You know, as an employer, that soft skills are a big part of what makes an employee successful. Among the most important are things such as communication skills, the ability to organize, and critical thinking. But what is critical thinking, and how exactly do you measure if someone is a critical thinker. Here are a few interview questions you can use to decipher if your candidate is a critical thinker during your next interview.
Curiosity is a big part of critical thinking. A candidate has to want to discover the answer to be able to dig deeper and solve a problem. You can ask them about a time when they were concerned about a problem at work and how their curiosity allowed them to find the solution.
“Tell me a time when you wanted to know more about the project. How did you go about researching?”
A critical thinker also needs to be perceptive. It is possible that someone can blunder through a problem and find a solution; however, someone who is a critical thinker will always be observing and watching for how things are going together. You want to talk to them about the way they observe things on the job.
“Tell me about a time when you saw a problem before anyone else. How did you handle that?”
Self-awareness is also a big part of critical thinking. A person has to be willing to stand back and think about their role in the situation. They’re willing to be accountable if it’s determined that their role in a situation required action. Critical thinking doesn’t just have to be about solving problems; it’s also about their role in their success.
“Tell me about a time when you had to change the way you approached a client or coworker to better communicate.”
Of course, a critical thinker also has to be able to put themselves into other people’s shoes. Empathy is about seeing situations as others see them. Someone who brings empathy to the table isn’t just a good critical thinker, they will be able to bring people together and offer help when needed.
“Tell me about a time when you saw someone struggling. How were you able to help?”
Finally, a critical thinker is someone who has analytical skills. They can think through situations methodically and pay attention to detail. Analytical thinking isn’t just about numbers, it’s also about being able to see different situations and calculating probability.
“What data supported your success in your previous position?”