Decision-making Interview Questions

Below are a few decision-making interview questions you can ask candidates. With these questions, you can test analytical and decision-making skills of candidates.



Why should you ask candidates’ decision-making interview questions?

Employees have to make simple as well as complex decisions almost daily. For example, Developers might need to choose between two themes, Designers may have to decide a color scheme and Recruitment Managers might have to choose between two or more shortlisted candidates.
Decisions both good and bad influence the entire company. Good decision-makers:

  • Analyze circumstances, consider available choices and evaluate pros and cons.
  • Use critical-thinking skills to reach sensible decisions.
  • Are able to stay calm under pressure.
  • Have a “problem-solving” attitude.
  • Help teams overcome hurdles.
Decision-making interview questions will assist you in identifying prospective employees with great judgment. Check how candidates analyze data and assume the result of each option before making a decision. Additionally, remember that often a creative decision that breaks from the norm could prove to be more effective and innovative than a standard approach.

Decision-making interview questions

  • Two team members often get into a fight with each other and disturb the balance of the team. What would you do in such situation?
  • Tell me about a time you made an unpopular decision. What type of feedback did you get and how did you handle them?
  • Do you generally make better decisions alone or with a group? Why? When do you generally need help?
  • When you are working with a team, do you prefer making decisions or take a step back and do what you are asked to?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to take a quick decision on an important issue.
  • While working with a team on a project, if you experience that some of the coworkers are not able to keep up the pace. What would you do to help them in meeting the deadline?
  • How would you deal with a valuable client who is very fussy and keeps changing project requirements?
  • Your manager asks you to suggest a new software to streamline work process. Which one would you suggest –one with more features but high cost or the second with poor reviews but reasonably priced.

How to evaluate candidates’ decision-making skills?

  • Give candidates hypothetical situations where they have to reach a sensible decision. Use realistic situations to check their decision-making skills for situations that are expected to happen in the office.
  • Look for candidates who ask follow-up questions as it is a sign that they are interested in knowing as many details as possible before reaching to a decision.
  • Professionals who reach a decision after a detailed analysis of pros and cons should be able to explain their reasons and choices clearly. Look for candidates who are confident about their decision.
  • At work, you don’t always get ample of time to solve an issue. The best decision makers create a balance between a quick and good decision.
  • Ask candidates to share about situations when they have made complex decisions at work to know about their approach. Team players are more expected to have taken everyone’s suggestions and inputs.

Red Flags

  • Track record of wrong decisions: If candidates don’t learn from their mistakes and keep repeating the same mistakes, they don’t understand the impact of a bad decision.
  • Ignorant of facts: The decision-making process involves taking all the information and facts into consideration. If candidates ignore the facts when answering your questions in the interviews, they are likely to make wrong decisions.
  • Uncomfortable/stressed: Employees in senior-level positions have to make complex decisions, like letting people go or setting deadlines and delegating tasks. Look for candidates who show they are comfortable and reliable enough to take responsibility for their decisions.
  • Not careful of consequences: Risk is attached to almost every decision; it can be small or big. Candidates who give shallow answers to hypothetical problems might not be aware of the consequences of their decisions.
  • One word answers: Candidates should be able to explain how they came to a decision. Following their gut and just choosing one the available options without backing their decision are red flags for their judgment skills.