Posted in Management Best Practices
Is "Chief Problem Creator" a key position you need to fill?
Didn't think so.
Employers like you want to hire people who solve problems – not create them. Regardless of industry or functional area, hiring managers want employees who can:
- Look beyond "symptoms" to identify a problem's root cause.
- Think creatively when a solution is not immediately apparent, rather than giving into frustration.
- Identify appropriate steps to solve problems.
- Implement the solutions they design.
Not surprisingly, hiring great people starts with great interview questions and the right assessments. The next time you need to hire a proven problem-solver, try one of these:
Interview questions to gauge problem-solving abilities
Behavioral interview questions operate on a simple principle: a candidate's past behavior is the best predictor of his future behavior. So when interviewing, customize these critical-thinking and problem-solving interview questions to suit your available position:
- Explain a situation where you faced a complex problem. What did you do?
- How have you anticipated or prevented problems in the workplace?
- Have you ever suggested a better way to perform a routine task more efficiently? If so, explain.
- Tell me about a problem you were unable to solve personally. How did you handle the situation and what was the outcome?
When a candidate responds, look for evidence that they were able to: diagnose the underlying problem; systematically troubleshoot; think creatively to identify potential solutions; persevere through successful implementation; and learn from the experience to ensure it wouldn't happen again.
Assessments to gauge problem-solving abilities
If you don't have the budget for sophisticated hiring assessments, a simple Google search will yield thousands of online resources you can use as a starting point. Here are three examples:
- This 16-question self-assessment from MindTools is based on an 8-step problem-solving model and includes a detailed explanation of results.
- This free test of analytical skills from 3SmartCubes determines how well a candidate is able to use and deduce new information.
- About.com's "Test Prep" section contains a 4-level LSAT Analytical Reasoning Quiz to help gauge an individual's problem-solving and deduction abilities.
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