Let’s face the reality of 21str century. Relying on Google and smartphones to answer each our question in an instant, and to lead us to any place of our choice, without a need to think, does not help with our intellectual capacities.

The impact of social media is also apparent, with young people struggling to start a conversation with a stranger, or to survive a day (or even an hour) without looking at the screen of their phone. Implications are clearly visible in the workplace. Most people won’t do anything unless you give them exact directions, and when they face a problem, they will ask Google for an answer…

But not everything can be found on Google, and technology cannot solve all our problems. Maybe it creates more problems than it solves. Hence it makes a perfect sense to ask job candidates about a problem they solved with a help of logic, and not with a help of their boss, or a search engine.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this question. Do not forget to read also the notes below the answers. They will help you to understand which answer you should choose, and what to focus on while talking about this situation in an interview.

 

7 sample answers to “Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem” interview question

  1. In my last job of  a purchasing agent I had to decide between two suppliers. One had a better offer in terms of price, but they were new on the market, and I could not find any references from their customers. The second supplier was an established company, operational for more than 10 years. They charged 10% more for the same product, but I could contact some of their business partners and verify the quality of the products, and timely delivery. I decided for a second company, because we were looking for a long time partner, and, considering all the criteria I set for my selection, they were simply a more logical choice.
  2. Working as an HR manager, I remember leading a very close interview for a job of an office assistant. All three shortlisted applicants met the expectations, and they all showed right attitude to work and motivation. But I had to choose one only, and did not want to decide according to my personal preferences. I decided to conduct one more rounds of interviews, and invited more managers to participate and ask questions. At the end each of them should pick the candidate they liked the most, citing the reasons. This really helped me to solve the problem, since they had a different perspective on the issue, and basically all of them chose one particular candidate.

 

  1. This is my first job application, so I do not have much experience with solving problems at work. However, I solved a lot of mathematical problems with the help of logic, during my lessons in statistical analysis and time row analysis. I must say that I enjoy thinking and using logic to solve a problem, instead of asking someone for help or looking for the most simple solution on Google. That’s not a way to grow intellectually, and to become the best version of yourself, which is a goal I aspire to.
  2. I was missing some key data while trying to forecast the trends in sales for Q3 last year. Back then I was working as an analyst for a big retail store, they were operational both offline and online. There was a lot of unpredictability in the market, with the pandemic and everything else happening. But we had to have some forecast, because everything starts from there–the orders of products, the recruitment of temporary staff, and so on. I decided to look at the historical data, and apply the same model for analysis which we applied a year before. I do not know if it was a right choice, because I left the company, and do not have the access to their numbers anymore. But sometimes the most important thing is to make a decision, even though we miss some important information.
  3. I’ve been using logic all the time in work. In my opinion, there is no place for guesses in healthcare. I always relied on the proven models of examination and diagnosis of illnesses, and followed the patterns and protocols to the point, adhering to strict principles of validity. Of course it still happened that I made a mistake. But I am sure that working in this way, I minimized the number of mistakes. And that’s probably the most we can hope for…

 

  1. I had to decide about a certain production process in work. I had on my table three proposals from the employees who worked with the machine, each of them suggesting something different. I validated their arguments, asked them additional questions, and also made practical tests, on a small scale. Eventually, considering pros and cons of each suggestion and the test results, comparing them with the expectations of the top management, I choose one of the processes and we applied it on a large scale in the company.
  2. I used logic when decided about my field of study. To be honest, I was interested in a variety of subjects, starting with social work and ending with technology. But I also had some goals outside of work, things I wanted to afford, family I planned to start one day in the future. So I looked at the situation on the employment market, which positions are in demand, what is the average salary offer, and how the economy will likely evolve in the future. Considering all arguments, I eventually decided to study information technology. I think it was  good choice. If I manage to get this job with you, I will definitely consider it a great and logical decision.

* Special Tip: Now you know how to answer this one, but what about dozens other tricky scenario-based questions you may face in your interview? Check up to 10 premium answers to each one in our Interview Success Package:

You do not need previous working experience to have experience with problems

If you apply for your first job, you can talk about some problem you solved at school, or even in your personal life. Just think about it for a moment–we solve some problems our entire life, from the moment we are born till the moment we die.

Your attitude matters for the interviewers, and not the particular situation you narrate. If they see that you actually used your brain when facing a problem and didn’t opt for the most immediate solution, that you considered the arguments and weighted pros and cons, and did not decide intuitively, when they see that you eventually decided on your own and did not wait for someone else to tell you what you should do, they will be happy with your answer.

And it doesn’t matter whether you talk about job, relationship, or a lesson in school.

Use numbers to give your story some credibility

You can definitely make something up for your interview–many job seekers do the same thing. Interviewers do not have many options to verify the authenticity of your story.

However, if you talk about a problem vaguely, and do not mention many details, or if you say contradictory things while describing the situation, they won’t believe you. That would be a huge blow to your chances in an interview…

Think carefully about your answer. Write it down. Include some numbers, dates, details. Such things make it easier for the interviewers to imagine the situation you describe, and it will be also easier for them to believe you

Ready to answer this one? Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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