Job Interview Question - Problem Solving

A job interview question you may face during your job search ist he following or something similar: If I select for this position, tell me which steps you would take from your first day at work.

A similar question could be: describe a situation where you demonstrated your problem solving skills? How did you do it ? Let`s again get to the Book of books to be inspired on how to answer suc question in a efficient manner.

Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The verses above are very inspiring as we see God starting His work in regards to the earth.

Let’s see how He proceeded and the steps He took.

- First of all, He made a complete inspection of the business (or department) to see how it was going. (It said the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters)

- Then, He identified the problem (the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep). The situation analysis He performed showed a two dimensional problem (darkness & the lack of form which can also be described as chaos). This was not at all according to His standards.

- After discovering the two dimensional problem (darkness and chaos), He started to make changes step by step in a very orderly fashion. He prioritized the tasks He wanted to take and then started to implement the changes. He decided to address the darkness problem first by creating light. Then He went on to address the chaos problem step by step.

- One very important fact to take out from the text is that He chose to handle the darkness problem on his own. But for the chaos problem, He chose to delegate to man after creating a prototype for him so he duplicate it.

- Another key takeaway (if you would read the subsequent verses) is that after completing each task, He stepped back and evaluated the results to validate it against His own standards of excellence. So He used appraisal words such as (It was good) or (It was very good).

If you had done your preparation correctly for the job interview, you should know which problems the position is supposed to solve.The problem solving job interview question should not take you by surprise at all. The need which created the position could be getting new customers, retain existing customers, replacing an employee who was not performing well or who was promoted, etc.

You should know which problems your position is supposed to solve. If not, you should ask the hiring manager during the interview to tell you.
Once you know what are the problems, you can ask more details about it, or alternatively you will offer, once hired, to investigate and determine all the dimensions related to the issues.

The biggest takeway from the reference text is the long term thinking demonstrated. In your answer to problem solving job interview question, show that you are not only interested in implementing a solution. Demonstrate also you will think of taking extra steps to prevent the issue from reoccuring.

The creation of man was the step taken to have somebody responsible for keeping order and avoid the chaos problem to reocurr.

Note also it was the only highest appraisal (Very good) whereas the solution itself is only rate das good.

Let`s repeat to make it clear because it is so critical.
In your answer to the interviewer, demonstrate your long-term thinking and proactive skills by having a final task with the objective to systematize the resolution of the problem.
In other words, mention that you will investigate and put in place mechanisms to ensure the issue will not reoccur.

If you are being interviewed for a salesman position for example, you can mention that you will plan and start a marketing campaign but you shouldn’t stop there. Demonstrate your excellency by suggesting to put in place a system to get continuous flow of new customers.

This will definitively put you one head above the crowd of other candidates and increase your chances to get hired for the position. The interviewer will really appreciate your forward thinking.

Before closing, you should remember that your overall goal is to use every job interview question as an opportunity to differentiate yourself. If you consistently do that throughout the job interview, the success of your job search is right across the corner.


From problem solving job interview question to Interview Stories

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