Critical-thinking Interview Questions

Use the below-given critical-thinking interview questions to find out how candidates assess complicated situations and if they can reach sensible decisions.

Why do you need to assess candidates’ critical-thinking skills?

Critical-thinking skills allow candidates to assess situations through reasoning to reach logical decisions. Candidates with critical-thinking skills prove beneficial for the company, as they use an independent mindset to find ways to improve procedures.

Critical thinkers are great assets in all roles and teams. They are:

  • Creative: They suggest innovative solutions.
  • Unbiased: They don’t allow their emotions to affect their decision.
  • Consistent: They are star performers who analyze the situation before acting.
  • Responsible: You can rely on them to make tough decisions.

Challenge candidates with critical-thinking skills to share examples where they used their critical thinking for the betterment of the company. Also, give them realistic issues related to the role. Ask questions like “How would you explain Virtual Reality to a 5-year-old?” to check candidate’s way of thinking.

Try to keep your interview questions as job-related as possible. Usually, it is not important to check whether the answer is right or wrong. Puzzle questions will allow you to check how candidates behave outside their comfort zone.

Following critical-thinking interview questions will assist you in identifying candidates with great potential for future leadership roles. You can also include competency-based and problem-solving questions in the interview, in order to find the best candidate for your company.

Critical-thinking interview questions

  • Share about a time you had to decide without complete information. What was your approach?
  • During an important presentation, you notice an error in the report submitted by your manager, but the manager is not at the presentation. How would you handle this?
  • Tell me about a time when you convinced your seniors to implement a different process for better results.
  • While working on a project with your team if you are unable to reach to an agreement about the next step. What would you do to ensure you choose the right direction and get your colleagues onboard?
  • What is the best sales technique: Increase rates for higher revenues or lower rates to improve client satisfaction?

How to assess critical-thinking skills in interviews?

  • Use hypothetical examples and scenarios from candidates’ past experiences to know about their mindsets. Candidates’ analytical way of thinking shows that they can make logical decisions.
  • When problems occur, employees generally have to come up with a solution immediately. Look for candidates who are good at both fast and good-decision making.
  • Find candidates who have previously made changes to methods or implemented new processes. There are signs of professionals who look for ways to improve results, unlike candidates who like to stay in their comfort zone and keep following the standard methods.
  • Candidates who are passionate about problem-solving are more likely to effectively manage stressful and challenging situations on the job. During your interview process, look for candidates who show zeal and don’t easily quit when pressurized, even if they find it hard to instantly reach a decision.

Red Flags

  • They give obvious answers: Candidates who give very obvious answers to your tricky questions are more likely to approach challenges casually and avoid using critical-thinking skills to suggest the best solution.
  • They avoid issues: If they don’t try to solve the issue, they will probably keep procrastinating when something goes wrong or ask someone else to take over the situation. Asking for help during difficult situations is perfectly fine, but avoiding issues shows irresponsible behavior of a candidate.
  • They assume things: Employees who assume things generally jump to biased and rushed conclusions. Look for candidates who give logical reasons to justify their decisions.
  • They don’t check facts: If you give candidates a hypothetical problem and they don’t ask further questions or details, it is a sign they don’t take information into consideration when analyzing the problem. A critical thinker always researches data for accuracy before using it to suggest a solution.