How to check if your candidate has problem solving skills

These questions allow the candidate to show off their skills in problems solving. If you agree that the best hires are those who can first identify problems accurately and then are able to solve them, these questions can be effective.
The following three questions work best if you pre-test them on a current top performer to ensure that they can quickly understand the problem and that they can in a short period of time outline a solution to it.

1. How will you identify problems and opportunities on the job? 

“The best new hires rapidly seek to identify problems that must be quickly addressed in their new job. So, please walk us through the steps of the process that you will actually use during your first weeks to identify the most important current issues/problems, as well as any possible positive opportunities in your new job.”

2. Can you identify the likely problems in this process?

“Our employees should be able to quickly identify problems in our existing processes, systems, or products. So please look over this outline of one of our processes and identify the top three areas or points where you predict that serious problems are likely to occur?” (Hand them a single page showing an existing process or system related to this job that you already know to have flaws).

3. Solve a real problem that you will face.

candidate-have-solving-problems          “Because we need to know your capability for solving the actual problems you will face in this job, we would like to see how you will go about solving a real problem. “Please walk us through the broad steps that you would take in order to solve this problem that will be on your desk on your first day.” (Then hand them a half sheet with bullet points outlining the existing problem).

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