Interviewers will often ask you to give an example of when you solved a problem in the workplace. Problem-solving is an essential part of any role, and employers want to know you have the initiative to tackle problems head on.
Read on for the best examples of problem-solving in the workplace.
- Covering for a sick colleague
- Working to achieve a tight deadline
- Dealing with an unhappy customer
- Resolving conflict between colleagues
- Spotting process inefficiencies
- Resolving technical issues
- Researching competitors to outshine them
What’s the STAR method?
The STAR method is a 4-step technique to structure your interview answers. First, you outline the Situation (the job you were working in and when). Next, you detail the Task (the difficulty you were faced with). Then, you talk about the Action you took to overcome the problem. Finally, you describe the Result (what you achieved).
7 best examples of problem-solving at work
1. Covering for a sick colleague
When a colleague is off sick, this can cause disruption to any business. Can you think of a time where you covered for a sick colleague, or organised your colleagues to share the workload?
2. Working to achieve a tight deadline
Deadlines come with most jobs. So being able to demonstrate how you successfully worked to a tight deadline will impress the hiring manager. Whether you worked late or worked well as part of a team, these are great examples.
3. Dealing with an unhappy customer
If you’re interviewing for a customer-facing role, it’s great if you can talk about a time when you dealt with an unhappy customer. This will be sure to show you have great listening and communication skills, as well as problem-solving!
4. Resolving conflict between colleagues
Sometimes colleagues have very different ideas about how something should be done. Having an employee who is able to bring colleagues together and find a compromise is an incredible asset to any company.
5. Spotting process inefficiencies
Processes are the backbone of any successful business. And employees who are on the frontline have the best insight as to how effective these processes are. If you can share a time when you made a process more efficient, employers will be intrigued to see what you can do for their company!
6. Resolving technical issues
Technical issues happen all the time, whether your computer randomly switches off or your Excel formula isn’t adding up. Having the ability to troubleshoot technical issues is a great quality to have.
7. Researching competitors to outshine them
Every company has to stay ahead of the competition. This might mean you’ve brushed up on your knowledge of your competitors to be able to better pitch customers. Or perhaps your research enabled you to make product improvement suggestions.
Questions about problem-solving are one of the most common interview questions because you’ll be sure to encounter problems in any job. Companies value employees who have this skill so be sure to prepare a few examples of workplace problem-solving as part of your interview preparation. And most importantly, don’t forget to use the STAR method to make your answer as impactful as possible!