What are problem solving interview questions?

Being asked problem solving questions during an interview is quite common if you are applying for roles in IT, engineering, analysis, and other technical job profiles.

The questions that you will come across during your interview with the hiring managers will vary in complexity, but the good news is that there isn't necessarily one way or one correct answer to it. Therefore, you can approach the questions in your own unique ways.

In this guide, we will learn more about problem solving interview questions, why they are asked, tips & tricks to answer them, and much more.

Read our blog to gain insights into problem solving interview questions to ace your upcoming interview and bag the desired job.

The key elements of this blog are mentioned in the below-mentioned points:

  • Your response to problem solving interview questions gives the recruiters an insight into how you would make logical decisions in an unusual environment.
  • Provide suitable answers that connect your potential to the targeted job position.
  • Showcase your collaborative and leadership skills as every organization looks for good team players.
  • Stay positive during interviewers and be honest with your answers .

In this guide, we will have a thorough discussion on the following topics:

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Moreover, the time dedicated to reading this blog will prove to be very beneficial for you, and will help you understand how you should approach problem solving questions and a lot more.

What are Problem Solving Interview Questions?

Problem solving interview questions are designed to evaluate how a candidate reacts to stressful environments and unfamiliar situations.

They are used to gauge a candidate's approach to analyze problems and their ability to reach a logical decision. It is used to measure the candidate's core skills and problem solving ability that will benefit the organization.

The problem solving interview questions have a tendency to make candidates feel uneasy, this is done intentionally to separate the wheat from the chaff and find the most suitable candidates who can propel the organization's growth.

Tips to solve a problem:

  • Prioritize the critical information and ignore the irrelevant information
  • Analyze the situation that caused the problem
  • Understand the nature of the problem before trying to solve it
  • Brainstorm possible course of actions you can undertake
  • Evaluate the potential actions and choose the best option that can solve the problem
  • Implement the plan and assess its effectiveness

Problem solving questions are designed to test your technical competencies and ability to process information & solve complex problems. However, problem solving interview questions vary across industries, so you can never be sure of what you would be asked .

What Do Problem Solving Interview Questions Test?

An organization intent to see the steps you take to solve a business problem. The idea behind asking problem solving questions is not just to check if you can answer correctly but to see your approach to solve a complex problem.

Every company encounters problems and challenges; therefore, the main goal of any organization while hiring is to find a solution-oriented candidate who is equipped to deal with problems.

They are looking for candidates who gather information, analyze the situation, and make a logical decision that could potentially solve the problem.

You can also come across behavioral questions around the challenges you faced in your past professional experiences, how you dealt with them, and your learning from the experiences.

Let us have a look at the reasons why hiring managers ask problem solving questions:

  • To evaluate if you are a result-oriented person
  • To see your problem solving skills or expertise process
  • To assess your ability to solve a business problem in future

You can use the problem solving interview questions to your advantage, provided you prepare yourself well and convince the recruiter that you are an excellent fit for the job position.

What are the Tips to Answer Problem Solving Interview Questions?

Let us have a look at a few crucial tips to answer any problem solving questions:

  • Make your answers relevant

It is crucial to make your answer relevant to the job position you are applying for. The employer wants to assess how you react to a stressful situation and if you can be relied upon during a crisis.

  • Be Honest

You should avoid giving out any false information during an interview to prove your candidacy. If hiring managers see through your lies, it can backfire. Therefore, it is always recommended to give honest answers .

  • Portray yourself as a strong team player

Providing concrete examples during an interview of how you have dealt with any conflicts at a workplace in your past can be helpful to showcase your communication and collaborative skills. Use the problem solving interview questions as an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills.


What are the Examples of Problem Solving Interview Questions?

A few examples of problem solving scenarios and tips to answering them are mentioned below:

Example 1:

Q1. Describe a situation where you encountered an unexpected problem, and how did you deal with it?

Tip: The hiring manager wants to test your problem solving skills during an unforeseen event. Through your answer , showcase how you planned your course of action and worked as a team rather than acting autonomously.

Example 2:

Q2. How did you overcome a threat in a potential problem, and what was the outcome?

Tip: This question is designed to see if you focus more on opportunities or red flags. Frame your answer to show your ability to see positivity at the time of uncertainty.

Example 3:

Q3. Give an example of a situation where you had to change your course of action at the last moment, and what were the results?

Tip: This question is framed to examine your flexibility and decision-making skills in stressful situations.

Example 4:

Q4. How did you deal with a conflict with a colleague in the workplace?

Tip: This is to analyze how you interact with colleagues during disagreement or disputes and how you overcome differences. Briefly explain the issue in a constructive way and how you resolved it effectively.

Example 5:

Q5. Describe your weakness that you had to overcome as part of improving your performance at work?

Tip: This question is to test your self-awareness. The answer to this question should reflect your willingness to improve by acknowledging your shortcomings.

These tips can help you prepare for creative interview questions. If you are confused about any problem-solving examples, do not hesitate to ask for more information or take some time to process the data and then answer.

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Key Takeaways

  • Ask questions to the hiring manager in case of any doubts and listen to their response actively.
  • Describe your problem-solving process to the interviewer and explain the how and why of your course of action.
  • Provide examples from your past to showcase yourself as a great team player and exhibit your leadership skills.
  • Make your answers relevant to the job position to display how you can contribute to organizational growth.

If you have any queries, you can reach out to us at team@hiration.com.