Proving Your Problem Solving Skills!

As a job seeker, your biggest problem to solve is “how do I get a job?”

But one of the best ways to solve that problem is to prove to employers that you have what it takes to solve their problems, too!

Your ability to figure out how to workaround or remove obstacles that your business is facing is a highly valued skill. Being a good problem solver means you are independent, helpful, and can make you a highly sought after worker.

Today, we’re going to solve the problem of how you prove your problem solving skills, so that you can impress on your next application!

Types of problem solving skills

Our intelligence, and emotional intelligence, shows up in a variety of situations at work.

Some of the most obvious ways are:


  • Ability to communicate: problem-solving isn’t always something we need to do ourselves. Being able to communicate effectively, listen to input, and explain your process to others is how you solve problems as a team.
  • Ability to research: not every problem is exactly how it first seems. You’ll need to be able to research the root cause and diagnose the issue before you can remedy it.
  • Ability to be creative: new problems can require new solutions. You’ll need to be creative with your approach and think outside of the box when the standard solution just isn’t going to cut it.
  • Ability to be patient: problems require patience. Sometimes you’ll need to spend a lot of time analyzing and addressing a problem, and you’ll need to be able to do so without getting frustrated or distracted.

Proof on your resume

Between your resume and your cover letter, you have plenty of time to prove yourself on paper!

In order to keep your resume relevant enough to impress recruiters (who by necessity have very short attention spans for each applicant), you’ll want to start by looking closely at the job posting.

Ask yourself, “what types of problems would the person who gets this job need to solve?”

Try to think of the daily problems, not the more sporadic ones. For example, if you’re applying for a customer service position, then you would likely need to be able to solve interpersonal problems, like frustrated customers.

In that case, you would want to customize your resume to speak more to your communication skills when it comes to problem solving!

Look for keywords in the resume that describe the problem solving skills they’re looking for, and be sure to include them in your relevant job experience.

Proof at your interview

With your more relevant resume, you’re sure to get a chance to prove yourself to recruiters at an interview!

Now some interviews may have opportunities for you to show off your problem solving skills through prepared tests. These could be solo and more structured, such as doing a test on a computer. But they could also appear more open-endedly during your face-to-face interview.

A common interview question that sets you up for a chance to prove your problem solving ability is “tell me about a time you encountered a problem at work and how you resolved it”.

Always go in prepared with your answer!

You’ll want to keep it short and sweet. Don’t get caught up in the details, or trying to set up too much background info.

You’ll want to approach your answer using the STAR method:

  • Situation: Describe the situation. What was the conflict?
  • Task: Describe what you wanted to accomplish. What task did you set out for yourself?.
  • Action: Describe your actions to solve the problem. What did you do to fix the situation?
  • Result: Describe the outcome. What was the result of your actions?

By keeping to this structure, you’ll prove that you have all the requisite skills to analyze problems, adapt your behaviour, and achieve real-world results!


Looking for more resume, interview, and overall job seeking tips?

Stay tuned for weekly articles intended to guide you!

Or better yet, book your free 1-on-1 appointment with META today to get hands-on guidance tailored to your exact career needs!

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