As an interviewer, it’s essential to assess a candidate’s critical thinking and problem-solving abilities during the hiring process. These skills are essential for success in any role and will become increasingly important as the job market continues to evolve. However, it can be quite challenging to evaluate these abilities through traditional interview questions.

So, in this blog post, we will explore some effective interview questions that can help you assess a candidate’s critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Ask Them To Think Outside The Box

One way to evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking abilities is to ask them to think outside the box. This can be done by asking open-ended questions such as;

  • What has been the most high-risk decision you’ve made in your career?
  • Have you ever had to take a big leap of faith in your personal or work life?
  • If we wanted to take this business to another planet, how could we achieve this, and who would our market be?

The more weird and wonderful the interview questions, the more likely you’ll get the candidate to think outside the box and use their imagination to provide an entertaining answer. These types of questions will also help you to understand whether they can quickly come up with innovative solutions.

 Walk Me Through Your Answer

Another way to assess a candidate’s problem-solving abilities is to ask them to walk you through their thought process. This can be done by asking questions such as;

  • How did you approach the situation?
  • How do you go about identifying the root cause of a problem?
  • How do you think this would be received by the whole team?
  • Do you see any challenges or obstacles?

These interviewer questions will give you a better understanding of a candidate’s problem-solving abilities and the methods they use to tackle challenges.

Give Me 2 Solutions & The Pros & Cons Of Each

Additionally, it’s essential to evaluate a candidate’s ability to analyse and evaluate information. This can be done by first giving the candidate a scenario and a dilemma or problem at work.

Now ask them to pitch you not one but two different ways to resolve the problem. This helps you to evaluate whether they can put themselves in different shoes and think from someone else’s perspective. By asking them to weigh up and explain the pros and cons of both solutions, you can clearly see whether they’d be able to do this during a team meeting at work.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will help your business to adapt and address challenges at work and analyse different strategies and the best possible outcomes.

Ask Thought-Provoking Interview Questions

Rather than take a formal approach to an interview, when it comes to getting to know a person, it’s best to have a laid-back open-ended discussion. And one way to achieve this is to ask thought-provoking interview questions. These types of questions are designed to get the candidate to think more deeply and provide insight into their perspective on a particular topic. Questions such as:

  • What’s the meaning of life?
  • Is a strong ego a good or bad trait?
  • Where do you think happiness comes from?
  • Do you think the educational system is outdated?

These types of questions will help you to evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking abilities and give you an indication as to whether they are open-minded or rigid in their approach.

Give Them A Problem In The Interview

Last but not least, to really put a candidate’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the test, present them with a real problem during the interview. This could be as simple as your pen doesn’t work, the WIFI is down, or something more unique such as you didn’t prepare for the interview as you thought it was next week. Now pay attention to how the candidate responds.

Do they allow you to figure out the solution, or do they jump to the challenge to find a solution? This is the most effective way of testing someone’s authentic reaction to a problem and will quickly filter out those who need someone to lead them and give them the answer and those who are born leaders able to innovate and adapt. Which type of candidate would you hire?