Tough Interview Questions: Solve This Problem


This comes from an article in The article is called, “7 Rules for Job Interview Questions That Result In Great Hires.”  in the article, Dr. John Sullivan points out that there are mistakes firms make with interviewing and hiring. He encourages people to recognize that the ability to solve this problem is one of the leading predictors of success on the job.

So, he poses this question.  Provide them with a description of an actual problem that they will face on their 1st day.  “Walk me through the broad steps that you would take to solve the problem.”

Before asking this question, before the interview, the interviewer has taken some time to identify certain basic expectations they have for answering the question.  So, for example, it’s important to recognize that an individual would gather data, consult with the team or the customer, identify success metrics, and such.

Another thing I tend to think of is that this is a variation of the case study interview question, except your face to face with the case.  As a result, think in terms of asking about the resources that you have available to them.  How large a budget exists?  All the meta-questions that define the terrain for yourself in stepping into this new solution.  

So, for example, as I said, in the article, they talk about gathering data, consulting with the team and customers, identifying success metrics, what kind of budget, what’s the timeframe for work, who are the people I’m working with, do they tend to be open or closed in how they communicate. There are lots of different things that, from a case study, you need to draw in from then in order to answer the question well.

So, I just want to remind you don’t forget that has these questions and then start looking at solutions and options.  But, the goal from their standpoint is to get a sense of how you think, how you can impact their bottom line, how you can help this department be more effective.  

You can’t do that unless you know more and that’s really what this is designed to accomplish.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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