A good problem-solving process involves four fundamental stages: problem definition, devising alternatives, evaluating alternatives and then implementing the most viable solutions.Questions about problem solving will typically arise within a competency based interview and will require you to demonstrate your particular approach.
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.
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.
When problems do occur, employees are expected to use their initiative and develop suitable solutions to avoid the situation escalating into something more serious.
There are many situations where problems could present themselves in the workplace, from a client concern through to assisting a technical team resolve a website or database error.
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.
Therefore the best way to understand how someone would respond to a specific scenario is to ask a question such as 'explain an occasion when…’ As the employer wants to assess your problem solving skills, they may ask you to outline a situation where something went wrong and what happened.
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.