Problem Solving

Problem solving skills are important to assess during the pre-employment stages of hiring. Use this test to assess a candidate's problem solving abilities.

  • What is a Problem solving skills test?

    A problem solving test enables you to determine whether candidates demonstrate the skills necessary to solve a problem successfully.

    The test evaluates individuals on their ability to identify problems, break the problem down into smaller categories and apply their analytical, logical, critical, and creative thinking to determine the best course of action in the given situation. Using these skills, candidates can then demonstrate their skills in resolving problems.

    The test is a timed test that covers common scenarios encountered in the workplace where individuals need to problem-solve. These include reading, understanding, and interpreting data to make logical inferences, prioritising and planning based on identifying related patterns and relationships, and adjusting and creating schedules.

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  • Why is a problem solving test so important when hiring?

    Problem-solving is an essential skill required in many roles, no matter the type of industry or level of seniority.

    Determining a candidate's approach to problem solving and proficiency in using the skills required to be an effective problem-solver is essential for recruiting the best candidates.

    Often, determining an individual's problem solving skills is difficult to evaluate through an interview, application form, or resume alone. Candidates may state they can effectively solve problems, but how can you be sure that they can use their problem solving skills effectively and in practice when in the workplace?

    The problem solving skills test overcomes this hurdle by providing you with an objective way to assess an individual's ability to solve problems.

    Given that the test uses work-based scenarios to help identify an individual's skill level in solving problems, the test also has a number of additional benefits for recruiters. These include evaluating an individual's skills crucial to problem-solving such as their analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and critical thinking skills when determining the best way forward in any given situation.

    Problem solving is a must-have skill for most candidates and one that is needed on a day-to-day basis for many roles. Due to this, the test can also be used in the recruitment process for several positions where the ability to identify problems, analyse and apply logical thinking is required to carry out the role successfully.

    Examples of such roles include:

    • Project managers
    • Project planners
    • Event planners
    • Hospitality Managers
    • Retail Managers
    • Administration Managers
    • Business Managers
    • Administration assistants

Sample Problem Solving question

You are working in a manufacturing company specializing in organic health and beauty products. For the last six months, you have been part of a team working on the concept of a new men’s shampoo to be added to the existing product range. With the help of a junior employee, you have been overseeing the market research and have just finished conducting a large number of customer focus groups. Unfortunately, the evidence is overwhelming that the concept as it stands will not be successful after all of the team's hard work. What would you do?

  • Facilitate a brainstorming session with the team to find a way to adjust the product in a way that addresses the focus group feedback.

  • Suggest to the head of product development that you could organize additional focus groups to get further information before recommending any changes.

  • Use this project as a learning opportunity by identifying ways to improve the idea generation process in order to ensure more successful products in the future.

  • Recommend the company finishes developing the product then offer a free trial to a group of customers to see if the feedback is consistent with the focus groups.

How to assess problem solving skills using our test

Our problem solving skills test asks a variety of questions that vary in difficulty level. Candidates who demonstrate strong problem solving skills should be able to answer most of the questions correctly.

The problem solving skills test provides valuable insight into a candidate's ability to effectively solve problems. The test is structured using multiple-choice questions: a familiar format for most test-takers, that allows for instant and objective scoring.

As well as the correct answer, there are typically 2–3 distractors, representing common misconceptions and mistakes. This helps make the test more challenging, so a candidate's ability can be measured more accurately.

Test scores are provided to the user and can be compared to other test-takers in your talent pool, to see how they perform relative to each other.

Each test has been thoroughly reviewed to ensure accuracy and validity in line with industry standards. It has been written, examined and edited by I/O psychologists and psychometric professionals. It has also been reviewed by a diverse sample of job seekers to check for any issues including sensitivity, face validity, fairness and accessibility.

This test is continually monitored so our team can optimize performance and regularly assess fairness issues.

Validated

Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).
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Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd

FAQs

How do you measure problem-solving?

There are many skills required to be an effective problem-solver. An individual's problem-solving skills can be measured by assessing their skill in first identifying a problem. Then, analyse the situation, break it down into separate components, critically evaluate, and finally apply logical thinking to solve the issue.

What types of problem-solving are there to test?

There are many types of problem-solving that recruiters can test. They include the ability to identify patterns in relationships and use this to solve problems. Other types of problem-solving cover organisational and planning issues, solving related numerical issues or adjusting and creating schedules based on problems that arise.

Who should be assessed for problem-solving skills?

Most roles in any industry require an element of problem-solving to be effective in day-to-day work activities. Examples of such occupations include those working in project management, business management, and the retail and hospitality sectors. It is worth remembering that problem-solving is a skill required at any level, not just in leadership or senior-level positions.

Are problem-solving tests difficult?

Problem-solving skills tests are designed to evaluate an individual's skill level in solving problems. Individuals must use their analytical thinking, critical thinking, and logical reasoning skills to determine the best course of action given the situation.

Problem-solving tests enable recruiters to get an objective understanding of an individual's skill in this area, allowing them to recruit the best candidates for their roles.

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Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA
Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA

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