Prepare to describe how you solve problems: During interviews, be ready to describe situations you encountered in previous roles, the processes you followed to address the problems, the skills you applied, and the results of your actions.
The following is a general problem-solving process that characterizes the steps that can be followed by any discipline when approaching and rationally solving a problem.
Once a solution is implemented, the best problem-solvers have systems in place to ascertain if and how quickly it’s working.
This way, they know as soon as possible whether the issue has been resolved or, alternatively, whether they’ll have to change their response to the problem mid-stream.
As you explain your thought process, use the steps listed above (from analyzing the cause to assessing the effectiveness of your interventions).
Or, share an example of a problem you solved in a previous role. As a nurse practitioner, my primary responsibility is to use my problem-solving skills to diagnose illnesses and develop treatment plans.
With each patient, I analyze their medical histories, their symptoms, and their potential exposures to different illnesses to determine if we can pin down a diagnosis immediately or to see, alternatively, if we need blood tests.
I then develop a care plan and, if warranted, perform follow-up calls to check on the process of recovery.
When I was first hired as a paralegal, I inherited a backlog of 25 sets of medical records that needed to be summarized, each of which was hundreds of pages long.
However, at the same time, I had to help the attorney prepare for three major cases, and there simply weren’t enough hours in the day.