Every company wants managers who can efficiently identify, define and resolve problems. But analytical aptitude is tricky to assess during job interviews.
Don’t automatically assume thatapplicants with top references and experience automatically have great analytical skills. Instead, find out for yourself by asking some of these questions during the interview:
1. Explain a time when you came up with a simple solution for a complex problem. How did you do it and what was the outcome?
2. Have you handled a project that involved analyzing large amounts of data and other information? Describe it.
3. Explain a situation that required you to analyze a difficult problem quickly. What was the result?
4. Describe a workplace problem that you anticipated. What action did you take?
5. Have you ever found a way to accomplish a routine task more productively or efficiently? Explain.
6. Describe a work assignment that frustrated your analytical skills. Why?
7. Explain a situation that required you to gather information from more than one department. How did you evaluate the information?
8. Tell me about a time you created a solution to a problem that proved to be wrong. What would you do differently?
9. What was the worst on-the-job dilemma you ever faced? What did you do about it?
10. About what percent of your work time do you spend analyzing issues?
Online evaluation tools
In addition to these questions, consider using online tests that evaluate analytical skills. Some examples:
- About.com: two free Law School Admission Test (LSAT) analytical reasoning quizzes.
- Smartcubes.com: free timed test of 12 questions.
- Expertrating.com: a 20-question test for $9.99. Users can retake the exam for $5.
- Waldentesting.com: a free three-question quiz.