3 Problem Solving Questions Every Interviewer Asks - And How to Answer Them!
Interviews can be daunting, and you want to be prepared for all types of questions you might be asked.
Here are a few problem solving questions recruiting companies ask, and ways to answer them.
"Tell Us about The Time You…"
Past behavior is often used as a predictor of the candidate’s future behavior. This is why interviewers often ask “Tell me about a time when…” questions which are meant to gain insight into how the applicant will react to a difficult situation.
These questions also have a second purpose; they allow recruiters to see how you used your problem-solving skills in a past experience where things were going rough.
Example: “Tell me about a time when you were met with an unexpected challenge at work”
To best answer such a question: break it down into three parts. Talk about what went wrong, what you did about the situation, and the outcome.
Highlight your ability to deal with a problem, giving concrete reasons about your chosen course of action. If possible, choose a situation that gave you a valuable lesson.
"How Would You Handle…"
Another tactic interviewers use to assess how an applicant may perform under specific conditions is the “How would you handle…” questions.
This is followed by a specific hypothetical situation to see how the candidate would respond in those. How they imagine troubleshooting their way out of that situation tells a lot about their problem solving skills and practicality.
Example: “How would you deal with a team member who isn’t doing their share of work?”
Get specific about the situation instead of giving a general answer. By framing the situation as you answer, you get to free yourself from responding in a vague and generalized manner and instead focus particularly on the situation at hand. Add detail to make your response a solid one.
"Chicken or the Egg"
These are the sort of questions you go in completely unprepared for, because of how bizarre and irrelevant they sound.
For instance, you wouldn’t expect a manager of a restoration company to ask you about the chicken-or-egg debate or test you regarding the number of Android users in the city. However, they may ask you a question so out-of-the-blue that you’re left dumbstruck for a few minutes.
Example: “In an argument between Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper, who would win?”
These questions are meant to see how quickly you respond to bizarre situations, and how logically you pave your way through them. You don’t need an accurate answer for these! Take a deep breath, repeat the question, and calmly try to assess the situation using logic. The interviewer wants to see your ability to get to the heart of the problem as quickly and effectively as possible, and thinking rationally will allow you to manage a good answer.
Be prepared for unexpected and difficult questions recruiters send your way! By keeping a clear head, dwelling on logic and using past experiences to back you up, you’ll ace all your interviews!