Questions about decision-making and judgment skills are asked in many job interviews, however most likely to be asked in interviews for executives positions and positions that require making quality decisions, such as: project managers, customer service, medical, finance positions and many more.
We all make decisions every day – People follow basic logical process for making decisions. We all view issues in (each on his own) unique angle, though there are some who have exceptional natural abilities…
When asking questions about your decision making skills, the interviewer is looking for the method/s you use to reach a decision.
Are you a good decision maker?
You have to realize that in reality different forms of decisions are ok for different cases. In an interview, it is your time to demonstrate that you have a balanced thinking process and, if required, you are able to make quality decisions assertively but never too impulsively.
Here are some questions that can be asked:
Can you tell about any past critical situation in which you had to make an immediate decision? Give an example of a situation in which you had to make a decision when you didn’t have all facts available. What process do you follow for making decisions for these different circumstances and were you satisfied with the results?
The examples that you give should show how resourcefulness and initiative you are.
Many a times, we make decisions based on instinct having incomplete data. However, though the word is not ideal, an individual who possesses good logical and analytical skills will make high-quality decision when he takes the following procedure:
- Using available info – Based his process on the information to hand.
- Analyzing – Knows how to break complex issues into components.
- Critical Thinking – Considers the outcomes of varying course of actions.
- Investigating – Can take conclusions from different sources of data.
- Acting – Can make decisions without complete info. Doesn’t hesitate to act and able to make sound decision patiently, but in a timely manner.
- Responsibility – Does not put off making a decision to avoid conflict, ‘getting it wrong’. Not afraid to take risks to come to a solution. Doesn’t delay actions because of outcomes or reactions.
- Studding – Demonstrate a lesson learned ability in order to progress.
At the end of your answer, it is a good time to tell that you are not always perfect. Admit your fallibility:
“There were times when some decisions had turned out to be wrong, however I am sure, that these wrong decisions have made a mark on me so that I learn from it to avoid the same mistakes again. “
Do you always take the process on your own? On what occasions do you recognize that you need other’s help? Do you always use established procedures to ensure that the correct action is taken?
It is ok to tell that you to ask for advice and information when you are unable to get it by yourself as you are always looking for the best decision.
You also have to talk about your ability to take hard decisions (sometimes initiatives or creative ones) independently if required. You seek for being practical when assessing multiple, complex or contradictory data in order to reach the right decision.
Show that you understand Cause and Effect and during the decision-making process you are able to evaluate the relationship between short-term consequences and long-term gains.
Critical Thinking Interview Questions
Critical thinking is known as the high level of decision making process.
The interviewer may ask you to define the meaning of critical thinking and to assess the importance of it to the decision making process. He may also present an issue and will want you to identify point of views, classify approaches or analyze a theory within this issue.
He will want to observe your knowledge of using thought processes – taking an issue and structure your analysis in a balanced way.
How to answer these questions:
First let’s define the term – Critical thinking allows us to take control of our thinking rather than letting it become hijacked by mindset, assumptions and bias thus to understand the pathway and inputs that the thinking employs. It is the best way to approach problem solving with a level of detachment that permits a thorough and balanced analysis.
Critical thinkers take the time necessary to make excellent decisions rather than choosing to make fast, good-enough decisions. They seek first to understand and to find out what they do not know before reaching conclusions (or judgment) so as to make more effective decisions as a result.
Critical thinking is questioning. It requires practicing. Therefore, Show that you are questioning the process’s elements you are using.
You can talk about instances from your past when you had to base your actions and judgments on the competent assessment of relevant reasons/evidence and how you’ve monitored each route – way of thinking.
Way of thinking (or reasoning) is always based on the information gathered. Critical thinker must ask himself ‘upon which information am I basing my reasoning? Have I checked facts and refreshed my data?’ he never takes things for granted and that is what you have to demonstrate during the interview.
‘Solving a Problem’ Interview questions
Problem solving job interview questions can be formed in any work related case that the interviewer will present to you asking you to analyze it and suggest resolutions.
Further reading: Case Study Interview Questions
Similar to the decision making questions, the interviewer may also want you to tell about any real challenging problem that you had experienced in your previous job trying to assess your performance.
How do you go ahead when it comes to solving a problem?
The interviewer will want to hear the logic that you use to solve a problem along with the outcome that you are able to achieve. Do you know how to collect data systematically and use well organized/accurate analysis methods to make decisions? Can you handle a position that requires anticipating and resolving issues frequently?
Do you possess the quality of being decisive?
It is recommended to tell a success story from your background. You can also how you narrow the options to make a decision, such as:
- Writing down ideas about possible causes
- Looking for related causes in order to group together symptoms of bigger problems
- Studying these groups of causes
- The real cause (to the problem in question) becomes readily apparent
- Devising a route to getting a resolution.
Refer also to Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers.