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Table of contents
1.
Introduction 
2.
Mastering Problem-Solving Interview Questions
2.1.
Need for the Problem Solving Interview Questions
3.
10 Good Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers
3.1.
1. Describe a situation where you faced Criticism in your previous company.
3.2.
2. Tell me about a time when you took an initiative on a project.
3.3.
3. How would you handle it if there is a dispute in the team between yourself and a teammate or a manager?
3.4.
4. Tell me about a time when your company assigned you a task, but you didn't have the necessary skills to complete it.
3.5.
5. Describe a situation where you faced an unexpected situation at work and how you handled it.
3.6.
6. Tell me about a time when you had to handle a cross-functional team.
3.7.
7. Tell me about a time when you overcame your weakness at work.
3.8.
8. Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it.
3.9.
9. Describe a time when you had to motivate your unmotivated team members.
3.10.
10. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
4.
Do's and Don'ts for answering the Problem Solving Interview Questions
4.1.
Don'ts
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is a Problem Solving Interview Question?
5.2.
What is the key tip for answering the problem solving interview questions?
5.3.
Why do Organizations ask problem solving questions while interviewing?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024
Medium

Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers

Introduction 

Are you stressed about the interview with a big tech company? If so, you might be worried about your interview questions, which might become a turning point in your life. Companies design interview questions to gauge the problem-solving skills of the candidates. A good programmer is assessed on the basis of the problem-solving interview questions asked by the recruiters.

Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers

In this article, we will discuss the need for problem solving interview questions and go through some sample questions along with their answers. Let's Begin!

Also See, AEM Interview Questions 

Mastering Problem-Solving Interview Questions

In many interviews, employers check your ability of critical thinking and problem solving. The aim of the problem solving questions is to identify and measure a candidate's analytical skills, approach, and creativity to handle difficult situations. 

These questions help a company to understand how a candidate evaluates and solves a complex problem if they face it in the workplace.

Having strong problem-solving skills is a plus point for the candidates as well as for the company's benefit.

Some job positions that use problem solving questions are Business Analyst, Logistics manager, Operations manager, .NET Developer, and many more.

Need for the Problem Solving Interview Questions

Problem solving interview questions are needed to determine how candidates can react and address the work-related scenarios. The goal of the organization is to find how the candidates will be able to solve the problem that is likely to arise in the company.

Some skills that employers find in the candidates through problem solving interview questions are:

  • Problem-solving skills.
     
  • Analyzing and understanding the original problem.
     
  • Ability to handle complex situations.
     
  • Performance in unexpected situations.
     
  • Collaboration and Interpersonal skills.
     
  • Decision-making skills.
Mastering Problem-Solving Interview Questions

Before interviewing at a company, the best strategy is to do some research beforehand. And here are some basic examples of problem solving interview questions, along with the answers.


Click on the following link to read further: Java OOPs Interview Questions

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10 Good Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers

Let's understand the basic principles of giving the answers through some sample questions.

Good Problem Solving Interview Questions

1. Describe a situation where you faced Criticism in your previous company.

While answering this question, try to display yourself positively and your ability to handle constructive Criticism.

Ans: "In my previous company, I was told that my work was not up to the mark, and my customers have also pointed out issues in the product in which I was involved for a very long time, but I tried to listen carefully and saw how I could make changes that will give me good results.

This answer will help the interviewers to know your desire for growth in the career.

2. Tell me about a time when you took an initiative on a project.

This question will help the interviewer to judge your leadership skills, and willingness towards your work and new challenges. To answer this question you should showcase your ability to face challenges, and positive attitude.

Ans: “I was working on a project with three other members and I got to know that they don’t have experience in the skills required for the project so I took the initiative and led the project, and this was my first opportunity to do so.”

3. How would you handle it if there is a dispute in the team between yourself and a teammate or a manager?

  • To handle a dispute between teammates or between you and your colleague is the best question to showcase your leadership skills, calmness, and positive attitude. In this situation, one should be calm, observative, and impartial. 
  • This question will give an idea to the interviewer regarding your communication skills, leadership skills, and willingness to be fair and respectful to your teammates.

Ans: "I was leading a project in my previous organization, where one of my teammates felt that he was not provided with adequate information that would take him on a back foot in that particular project.

I got to know that he was having issues with me, so I decided to speak with him individually on a chat and discuss with him the issues he was facing because of me, we both tried to come up with a solution, and eventually, we had no problems between us".

4. Tell me about a time when your company assigned you a task, but you didn't have the necessary skills to complete it.

Through this question, the interviewer is trying to understand how you face challenges and solve them.

This question will give an idea to the interviewer regarding your desire to learn new things and can work out of your comfort zone.

Ans: "While doing a project with my teammates, certain skills were necessary for that project, and my teammates already had some idea about it, but I didn't have any knowledge regarding that. With little training, I tried to figure out most things myself and do my best to accomplish it".

5. Describe a situation where you faced an unexpected situation at work and how you handled it.

Before answering this question, quickly recall an incident that will be relevant to the position you are applying to.

This question will help the interviewers to know that you can handle the heat.

Ans: "In my previous organization, there were many customers who were having issues and doubts related to the product, and I was told to meet the deadlines in a short period of time, which was kind of an impossible task, but I challenged myself and tried to boost some confidence in the teammates and eventually we are able to meet the deadlines."

6. Tell me about a time when you had to handle a cross-functional team.

A cross-functional team means people from different departments having different skill sets work together to achieve a common goal.

Ans: "While we were working on a big project, there were different departments that were involved where I had to divide the responsibilities between every team member equally as I was the team leader.

I make sure to communicate clearly with my teammates, whether it's through the common channel or face-to-face meetings. Different people had different skills, which helped us to achieve the task ahead of schedule".

7. Tell me about a time when you overcame your weakness at work.

While answering this question, be honest with your weakness and provide an example of how you have improved your weakness at work.

Ans: "My weakness is public speaking; it makes me nervous in front of so many people. And I think it is an essential skill in my field. So in my previous organization, I spoke at the team meetings regarding the progress of the project and discussed the deadlines and goals with other team members to combat this problem. This practice helped me a lot, and I eventually got better."

8. Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it.

In this question, briefly explain your mistake and tell about what you learned from it and how you improved it. And while talking about what you learned from your mistake, try to put emphasis on the skills and qualities you gained.

Ans: "When I became manager for the first time, I tried to take all the responsibilities myself, doing all the day-to-day operations. I learned that best managers need to communicate effectively with others so that the work is done efficiently. Since then, my work has improved a lot as a manager and led me to a new path.”

9. Describe a time when you had to motivate your unmotivated team members.

In this question, the interviewer expects how you motivate other people than yourself.

Ans: "In my recent internship, we had too many changes in our project after spending so much time on it. My team members were exhausted and didn't feel like working on that project again. So I decided to have a fun kind of event in a meeting where every other team member gets to know each other in a better way, and we played some games also to cheer each other on. This is how we were able to meet the deadline on time."

10. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.

In this question, try to show your respect nature towards your seniors and the positive side, no matter if it was a difficult disagreement. 

Ans: “There was a time when my team was working on a project and my boss suggested we take a shortcut on one of the key features to save time. However, I disagreed with this approach because I believed that shortcut would ultimately compromise the quality of the project. I tried to present my concerns and suggested alternative solutions to meet our deadline without sacrificing the integrity of the project. In the end, my boss agreed with me and we were able to deliver a high-quality product on time.”

Do's and Don'ts for answering the Problem Solving Interview Questions

To answer the problem solving interview questions, you need to evaluate the solutions and select the best implementation. Here are some tips for you:

Do's for answering the Interview Questions
  • Use Hypothetical Scenarios - If you are not experienced with that particular problem till the interview process, then use the hypothetical scenario to answer, which is better than no answer.
  • Use of Examples - Support your answer with examples that are related to the role you appear for.
  • Detailed Solution - Always try to get into more detail about the solution rather than just giving a generic answer.
  • Focus on the Problem - First, analyze the problem question and then carefully choose examples that match the argument.
  • Focus on your capabilities - You should be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and try to align them with your answers.
  • Avoid raising red flags - You should be the hero of your stories whenever possible and avoid the example that you caused or negatively contributed to.
  • Decision-making skills - Most questions or situations require a team effort, and your previous experiences with your teammates help you reach decisions and prove your point in the interview.

Don'ts

Some of the red flags that a candidate should avoid are:

Don'ts for answering the interview questions
  • The solution to a problem should be satisfying and focused on the original subject.
  • If you are struggling with the problem, then ask for more clarifications, but if you don't answer at all, then they would consider that you avoid dealing with such situations.
  • A generic answer will not provide much insight into the thinking process; try to dig into the problem by asking for more clarifications.
  • Candidates should give realistic answers that will help them to give more thoughtful answers.
  • A candidate should be able to work with other colleagues with accountability, but if they are unable to do so, then they are not the right fit for the company.

Check out the Amazon Interview Experience to learn about Amazon’s hiring process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Problem Solving Interview Question?

A problem solving interview question is a question that drives the candidate's past experiences and how they overcome difficulties in the workplace. Having strong problem-solving skills is a plus point for the candidates as well as for the company's benefit.

What is the key tip for answering the problem solving interview questions?

A key tip for answering the problem solving interview question is to provide examples from your past experiences in the workplace. Always try to get into more detail about the solution rather than just giving a generic answer.

Why do Organizations ask problem solving questions while interviewing?

Interviewers ask problem solving questions to understand the candidate's personality and how they can perform as an individual and as a team player. These questions help a company to understand how a candidate evaluates and solves a complex problem if they face it in the workplace.

Conclusion

Congratulations on finishing the blog! We have discussed Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers. We further discussed some examples of questions with answers and some tips to avoid blunders in your interviews.

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