Managers would far rather employ a member of staff who can take action to resolve a problem than someone who doesn't act and relies on someone else to think of a solution.Even if it isn't outlined as a requirement in a job description, many employers will still be evaluating your problem-solving ability throughout the application process.Employers may base problem solving questions around three main areas: Some employers believe that the way you approached a situation in the past is a good indicator of how you will approach a challenging situation in the future.
This could be an example of a time when you faced something unexpected, or you were approached by a client about a concern.
Managers will often relate one or more questions to the role you are applying for.
For example, how you would deal with a colleague who was relying on you to do all of the work or falling short of a target.
Although these aren't questions as such, they may be used by some recruiters to see how you handle unexpected changes.
This could be rearranging the time of your interview or sending an email without attaching something important.
Both of these - even if they are unintentional - could be used as a way to assess how you approach something that is unforeseen.Effective problem solvers are those who can apply logic and imagination to make sense of the situation and develop a solution that works.Even if it doesn't prove as successful as you had hoped, resilience is important, so you can reassess the situation and try an alternative.The issues that you come across will often vary in complexity, with some situations requiring a simple solution and others demanding more thought and skill to overcome.Business managers will spend a lot of their time solving problems and consequently require their employees to be creative and intuitive when it comes to addressing them.This particular skill isn’t restricted to a single sector, industry or role, though employers in the engineering and legal industries in particular tend to look for proficiency.Consequently, questions about your problem-solving ability are commonplace in interviews.If you know that you are likely to face problem solving questions in the application process, it’s good practice to research the typical questions and scenarios that candidates are presented with.This will not only increase your confidence but also help you to refine your answers and provide a stronger response.If problem solving skills are an integral part of your role, it is likely that you will have to complete some kind of assessment during the application process.There are a number of forms that a problem solving question can take, but the majority of them will be scenario-based.