Regardless of your future place of work, you can always count with experiencing some problems in the workplace. Because we are people, we have conflicts, and things do not always work according to the plan. What I try to convey here is that it is completely normal to face issues at work, and you will face some questions related to them in your interview. The hiring managers may describe a particular problem and ask how you’d address it, or they may inquire about challenges you faced in your last job, or they may directly ask whether you consider yourself a problem solver. Now we will look at the last from the three questions.
Before we look at the 7 sample answers, I’d like to point out a few things here. As you can likely guess, it is good to at least suggest that you can solve some problems at work. But it doesn’t mean that you have to present yourself as someone who can solve everything, an employee colleagues call as soon as facing any issue. Of course unless you really are such an employee. In any other case, I suggest you to show some humility, and the right attitude. Let me explain.
While you cannot solve every problem, you definitely aren’t afraid of trying, of confronting the challenges. And when you cannot move forward, your do not mind admitting it, and asking others for help, because at the end of the day the most important thing is to solve the problem, and not who solves it… Keep this on your mind when talking about your problem solving skills in the interviews.
7 sample answers to “Are you a problem solver?” interview question
- I wouldn’t call myself a problem solver, but I am definitely not afraid to confront problems, and I won’t hide a problem I face at work. In my opinion, we should be realistic about our skills and abilities. I am still new to this world of accounting, and do not have enough experience to solve every problem on my own. And since I know it is important to avoid mistakes in my job, I prefer to admit not knowing something, and ask a more experienced colleague for help. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to eventually solve the problem. Whether I manage to do it on my own or need someone to help me is of secondary importance.
- I am a problem solver, or at least the experience from my last job demonstrates it. We faced many problems in the logistics. Lack of staff, poor performance of warehouse workers, delays in delivery and shipment, and so on, and so forth. The entire logistics department resembled a sinking ship when I got the job. But I did what I could. I applied several changes to management, and I also suggested new recruitment strategies. We managed to get new people onboard, and little by little we addressed each problem, and saved the ship from sinking below the surface. I want to stress that it was a team work, and I would not solve these problems without the help of my excellent colleagues. But I was the one managing the daily operations in the warehouse, and hence you can call me a problem solver, because I was responsible for the entire operation.
- This is my first job application, and it is hard for me to say how I will react when confronted with problems. One thing is certain though: Workplace without problems does not exist, and I definitely count with facing them. I hope to be ready, and to contribute to the solution of the problems with my ideas, hard work, and commitment. But only time will tell how well I fare in such situations.
- I consider myself a problem solver, and I have a specific strategy when it comes to problems. My main goal is to identify each problem early. In order to do so, I typically try to have a short one-on-one with each of my subordinates daily, making sure that everything goes according to the plan, and checking a few key performance indicators. Identifying problems early, before they grow into something much bigger, helps me to address them quickly and effectively. And I hope to continue in the same manner in my new job.
- I am not a problem solver, but I also try not to create any problems at work. Being attentive to the needs and feelings of my colleagues, I rarely have conflicts in the workplace. What’s more, I am extremely responsible and always take care of all my duties. Hence problems do not occur often. If they did occur in my last job–and it happened on a couple of occasions only, I let the solution to my manager, because they were responsible for it.
- Working in process engineering, I solve problems every day. Because I am never satisfied with the effectiveness of the production process, and always look for some improvement. And I must say that I enjoy solving problems and puzzles of this type, which are mostly technical problems. And while I do not have much experience with interpersonal problems for example, I definitely won’t bury my head in the sand when facing one…
- I would love to become one in the future. At this stage of my professional career, however, it is all about trying and failing, eventually learning something new, and perhaps being able to solve the problem better next time, or solve it on my own. But I can assure you that I do not struggle to admit making a mistake, or not knowing how to proceed, and ask one of my colleagues for help. So eventually I play a part in the solution of the problem, though not always the principal part…
Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- Are you a risk taker?
- Are you a perfectionist?
- Tell me about a time when you found a simple solution to a complex problem.