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What steps do you take to solve a problem?

This question has been answered 6 times by professional recruiters and hiring managers. View their answers below.

The interviewer would like to know that you understand the importance of taking calculated steps when problem-solving in the workplace. Most candidates want to sound like go-getters, and their first instinct would be to say that they jump right in. Jumping right in can cause costly mistakes and oversights. Assure the interviewer that you will workshop the issue before jumping in!

Here are some steps to take:

1. Identify The Problem. Proper problem solving involves ensuring that you are very clear on the nature of the problem. Be sure that you fully understand the core of the problem before trying to repair it.

2. Identify The Stakeholders. Ask yourself, what the best case resolution will be for all stakeholders, not just for yourself. Ask yourself what is best for the company, your coworkers, and your clients.

3. List Your Options. The third step is to figure out what your options are when it comes to your course of action. Write them down if you need to.

4. Evaluate Your Options. Take a look at your list of potential actions and see if you can solve the problem using just one, or a blend of them.

5. Execute! Finally, execute your well-researched action plan. |Be sure to set up a follow-up time to ensure that your solution worked.
Admin answer example
"When I need to solve a problem, I first stop to ensure that I understand the issue at hand. Once I do, I will think of potential fixes and the pros and cons of each. Whichever solution or a blend of solutions is best for the customer; I will choose that option."
Manager answer example
"My current company is very team-focused, and we train everyone to problem-solve with "what is best for team morale" being the question at hand. I have been with the company for twelve years so most problems I have a pretty clear idea of what will work for us, but when I need to workshop an idea, I will call in my team and have a brainstorm session."
Marketing answer example
"Problem-solving in Marketing can be unique because you have to truly balance the customers' pain point with the solutions that are currently available. Also, some clients like trying new marketing methods and others want to remain conservative, using only tried and true advertising methods, for instance. When I approach a problem, I first identify the personality of the client and their business and research options from there."
Retail answer example
"Problem-solving in a retail environment is challenging in the sense that the issue is often something that needs to be fixed immediately, like a faulty product or an upset customer. When faced with a problem, I ask questions first, to ensure that I fully understand the core of the issue. Once I fully understand the core of the problem, I can more easily troubleshoot from there."
Sales answer example
"Every customer is different, with unique needs, so when I need to problem-solve, I am often coming across a brand new problem or a different version of a problem I have seen before. Our company is big on chasing the money, and so I have been trained that every solution I choose must have the business' bottom line top of mind. My process is to understand the issue, address who the stakeholders are, and create a solution where everyone feels they won in some small way."
Teacher answer example
"Problem-solving in the classroom is a challenge because it is often on the fly. Or, a student will ask a question in a new way and I won't necessarily have the answer! When a problem arises, I like to involve my class, have a brainstorm session, and discuss as a group what we could do. This method turns an issue into a conversation where we have the opportunity to come up with some unique solutions."

View user-submitted Answers

What steps do you take to solve a problem?
I try to figure out what the problem is and then visualize what are some ways that can solve the problem.
Listen, write down the issue, check facts, find a solution.
I would look at all the facts and ask the people who are involved in the problem to contribute their input. I would look at all the positive things and negative things and how it will impact others. I would try to find a solution thats cost effective and have the least amount of negativity.
First see what problem is, try and help, are get someone who can help and follow thru.
I first take into account exactly what happened that caused the problem, by asking the people involved, and then determine the best possible solution that has little to no consequences and impacts the situation in a positive way.
Listen, diffuse, follow proper procedure and policies iand if I dont have authority to make decision go to the next authorized co-worker.
I try to solve a problem by analising issue, if Ican not I counstaltant my supervizer.
I would look at all the facts and ask the people who are involved in the problem to contribute their input. I would look at all the positive things and negative things and how it will impact others. I would try to find a solution thats cost effective and have the least amount of negativity.
Calm down and then talk it out.
Listen, ask questions, outline the situation and take charge by saying I will instead of I might.
I take it step by step and in order of what I have to do first.
1. Asses the problem 2. How much priority and resource will it need depending on the problem 3. Make strategies to resolve the problem 4. Evaluate the course of the solution to determine if its the best.
I pre counted merchandized and took care of every ins. Information.
I always try my best to solve any and all customer related issues. My first step would be to see what the actual problem is.
I look at the problem and ask coworkers for their input.
Find out the problem fix the problem or ask for help.
Find out what the problem is and find the best solution for it.
Look at the whole aspect of the problem, suggest steps and view outcomes that would achieve the most efficient effective response.
I will first examin the facts and try and fix the problem as best I can.
Listen, repeat what the customer has stated in your own words, work with the customer to find a solution that will address the specific situation in order to make the customer happy and keep them our customer.
First, I would address the what exactly the nature of the problem is and then take appropriate steps according to store protocol to solve the problem.
First I find out what the problem is and figure out what's the best way to solve it.
Define the problem Develop a plan Implement the plan Evaluate the results.
First, I understand and learn all the details of the problem, figure out what the steps are to the solution and solve it.
Listen carefully to the member and try to understand their situation, and help resolve the problem. Keepng the member leaving pleased.
Think about the problem, come up with a few options to solve it, choose which option qould be best suited for all parties involved.
Listen to customer and show your interest and compassion in your facial movements and stand interested, do not slomp or shift your feet .
Observe the problem, see if theres multiple ways to solve it so your not just hanging on plan a only.
Define the problem develop a plan implement the plan and evaluate the result.
First you would listen to what the problem is and come up with a solution to make the member happy.
Figure how to get to the bottom of the problem and try to solve myself.
Stay calm. Think about all the aspects to what caused the problem. And then work towards fixing it by putting a plan into action.
Listen, Think of a plan/resolution, execute.
I usually find out the whole problem, then find options to solve it, and chose the best option.
I assess the situation, then look for a solution. If I needed help, I would seek a qualified person to help.
Cause & effect. Thinking things through in my mind to the end & not to be impulsive.
Figure out what steps to take first and then solve it.
Get all the information from the problem analyze it.
Look around to see if anyone near by lost money.
First, identify the problem. 2: collect all relevant information and ask questions if clarity is needed. 3: come to a acceptable solution for all involved.
Discuss the problem with supervisor.
First I would identify the issue at hand, then I would try to understand everyones interest, then I would think of possible solutions towards the issue, while also evaluating the options, then I would select the solution and document the agreement at hand.
Listen and understand the problem. Make a plan carry out the plan and look back at it.
Identify the root cause of the problem. Learn and catalog all necessary steps in eliminating the root cause of the problem. Execute those steps.
First analyze the problem and then prioritize a solution.
Visual myself doing it in my head, start at Point Z and work backwards.
Look at the big picture and go into the problem fixing the details that correlate with the bigger issue.
I figure out what caused the problem, and from there I look at different ways it can be solved.
Identify possible resolutions, choose the best choice for the situation, and act on it.
Figure out what the best solution would be first, then based off of that take action. Or if required clear it with management first.
Think twice is what I do, I want to make sure that it will solve a problem.
Analysis the problem. What kind of problem it is? Have an open mind.
First I analyzed the problem then I will find the solution to solve it.
I find out what problem is then.
Understand the problem, involve as needed those with knowledge of it, gain consensus.
Listen to what the problem is, appoligise for it, and look after the problem.
First, I identify whether there actually is a problem. Next, I decide if the problem is something that I can fix. If not, I will contact someone who can correct the problem. If I can fix the issue, then I must plan out how to rectify the issue. Once a plan is formulated, it is time to carry out the plan. If there are some issues with the plan, then I have to compensate.
Analyze what the problem is and find the best realistic solution. Then implement the solution. See how that worked.
Think of ways I can find a solution.
Assess what the problem is, decide what steps to take to rectify the problem, weigh the outcome of each option before deciding which steps to take.
First I evaluate what the problem is, then I decide what I should do to solve the problem, then I execute what I want to do to solve it.
I am always try to understand why this problem occurs on first place. And then try to resolve accordingly.
Do what I know. Talk with a fellow employee. If needed I would contact a manager.
Well first I have I to identify the problem and then from there do whats necessary to get the desired outcome.
First I completely try to understand the problem at hand, which can include asking questions to further my understanding. Devise a plan and think of how this will effect the people involved and if it is the plan best suited for everyone then carry out the plan.
Talk to the person calmly to try to get at the problem. If I can't help in anyway I refer them to a supervised on duty.
Find out what the problem is and if I wasn't able to them find the right person who can.
First identify what the problem is, depending what it is go from there.
See and understand the problem then try to compromise or do steps to fix it.
Being attentive to the problem, think about methods for solving it and if its beyond control will seek advice from manager.
Identify the problem. THink it through to what the best solution would be. Then act upon what needs to be done. Make sure it is done safely and appropriately within company policies.
Assessed the problem then try to solve as quickly and safely as possible.
First I assess the problem and what needs to be done and then organize my thoughts to come up with a solution that is benficial for whomever is involved.
I start w/gathering all the facts and perhaps ask questions to make sure I understand everything. If I sont know the answer, I will look it up or find someone to help.
Identify what it is and what I can do if anything.
Listen to the problem and find a solution if I cant then I would ask my supervisor.
Understand the problem, make a plan, carrying out the plan, looking back.
Analyze the situation at hand, dont want to rush into it and make matters worse but also be quick and figure a way to not let that problem happen again.
Assess the problem, weigh my options, and choose the best possible solution based on the solution.
I broke up the problem into bite size pieces so as to handle it in a manageable way.
I remain calm, think of what needs to happen immediately and what can wait. Fix the situation, if it severe enough, tell a manager.
My culture is speking with people in a polite way. Eatc situation has two strategies.
I take a moment to quickly think over my options and once I mentally pick the best opition for the problem I stick to it. I next make a mental list of the steps I need to take in order to solve the problem and get to work.
Need to know more about the problem.
I look at all my options and put them in order and then get right to what needs to be done.
Listen to both parties try to find a common ground then start presenting solutions until both people are happy.
I try to see both sides and all solutions, and then fix the problem using the best solution that will create the least conflict.
Listening is the first step, doing some research, talking to others that may have experienced similar problems and how they resolved it, staying with it until I find a solution.
First I like to get all the information and angles I need to address the problem. Next I will either tackle the problem head on or start planning depending on what the situation calls for.
Ask if there's something I can do to help resolve situation or get someone who can.
I write it down, even if it was a verbal problem as it gives me a reference when need.
The first step requires identifying the issue and any related ones, then understanding everyones position and perspective on the issue (whether employees or customers). Then finding possible solutions to the problem, evaluate all options individually and select the most suitable one. Inform relevant parties and record the solution that was implemented, and finally evaluate the outcome after the solution has been implemented.
Take care of the customer, talk with my manager about it and give the customer satisfaction.
Firstly calm them if they are frustated. Lately know the problem and solve it accordingly with patience.
First, you should find out what the problem is. Then, you should think of a way to fix it. Finally, you should prove why the issue is what it is.
Think of a way I can fix it, think out of the box to find a way to fix it, and if that doesn't work, ask my peers for their help and input and if they dont know, ask my supervisor what the best solution is.
I think of solutions to solve the problem and then evaluate the problem.
I'll try to understand the situation first, then talk it out to see what can be resolved.

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