking at your ability to figure out and deal with difficult situations at work.
What They’re Looking For
Strong answers should include an issue you solved at work, steps you took to fix it, and why you made those choices. Many employers look for responses that fit the STAR format, so this can be a great tool for laying out your answer. Use the four steps of the STAR method to describe the decisive way you addressed a specific problem:
- Situation: Assess the situation by explaining the issue and how it arose.
- Task: Detail how you picked a method to handle the task of problem-solving.
- Actions: List the actions you took to address the conflict or get around obstacles in your path.
- Results: Go over the results of your actions and explain the positive outcome of your approach.
How Not to Answer
When faced with questions about problem-solving, job seekers should offer real examples from their own lives. Keep it appropriate for the workplace by choosing past work experiences instead of fights with significant others or similar personal situations. Be honest, but don’t overshare. Applicants should also choose a situation that fits the duties of the job they want, rather than an unrelated skill.
To answer the question “What Steps Do You Follow to Study a Problem?”, just remember the STAR method. Select a work-related conflict from your past. Then, explain how the Situation started, how you chose a game plan to handle the Task, what Actions you took to fix it, and the positive results of your actions. Tie this skill into the duties of the new job if possible.
Sample Answer 1 – Personal Trainer Job
“As personal trainers, we’re almost always working in problem-solving mode. I remember one client at my last gym job who wanted to lose weight and gain muscle tone but had a 60 hour a week desk job. The major obstacle to fitness was how to keep her active even while she was working.”
“We discussed her employers’ expectations and schedule to make sure my fixes would be practical. Then, I outlined changes she could make, like requesting a standing desk, adjusting her calorie intake, and doing simple exercises during breaks. She came back to the gym a month later 15 pounds lighter.”
Sample Answer 2 – Delivery Driver Position
“When I worked in a retail stock room, time management was crucial. To keep shelves full and tidy while also cataloging new shipments, I had to separate the store into quadrants. That way, I could survey the shelves for total coverage as quickly as possible. My method saved so much time that my manager asked me to talk about my system at a staff meeting.”
“As a delivery driver, making your routes efficient and learning how to streamline deliveries is equally important. I think my method of tackling tasks in the same area to cut down transit time would serve me well in this position, too.”
Sample Answer 3 – Tutoring Work
“While I always got straight A’s in school, I always had to work harder than others to get the same grades. I think this could actually be helpful to my clients as a tutor since I’ve had to develop a lot of study systems and find creative ways to remember terms.”
“For example, this year, I took Anatomy, which requires remembering complex names. I was struggling with memorization, so I decided that I needed more time with the info. After every lecture, I made flashcards of all new terms. Then, as I went through them, I’d color in each bone or muscle on a handy app I found and shared with the class. I passed the course with an A+.”