Using problem solving tests as a hiring tool helps identify which candidates have the skills to quickly, creatively, and effectively solve problems as they arise. Problem solving tests ask different types of questions designed to measure critical thinking, reasoning skills, reading comprehension, and a potential employee’s general capability to perform the duties expected of them within the workplace, offering a more comprehensive view of each candidate and their abilities.
What does ‘problem solving’ mean?
Problem solving is the ability to evaluate and resolve issues in an efficient manner through the use of critical thinking. When faced with a challenge or an unexpected situation, it’s important to have the decision-making skills necessary to resolve the problem by using creativity, collaboration, or complex reasoning in order to adapt and identify a solution.
Problem-solving interview questions and answers
Why problem-solving skills are important for employees
Problem-solving skills are an essential part of an employee’s ability to effectively perform in a workplace environment. On a day-to-day basis any number of complex problems can arise — from interpersonal challenges among coworkers to identifying potential client issues, effective problem-solving is critical to high quality job performance.
The ability to evaluate different perspectives and brainstorm possible solutions to a problem in order to find the correct answer can define an employee’s ability to perform under pressure and excel in their duties.
On a larger scale, it is vital for a team of employees to be capable of sharing perspectives and collaborating as a group to achieve a common goal when faced with more complex problems.
A lack of willingness to readily address a problem, or lack of focus when doing so, can be dangerous; issues within the workplace can easily grow out of control if not quickly or properly solved.
Interview questions to measure problem-solving ability
Interview questions that gauge a candidate’s ability to navigate complex issues and perform under pressure are essential to understanding their ability to perform effectively within the workplace. To get a better understanding of a candidate’s decision making and critical thinking skills, incorporate problem-solving questions into your interview process.
Problem-solving interview questions reveal how a potential hire reacts when faced with a challenge, and how they respond to a stressful or unexpected situation.
Ideally, these questions should present scenarios that could happen in the job the applicant is being interviewed for. This gives both the interviewer an idea of how the candidate would perform in the workplace’s conditions and the candidate an idea of what types of problems they would need to solve in order to perform their job.
Being able to adequately judge the mindset of an applicant is important, as analytical and results-oriented candidates can more readily meet the demands required of them in an environment that regularly presents them with problems to solve.
How to measure problem-solving ability with pre-employment assessments
Problem-solving tests allow recruiters to evaluate how a candidate approaches complex issues, analyzes data, performs under stress, and reacts to having their beliefs challenged — which can reveal a lot about a potential hire.
As you ask problem-solving questions, observe the steps the applicant takes in approaching the problem and identifying the solution. Candidates who provide creative answers or offer solutions to ensure that the problem wouldn’t happen again are more likely to be innovative employees who are willing and able to think outside of the box to contribute to the growth of the business.
Also, include technical questions to gauge a candidate’s aptitude for the specific role they’re interviewing for and ask for examples of problems they’ve solved in prior roles and how they worked with teammates to do so. The ability to communicate, collaborate, ask for help, and commit to overcoming challenges are all benchmarks of effective problem-solving skills.
How Workable can help you assess problem-solving skills
Workable is an all-in-one hiring tool that streamlines and optimizes the recruitment process. Hiring professionals can automate tasks like posting to job boards, scheduling interviews, and sending follow up communication to focus on developing an in-depth understanding of each applicant’s strengths and weaknesses.
Take the time to measure the problem-solving skills of potential candidates with Workable’s assessment tools and hire the right person for the job in less time.