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Top 20 Problem Solving Interview Questions
Question 1 of 24
Give me a recent example of a valuable lesson you learned from a problem you faced at work.
  Professional Answers
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List of Problem Solving Interview Questions
  1. Give me a recent example of a valuable lesson you learned from a problem you faced at work.
  2. After you implement a solution to a problem, how do you test the effectiveness of that solution?
  3. Tell me about a time when you discovered a problem and went beyond regular expectations to fix it.
  4. Tell me about the most challenging aspect of your previous job. How did you overcome it?
  5. Tell me about a time when your analysis of a problem was deemed to be incorrect. What would you have done differently?
  6. What steps do you take when you have to make an immediate decision without all the relevant information?
  7. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
  8. How do you deal with distracting coworkers who stand in the way of your progress?
  9. Tell me about the most challenging problem you have encountered in your professional career.
  10. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
  11. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
  12. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
  13. When a major problem arises, what is your first reaction?
  14. When you cannot seem to find the right solution to a problem, how do you deal?
  15. When faced with a problem, are you more likely to jump into solving it, or are you the type to carefully assess the issue first?
  16. When it comes to problem solving, are you a strong collaborator?
  17. When faced with a problem, how do you decide on the best solution?
  18. Tell me about a time when you failed to solve a problem. How did you overcome the failure?
  19. Tell me about a time when you had to troubleshoot to solve a problem.
  20. Rate your problem solving skills from 1-10. How do you justify your rating?
  21. When change occurs in the workplace, it can create new problems. Do you see these as inconvenient problems, or opportunities to learn?
  22. Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation.
  23. Tell me about a recurring problem that you run into in your current position, and how you handle it.
  24. What do you think might be the greatest challenges faced in this job? How will you overcome these challenges?
Authors:
Contributing Author
Elisabeth Walter
HR Consultant
Contributing Author
Rachelle Enns
Recruiter
 
Problem Solving User Submitted Interview Answers
Question 1 of 24
Give me a recent example of a valuable lesson you learned from a problem you faced at work.
Professional answer
The most valuable lesson I learned from problem solving at work is that not everyone will see your solution as the best one. Accepting change is difficult for some people so I have found that not everyone will be on board right away.
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Question 2 of 24
After you implement a solution to a problem, how do you test the effectiveness of that solution?
Professional answer
I always look at the data to gauge the efficacy of a policy or new solution. I am big on numbers as they really do tell the full, and true, story.
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Question 3 of 24
Tell me about a time when you discovered a problem and went beyond regular expectations to fix it.
Professional answer
I had a staff member who was stealing supplies from our kitchen. There were rumors going around that she was being dishonest but there was no proof. I carefully waited for proof and did catch the infractions on camera. At that point, I was able to pull her aside for a conversation and terminate her employment.
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Question 4 of 24
Tell me about the most challenging aspect of your previous job. How did you overcome it?
Question 5 of 24
Tell me about a time when your analysis of a problem was deemed to be incorrect. What would you have done differently?
Question 6 of 24
What steps do you take when you have to make an immediate decision without all the relevant information?
Professional answer
I am really organized so I do have a checklist that I follow for all policy related decisions and changes. If I do not have all necessary information, I can usually find it in our company resource database.
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Question 7 of 24
What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
Question 8 of 24
How do you deal with distracting coworkers who stand in the way of your progress?
Professional answer
I am very open with my colleagues and will let them know if they are being a distraction. Currently, I am able to take my work home as well so if there is a part that I cannot get past due to distractions, I will take a day to work from my home office.
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Question 9 of 24
Tell me about the most challenging problem you have encountered in your professional career.
Professional answer
The most challenging problem that I encountered in my career was when my former company experienced a major merger. It was a lot to adjust to but, after some time, I was able to get into a good pace again.
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Question 10 of 24
In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
Question 11 of 24
How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
Professional answer
I had to utilize creative problem solving last month when we found ourselves short staffed and unable to hire new employees due to budget cuts. I changed our schedule to include some split shifts and received approval for a small amount of overtime spend. The problem was solved, at least temporarily, until our company comes out of our spending freeze.
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Question 12 of 24
When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
Professional answer
I react swiftly in emergency situations. Perhaps my skills come from my years as a parent, having to think fast and put out fires! If a quick solution is required I will do a fast overview of the facts and make a decision based on risk factors.
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Question 13 of 24
When a major problem arises, what is your first reaction?
Professional answer
I have taught myself to become much calmer with my first reactions when problems arise. Now, I will step back and review my options for solving the problem rather than allow myself to become frustrated.
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Question 14 of 24
When you cannot seem to find the right solution to a problem, how do you deal?
Professional answer
If I can - I will sleep on it! When time allows, I will take a moment to really feel the issue out. When necessary I will also bring in the opinion of my team leads.
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Question 15 of 24
When faced with a problem, are you more likely to jump into solving it, or are you the type to carefully assess the issue first?
Question 16 of 24
When it comes to problem solving, are you a strong collaborator?
Professional answer
I love having unannounced brainstorm sessions with my team. It keeps everyone on their toes! When an issue comes to light, I will approach the problem as a team.
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Question 17 of 24
When faced with a problem, how do you decide on the best solution?
Professional answer
When it comes to problem solving, I will always weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. I will also bounce my thoughts off of some co-workers if I still feel conflicted after that.
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Question 18 of 24
Tell me about a time when you failed to solve a problem. How did you overcome the failure?
Professional answer
I was asked to solve our issue of employee turnover which ended up being much more difficult that I originally thought. My initial goal was to improve turnover by 70% but in the end only reached 40% improvement.
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Question 19 of 24
Tell me about a time when you had to troubleshoot to solve a problem.
Professional answer
We do not have an IT department in my current office so whenever an issue arises, I am the person that my team calls. Troubleshooting is fun for me - it's like a new challenge every time. Google and IT related forums are often my best friend!
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Question 20 of 24
Rate your problem solving skills from 1-10. How do you justify your rating?
Question 21 of 24
When change occurs in the workplace, it can create new problems. Do you see these as inconvenient problems, or opportunities to learn?
Question 22 of 24
Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation.
Professional answer
My current employer wanted to know the exact impact our social media campaigns were making. I gathered our Facebook analytics for him and created a short PowerPoint presentation from those analytics. My recommendation was to increase our keywords in the geographical areas where our ads were most clicked. It really helped!
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Question 23 of 24
Tell me about a recurring problem that you run into in your current position, and how you handle it.
Professional answer
The greatest issue in my current position is that we have so much employee turnover. It started to feel like I was constantly training new staff. I came up with an employee referral bonus program which greatly helped. For every successful referral, our employees get $400 plus another $400 after their referral stays for 3 months. I believe this has been successful because the quality of our employees has greatly increased.
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Question 24 of 24
What do you think might be the greatest challenges faced in this job? How will you overcome these challenges?
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