Why You Encounter This Question
Job seekers regularly face questions regarding problem-solving skills during interviews. Most of the time, hiring managers ask candidates about problems or challenges encountered at past jobs to look for concrete and effective methods of first addressing issues and then solving the problems. Sometimes the questions leave the subject matter open to challenges overcome personally outside of the office. In the case of, “What are the steps you follow to study a problem before making a decision?” interviewers pose the question to prospective employees to screen for the ability to recognize problems on the job.
What They’re Looking For
You’re the STAR
Strong answers should include the specific steps taken to rectify or alter the outcome of potential or existing issues. Many employers look for answers revolving around the business concept of the STAR Format. The method includes direct and decisive ways to address problems, including assessing the Situation, remaining focused on the Task at hand, the Actions taken, specifically, to solve or circumvent obstacles, and the Results.
Avoid Ambiguity and Stay Relevant
Applicants should respond to the interview question with as much detail as possible. When faced with inquiries into methods used to assess and solve problems, candidates should pull from or offer specific examples. Remember to only divulge information appropriate to the workplace. Leave fights with significant others or other potentially personal matters out. Tailor responses toward the expectations and responsibilities of positions desired. Tying in the job in question with solid and concrete methods of addressing issues signals to the potential employer background in completing the assigned tasks expected of the new position.
Workers heading into the field of information technology may talk about the steps used to assess the problems associated with migrating content from existing websites to newer pages or any other issues commonly encountered in the industry. Applicants looking for work as delivery drivers may explain issues faced in making routes as efficient as possible at past jobs and the steps taken to streamline the process, if applicable.
Don’t Make It Up
Regardless of experience, applicants should immediately center answers on the problems typical in the industries or fields the sought-after opportunities lie. However, job seekers without specific experience should avoid reaching for examples. Take time, if needed, to construct a solid answer. Discussing problem-solving methods in reference to generic office issues still demonstrates what hiring personnel look for when posing the interview question.