Top 10 Problem-Solving Interview Questions And What To Look For In The Answers

by Sandra Jenkins

Top 10 Problem-Solving Interview Questions And What To Look For In The Answers

When you’re recruiting, you want to ensure you’re hiring individuals who are problem solvers, able to overcome challenges with creativity and efficiency. But how can you spot this skill during an interview?

At, a leading pre-employment assessment platform, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 problem-solving interview questions to help you identify these critical thinkers. Our platform even includes a comprehensive problem-solving test in our library, allowing you to assess your candidates effectively.

1. Can You Describe a Situation Where You Faced a Significant Problem at Work? How Did You Solve It?

This question requires candidates to recall a past scenario showcasing their problem-solving skills. Look for detailed responses that outline the problem, the steps taken to solve it, and the outcome.

2. How Do You Approach a Problem That Needs a Quick Solution?

This question tests candidates’ ability to think on their feet. The ideal answers would demonstrate a structured approach, even under pressure.

3. Tell Me About a Time When You Used Your Creativity to Overcome a Problem.

Creativity is a key element in problem-solving. Seek out candidates who provide answers that show out-of-the-box thinking and innovative solutions.

4. Can You Describe a Complex Problem You’ve Faced and the Process You Used to Solve It?

The candidate’s answer will reveal their ability to handle complexity and their methodology for breaking down and addressing difficult problems.

5. Have You Ever Made a Risky Decision to Solve a Problem? What Was the Outcome?

Risk-taking can be part of problem-solving. Look for balanced answers that show prudence in assessing risk versus reward.

6. How Do You Determine Priorities When Solving a Problem?

This question will help you understand the candidate’s ability to prioritize and manage their time effectively while solving problems.

7. Can You Give an Example of a Time When You Used Data or Analytics to Solve a Problem?

Data-driven problem solving is critical in today’s digital world. The response should indicate the candidate’s ability to leverage data effectively.

8. How Have You Handled a Situation Where You Could Not Find a Solution to a Problem?

Problem-solving also involves recognizing when a problem can’t be solved and figuring out the next best steps. Look for resilience and strategic thinking in the candidate’s response.

9. Describe a Time When You Anticipated a Problem and Implemented a Preventative Measure.

Proactive problem-solving is a valuable trait. Answers should demonstrate foresight and preventive action.

10. How Do You Handle Feedback When Your Initial Solution to a Problem Fails?

This question assesses the candidate’s openness to feedback and ability to iterate on solutions. Look for humility and adaptability in their response.

Uncover Top Problem Solvers with Hirenest

Sifting through candidates to find those with exceptional problem-solving skills can be challenging. That’s where comes in. With our comprehensive problem-solving test in our library, you can quickly and effectively assess this vital skill in your candidates. Visit us today to learn more about how we can help you streamline your recruitment process and find the top problem solvers for your team.

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