Interview Question: How do you solve problems at work?
In nearly every sector, problem-solving is one of the key skills required by employers. Therefore, there is a high probability that the question will come up during an interview to test your problem-solving skills.
To answer this question, think of challenges you have encountered in academic, work or volunteer settings and how you tackled them. You can follow these steps in answering the question:
- Define the Problem: explain why the situation was problematic
Describe in detail how you gathered data, facts, and other information needed to develop solutions.
- Describe in detail how you determined the cause of the problem? Determined the factors that led to the problem? Developed strategies to resolve it?
- Explain in detail how you resolved the problem by describing why you selected specific strategies, explaining your objective, illustrating how you transformed ideas into practical solutions, and how you followed up with co-workers. Additionally, explain how you conducted risk management.
- Explain in detail what was accomplished and what strategies proved effective. Explain lessons learned and what you would do to avoid future occurrence of the same problem.
Here is an example of how the question should be answered:
The retail store I worked at was getting a lot of complaints about delivering orders late.
I had a meeting with the staff involved in the customer delivery process and discovered that the consignments were not being sent to the delivery team on time.
I investigated and found that customer requests were not being being processed fast enough. The problem was with the orders department as they were not following up efficiently with the suppliers. A system for efficient and timely follow up was immediately implemented.
This sorted out the stock problem and the delivery guys were able to meet their deadlines.