There are many definitions of problem solving - but at a basic level, it focuses on the ability to accurately assess a situation and arrive at a positive solution.
This particular skill isn’t restricted to a single sector, industry or role, though employers in the engineering and legal industries in particular tend to look for proficiency.
Consequently, questions about your problem-solving ability are commonplace in interviews.
Effective problem solvers are those who can apply logic and imagination to make sense of the situation and develop a solution that works.
Even if it doesn't prove as successful as you had hoped, resilience is important, so you can reassess the situation and try an alternative.
A good problem-solving process involves four fundamental stages: problem definition, devising alternatives, evaluating alternatives and then implementing the most viable solutions.
Questions about problem solving will typically arise within a competency based interview and will require you to demonstrate your particular approach.Strong problem-solving skills can be hugely beneficial for your career.In every sector, problems are inevitable and will arise in one form or another as you go about your day-to-day duties.The issues that you come across will often vary in complexity, with some situations requiring a simple solution and others demanding more thought and skill to overcome.Business managers will spend a lot of their time solving problems and consequently require their employees to be creative and intuitive when it comes to addressing them.For example, how you would deal with a colleague who was relying on you to do all of the work or falling short of a target.Although these aren't questions as such, they may be used by some recruiters to see how you handle unexpected changes.If this isn't an option, you should explore every avenue to try and contact them or someone in their team who could help.You are working on a project and halfway through you realise that you have made a significant mistake that may require you to restart the project to resolve it.Managers would far rather employ a member of staff who can take action to resolve a problem than someone who doesn't act and relies on someone else to think of a solution.Even if it isn't outlined as a requirement in a job description, many employers will still be evaluating your problem-solving ability throughout the application process.