Problem Solving Skills: Examples on How to Demonstrate them

Problem solving skills

Most jobs are primarily about identifying and solving problems consistently and effectively. That is why businesses appreciate problem-solving skills in job seekers for nearly every position.
Companies rely on people who can deal with unforeseen obstacles, detect persistent issues, and propose good solutions. You’ll be one step closer to securing a job if you can demonstrate your problem-solving skills on your resume, cover letter, and during a job interview.
We’ll go through problem-solving techniques, ways to develop your problem-solving skills, and examples of how to demonstrate your problem-solving skills during a job hunt.

What are Problem-solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills assist you in determining the root of a problem and devising an appropriate solution. Although problem-solving is frequently classified as a distinct skill, various related skills contribute to this ability.

These skills are essential in all careers at all levels. As a result, efficient problem solving may necessitate industry or job-specific technical skills. A registered nurse, for example, will need active listening and communication skills when working with patients and effective technical knowledge of diseases and drugs. As part of the solution, a nurse will need to know when to consult a doctor about a patient’s medical needs.

Types of Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is considered a skill in and of itself, but it is backed by many other skills that can assist you in becoming a better problem solver. These skills are classified as problem-solving skills in a variety of ways.

#1. Problem Identification and Analysis

The first step is to recognize a problem and figure out what is or what is causing it.

You can’t start solving a problem before you recognize it. Sometimes you will see the problem for yourself, and other times you will be told about it. Both techniques of discovery are critical, but they necessitate slightly different skills. The following factors may play a crucial role in the process:

  • Listening actively
  • Data examination
  • Research
  • An examination of the past
  • Communication

#2. Make a list of potential solutions.

You know what the problem is, and you may even know why it exists, but what do you do now? Your next step is to brainstorm some solutions.

Most of the time, the first solution you think of will not be the best one. Don’t fall victim to knee-jerk reactions; instead, use some of the approaches listed below to provide you with solution possibilities.

  • Brainstorming
  • Creativity
  • Prediction
  • Forecasting
  • Decision-making
  • Knowledge/understanding of the subject
  • The flow of the process

#3. Optional solutions are evaluated.

Now that you have a plethora of solution alternatives, it’s time to sort through them and start discarding some. There may be some that are silly, awful, or that you know will never be adopted. Throw them out and concentrate on the possible winning ideas.

This is most likely where a true, natural problem solver will shine. They can intuitively build together mental scenarios and try out ideas to see their benefits and drawbacks. If you’re still honing your skills, consider writing down the benefits and disadvantages on a skill of paper.

  • Data examination
  • Creativity
  • Decision-making
  • Prioritizing
  • Prediction
  • Forecasting
  • assessing and weighing

#4. Implementation of the solution

This is your “do something” step. Once you’ve picked which road to take, it’s time to check if you were correct. To make this phase work for you, you’ll need a lot of people and management skills.

  • Communication
  • Dependability
  • Teambuilding
  • Troubleshooting
  • Follow-Through
  • Leadership
  • Believability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Project administration

#5. The solution’s evaluation

Was it a viable option? Was your strategy successful, or did it fail miserably? To accurately measure effectiveness, the evaluation process may necessitate a significant amount of labor and review. The following skills may be required for a full examination.

  • Listening actively
  • Data examination
  • Research
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Customer care
  • Responses to feedback
  • Troubleshooting
  • Flexibility

Let’s see examples of how to apply these problem-solving skills in the next section.

Examples of Problem-Solving Skills

To effectively address a problem, you will most likely need to employ several different skills. Here are a few examples of problem-solving skills:

#1. Research

Problem-solving necessitates the use of skill. As a problem solver, you must be able to identify and completely comprehend the root cause of the issue. You can start gathering more information about a problem by brainstorming with other team members. You can consult more experienced colleagues, or learn through online research or classes.

#2. Analysis

The first step in solving any problem is to assess the circumstance. Your analytical skills will assist you in understanding difficulties and developing effective solutions. During the research, you will also require analytical skills to assist distinguish between effective and ineffective ideas.

#3. Decision-making

Finally, you’ll have to decide how to handle any problems that develop. You may be able to make a choice swiftly at times if you have industry experience. Those with less experience in their profession can benefit from strong research and analytical skills. There may be instances when it is necessary to spend some time to design a solution or to escalate the issue to someone more competent in solving it.

#5. Communication

You will need to know how to explain the problem to others when identifying potential solutions. You will also need to know which communication channels to use when seeking support. Once you’ve found a solution, communicate it clearly to eliminate uncertainty and make implementation easier.

#6. Dependability

One of the most critical skills for problem solvers is dependability. It is critical to solving difficulties as soon as possible. Employers place a high value on personnel they can rely on to find and then implement solutions as quickly and efficiently as feasible.

How to Enhance Your Problem-Solving skills

There are various approaches you can take to improve your skills as a problem solver. Whether you are looking for work or already have one, increasing your problem-solving skills and related competencies will help you stand out as a candidate and employee.

#1. Increase your technical expertise in your field.

Depending on your sector, having great functioning technical knowledge may make it easier to solve challenges. Additional schooling, training, or practice can help you get greater technical expertise.

#2. Look for opportunities to solve problems.

By putting oneself in new settings, you increase your chances of encountering opportunities to problem solve. You may discover that there are chances to volunteer for new projects in your existing role, on another team, or for another group outside of the office.

#3. Perform practice exercises

When learning to strengthen your problem-solving skills, practice and role-playing can be valuable strategies. Online, you may obtain expert practice books for your business as well as problem-solving scenarios. Experiment with different ways to solve the challenges and see whether your prospective solutions are viable.

In customer service, for example, you can encounter a scenario such as, “How would you handle an upset customer?” or “How do you handle a customer’s request for a refund?” Practicing how you would handle these or other scenarios that are prevalent in your business. It might help you find solutions quickly when they come on the job.

#4. Examine how others overcome problems.

You may have coworkers who are good problem solvers. Observing how your coworkers solve challenges can help you develop your own skills. If at all feasible, ask a more experienced colleague if you might observe their skills. Asking pertinent questions might help you apply them in your own work.

How to Highlight Problem-Solving skills

Displaying your problem-solving skills on your resume and cover letter might assist employers in immediately determining how you might contribute to their team. You should only include problem-solving skills on your resume if they are particularly relevant to the position you are looking for. Customer service, engineering, and management professions, for example, would be excellent candidates for incorporating these skills.

Problem-solving skills on a Resume

You may showcase your problem-solving skills on your resume in various places, including the “skills” part, the “achievements” section. You can do so by providing specific examples of problem-solving skills in your “experience” section.

Instead of simply writing down the more generic word “problem-solving,” you might wish to mention significant problem-solving skills that you have in the skills area. For example, you may mention specific technical skills that would assist you in problem-solving, as well as soft skills linked with problem-solving, such as your research abilities or decision-making abilities.

Keep in mind that stories have a lot of power. Keep concrete examples of times when you solved a problem in mind. This will not only help you with your resume. It will also help you answer interview questions such as, “Tell me about a time when you overcome an obstacle.”

Problem-Solving Skills on a Cover letter

Your cover letter is also a great place to comment on your problem-solving skills. You can offer a brief example of a time when you effectively solved a problem. Alternatively, you may identify a problem that this potential employer is trying to solve and explain how you plan to solve it.

For example, if a job offer states that the company is searching for someone to help boost its social media presence, you can outline important ways you can help increase brand awareness through various social media channels.

Your skills will serve you well throughout your career. From resume to application, interview to job tasks, your ability to successfully address problems as they emerge will make you a great asset on the job and a highly sought-after candidate.


Problem-solving skills assist you in determining why an issue occurs and how to overcome it. It’s one of the most important skills that businesses look for in job candidates. The first steps in problem-solving are to identify the issue, develop solutions, execute those solutions, and evaluate their efficacy. Because this is a skill that most companies value, emphasize it on your resume, cover letter, and in interviews.

Problem Solving Skills FAQ’s

Why is problem solving an important skill?

Individuals and organizations both benefit from problem-solving since it allows us to exercise influence over our surroundings.

What makes a good problem solver?

Good thinkers are also good problem solvers. They have less drama and difficulties, to begin with, and they are less emotional when confronted with a problem. To solve problems, good problem solvers employ a blend of intuition and logic.

What is the difference between problem solving and critical thinking?

Problem Solving focuses on a specific scenario, but Critical Thinking is an intentional and reflective approach to looking at objects or events.

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