Many positions in small businesses require a person to think beyond the routine. Analyzing the meaning of a situation or set of data means better service to the customer or more efficiency or profit for the firm. To test a candidate's ability to think in this way means a very detailed interview. One must ask questions that truly reveal whether an applicant has the analytical skills you are looking for.
Interview questions to assist in identifying analytical skills include:
- Describe a situation when you anticipated a problem. What, if anything, did you do about it?
- Give an example of when your diagnosis of a problem proved to be correct. What approach did you take to diagnose the problem? What was the outcome?
- Describe the most difficult work problem you've ever encountered. What made it difficult? What solution was implemented and how successful was it in solving the problem?
- What steps do you take toward developing a solution?
- What factors did you consider in evaluating solutions?
It is critical to your success to think through the potential challenges of the position you are seeking to fill. Then measure the candidate with questions such as outlined above. You will be rewarded with a much better hire and fit.