Job Interview Question – Tell us about a problem you needed to solve at work and how did you solve it?

By asking this question the job interviewers are trying to discover how you deal with problems and what you do when confronted by a problem. To prepare for this you need to think about any problems you have had to solve at work and thing about what you did to solve this problem.

To start with you need to find a problem that you have had to solve at work. Having to make a hard decision is not the same as having to solve a problem, so make sure it was something that you had to come up with solutions to.

Talk about the process you go through or the method that you use to solve the problem. The process usually goes like this:

  1. Gather information
  2. Consult others
  3. Think about it and come up with some solutions
  4. Choose the solution that you think is best
  5. Implement the solution

The first two points are similar to making a decision, but the difference is that you need to come up with solutions to the problem. At the same time you are going through the process, remember to keep in contact with the people or companies affected by the problem. This shows that you are doing something to solve the problem and it keeps the interested people informed about the progress in finding a solution.

English aside:

  • Decisions are where you need to make a choice between two or more things.
  • A problem is something that needs to be solved – making a decision is not an example of a problem.

For a problem they want to know how you solve the problem.


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