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Problem Solving Interview Questions

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Need to practice your Problem Solving skills for an upcoming job interview? Try these Problem Solving interview questions that test logical reasoning, issue and problem resolution, numerical reasoning, and other skills. We’ll provide feedback on your answers, and you can use a hint if you get stuck.

These Problem Solving interview questions are examples of real tasks used by employers to screen candidates for a variety of job roles, including managers, support agents, salespeople,  and others that require analysis and solutions for difficult and complex problems.

1. Album Sales

Logical Reasoning Zero-sum thinking
   
Easy  

An eagerly awaited new album has been leaked several hours before its official release. Listeners are now able to download the album for free.

How will this affect album sales?

   


2. Horse Race

Logical Reasoning Appeal to probability
   
Easy  

Dan put a large bet on a horse. However, a day before the race, the horse was injured.

Select which of the following statements are true:

(Select all acceptable answers.)

Dan will not win the bet.
The horse will not take part in the race.
Dan may win the bet.
The horse may recover before the race.
   


3. Printer Problem

Issue Resolution Customer Service
   
Easy  

The customer you are speaking with needs help solving a relatively common problem with his computer printer. Early on in the conversation, you realize he is not at home and can't provide the model number and other information you normally need to process this request. How do you proceed with the call once you discover this information?

(Select all acceptable answers.)

Direct the customer to look for the answer on the company’s website when he is at home and has access to the printer.
Establish a time for you to call the customer back when he has the appropriate information.
Find a similar product and provide the customer with related answers.
Use your product knowledge to ask probing questions and see whether you can determine the information you need to answer his questions.
   


4. Argumentative Essay

Verbal Reasoning Most effective summary
   
Easy 

When writing an argumentative essay, it's very important to establish credibility with the audience. Providing inaccurate or false information is a surefire way to lose credibility with the reader. Once the essay’s credibility is lost, the reader will be less likely to believe other statements even if they are backed up by facts.

Select the statement that most effectively summarizes the above text:

   


5. Postcard

Logical Reasoning Attribute substitution
   
Easy  

A postcard and a stamp together cost $1.50. The postcard costs one dollar more than the stamp.

How much does the stamp cost?

$ 
   


6. Rainy Days

Logical Reasoning Appeal to probability
   
Easy  

It has rained continuously for 15 days. Tomorrow, an important football match is being held in an outdoor stadium.

Select which of the following statements are true:

(Select all acceptable answers.)

If the match is held, the players will get wet.
Last week was rainy.
The players may be wet tomorrow.
Tomorrow will probably be a sunny day.
   


7. Sunburn

Logical Reasoning Conjunction fallacy
   
Easy  

In the middle of the summer, around 2:00 p.m., Agathe fell asleep in a swimsuit on a beach in Greece.

Select which of the following Agathe is most likely to experience:

   


8. CAD System

Problem Resolution Sales
   
Easy  

You are a salesman for Dynacad Industries. Dynacad’s products are computer-aided design (CAD) systems that are sold into a variety of industrial companies. Though you had CAD experience in a previous job, you have been with Dynacad for 14 months and as of yet have not generated much business.

You are under pressure to produce when suddenly you are assigned a promising account that had been the responsibility of Jack Cutting. Jack had to retire suddenly because of severe health problems. The order that Jack was working on was for Dynacad’s largest and most expensive system, and would amount to a sizable deal for the company.

As you reviewed the customer’s needs and the model being proposed, you realized that this system is overly large and complex. However, the system you think would be a better fit for the customer costs far less than the larger, proposed system. What do you do?

(Select all acceptable answers.)

Since you are new to this deal and your track record at Dynacad isn't great so far, defer to Jack's expertise to achieve a safe win for you and a profitable outcome for the company.
Meet with the customer to discuss a smaller system that could more closely meet their needs.
Meet with the customer to discuss their needs and, without sharing your analysis of the pending order, seek to either verify or eliminate your concerns.
Meet with your direct supervisor and your company’s VP of Sales, and collectively decide how to proceed.
   


9. Age

Numerical Reasoning Linear systems
   
Easy  

How old is John if, in 38 years, he will be 3 times as old as he is today?

 years old
   


10. Paper

Verbal Reasoning Most effective summary Newspaper excerpts
   
Easy  

Carefully read the following excerpt from an article on paper production:

With the recovery rate of used paper for recycling approaching 70 percent in the United States and Europe, and approaching 80 percent in Japan, to keep up with our demand for paper we need to continue using fresh fiber as well as recycled, according to the premise set forward in a new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Detailing the reasons why fresh fiber combined with recycled is important for a single integrated wood fiber system, the report examines the “complementarity” of using both and discusses the functions of different types of fibers and the issues related to both recycling old fiber and sourcing fresh fiber. In 2012, 400 million tons of paper and paperboard were produced and consumed globally, which is double that in 1985, notes the report. As the population continues to expand and standards of living increase, this number is expected to climb by another 40 percent by 2028. While many would advocate for cutting down on paper use in the first place, in the face of global demand the most sustainable fiber may have to be the next best thing. But therein lies the rub: finding adequate quantities of said fiber will be the challenge of the global pulp and paper industry.

Which statement most effectively summarizes the text?

   


11. Profit per Employee

Numerical Reasoning Chart lookup
   
Easy  

In which year did the company make the largest profit per employee?

A chart showing the profit per employee.

   


12. Real Estates

Numerical Reasoning Chart lookup
   
Easy  

The chart below shows how many properties an employee sold last month:

A chart showing how many properties each employee has sold in the last month.

What was the total number of properties sold last month?

   


13. Referendum

Verbal Reasoning Inductive reasoning
   
Easy  

In a forthcoming referendum, voters will be asked whether the minimum wage should be increased. The opinion polls show that a small majority of these voters are in favor of keeping the current minimum wage. Younger voters are more inclined to support a rise in the minimum wage, whereas older voters tend to support no change.

Targeted polls of business leaders, scientists, and lawyers showed that the majority supported a rise in the minimum wage.

Select all the statements that can be concluded from the above text:

(Select all acceptable answers.)

It is more likely that the results of the referendum will reflect the views of older voters.
A scientist will probably be more inclined to vote for a rise in the minimum wage than an older voter.
A business leader will probably vote in favor of keeping the current minimum wage.
Younger voters will probably be more inclined to vote for a rise in the minimum wage than lawyers.
   


14. Tires

Numerical Reasoning Table lookup
   
Easy  

If a tire scores less than 5 in any category, it fails the test. Which tire that passes the test has the highest average score?

Conditions
Dry Wet Snow
Desert 10 4 1
Ocean 6 8 6
Rainforest 6 10 6
Glacier 4 9 10
Prairie 7 7 7
   


15. Apples

Numerical Reasoning Linear systems
   
Easy  

John has some apples, and two brothers, Jack and Jim.

John eats 3 of his apples and splits the remainder equally between himself and each one of his brothers. Jack and Jim both eat half the apples they have been given. Together the three brothers have 4 apples left.

How many apples did John start with?

   


16. Car Dealer

Numerical Reasoning Chart lookup
   
Easy  

The charts below show the number of cars John sold last year and the profit per car he made.

A chart showing the number of cars sold and the profit per car.

How much did John earn last year?

$ 
   


17. Economic Recession

Verbal Reasoning Critical thinking
   
Easy  

Germany's economy avoided falling into recession during the final three months of last year. This means that it avoided two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, which is the definition of a recession. This was a small, but positive, surprise for all analysts who, after the July-to-September period that featured a 0.3% decline, predicted the continuation of this negative trend.

Reasons for slower growth last year include a slowdown in the global economy and a weaker car sector, with German consumers less willing to buy new cars amid confusion over new emission standards.

Joe Johnson, senior financial analyst, told the BBC that US tariffs on EU car exports, which US President Donald Trump has threatened, could have a major impact on Germany. He expects that, if this happens, Germany will fall into recession.

What can be concluded from the text above?

If US brings tariffs on EU car exports, Germany will fall into recession.


Germany’s GDP growth was negative during the third quarter of last year.


New emission standards made an impact on German customers.


If GDP growth during the first quarter of this year is negative, Germany will technically be in recession.

   


18. Income

Numerical Reasoning Table lookup
   
Easy  

Which product line saw the largest absolute increase in income (dollar amount, not percentage) in the second half of the year compared to the first half of the year?

Product line Quarters
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
C# $26,000 $27,000 $33,000 $15,000
JavaScript $20,000 $25,000 $30,000 $18,000
HTML/CSS $1,000 $5,000 $7,000 $1,000
PHP $12,000 $11,000 $14,000 $13,000
Ruby $4,000 $4,000 $5,000 $6,000
   


19. Sick Leave

Verbal Reasoning Deductive reasoning Understanding rules
   
Easy  

The company's sick leave policy says:

This company’s sick leave policy applies to all our employees who have been with our company for more than six months. Our employees can take sick leave only when they want to recover from a sudden illness, accident, or injury. They can use up to 10 days of sick leave for these purposes per calendar year.

Upon completion of each 12 month period of employment, employees will receive 3 additional days of sick leave for every completed 12 month period of working for the company. Unspent additional sick leave days cannot be transferred to the next 12 month period. For example, an employee who has worked for the company for 10 years would receive 30 additional days of sick leave, or 40 in total.

Keep in mind that employees who become sick should either use their sick days or work from home to avoid spreading illnesses.

Fill in the blanks, with numbers, for the cases below. Enter the number 0 for cases when an employee doesn't have the right to sick leave, according to the policy.

  • Emily, who has worked for us for almost half a year and still hasn't used any sick leave days, has the right to use up to sick leave days this year.
  • Faith, who just started her 3rd year of working for us and has not taken sick leave until now, had a car accident. She has the right to use up to days of sick leave to recover from her injuries.
  • Vanessa, who started to work for us a little over a year ago, took 2 days of sick leave last year. She was Faith's passenger in the car accident. Vanessa has the right to use up to days of sick leave to recover from her injuries.
  • Edith, who began working for us 8 months ago, has the right to use up to sick leave days for a volunteer adult care program at a local hospital that lasts the whole day.
  • If Gabrielle, who has worked for us for 20 months, and who took a 10-day sick leave immediately after her 6-month trial period had finished, gets ill tomorrow, she will have the right to use up to   days of sick leave.
   


20. Cats

Verbal Reasoning Deductive reasoning True statement
   
Hard  

catCats are common pets throughout the world, and their worldwide population exceeds 500 million.

Cats are the second most popular pet in the U.S. by number of pets owned, behind freshwater fish. Although cat ownership has commonly been associated with women, research has shown that men and women in the U.S. are equally likely to own a cat.

They are ranked as the third most popular pet in the U.K. by number of pets owned, after fish and dogs, with 8 million being owned.

What can be concluded from the text above?

(Select all acceptable answers.)

More cats are kept as pets in the U.S. than dogs.
Cats are one of the three most popular pets in the world.
Women and men are equally likely to own a pet.
More than 8 million fish are owned as a pet in the U.K.
   


21. Shares

Numerical Reasoning Percentages
   
Hard  

A brother and sister own equal parts in a company. The minority shareholders have the remaining 12,000 shares or 30% of the company.

What is the number of shares that the sister owns?

   


22. Car Dealer Profit

Numerical Reasoning Chart lookup
   
Hard  

The charts below show the number of cars John sold last year and the profit per car he made.

A chart showing the number of cars sold and the profit per car.

In which quarter did John make the largest average profit per car?

   


23. Fence

Numerical Reasoning Mechanics
   
Hard  

It takes Billy 4 hours to paint a fence by himself. It takes Suzy 6 hours to paint the same fence by herself.

How long will it take them if they start working on the same fence together and neither of them stops until the fence is completely painted?

   


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