3 Examples of Critical Thinking for the Resume

critical thinking examples

Critical thinking is one of the most desirable soft skills. Along with research skills, adaptability skills, and conceptual skills. Critical thinking takes one of the highlights.

The reason this is one of the most desired soft skills is that it shows your future employer that you know how to think on your feet. And that you know how to adapt to business conditions quickly.

For example, in many interviews, such as Amazon and Facebook, critical thinking interview questions are often asked. That question is, “How many ping-pong balls fit inside of a standard-sized limousine?”

This question is designed to get the interviewer to think on their feet. And while it may seem like a math question, the answer is about how to deduce the potential answer. For example, you won’t know the size of a stand limousine. So you’ll have to guess. And you won’t know the diameter of a ping-pong ball off the top of your head. So you’ll have to guess. And you may have questions like, “Is there a driver inside?” which help show your critical thinking skills.

But if this interview question isn’t asked in your interview, how can you show your employer that you have critical thinking skills?

It’s easy. You can bring up situational examples in both your resume and cover letter which speak to scenarios where you’ve had to use critical thinking.

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When Can I Bring This Up In An Interview

There are many great times to bring up critical thinking situations. For example, one of the best times could be when the interviewer asks you, “What can you bring to this company?”

This is a question that gives you a lot of potential avenues. The answer they’re looking for is mostly up to you to decide. And while you should read our guide on answering that interview question specifically, you can surely use a situational example to both answer their question and show off critical thinking.

3 Examples of Critical Thinking to Use

Here are five great examples of situations you can show where you had to use critical thinking.

Example one

“There was a time when a colleague of ours was out of town. And entirely off the grid. We couldn’t contact them. And one of our clients called, asking us to make immediate changes to a part of our website which our colleague was responsible for. We couldn’t do anything, it felt. It seemed like we were stuck. But what we did was actually call our hosting provider and confirmed our account ownership, got access and made changes. This was an idea I had on the spot. The hosting provider was happy to help but it wasn’t an immediate thought of ours to call them.”

Example two

“I recall last year there was a deadline quickly approaching. And we had a few missing pieces to our work. It mostly illustrative and creative work. One of our freelancers was out of town. And we learned that we missed this work a day or two before the deadline. We had to think quickly. What I did was call all of the illustrators that I knew and asked if they could help us. Out of the five that we called, one could help. And we paid them double for their overtime. This solved the problem.”

Example three

“I recall last year, it was around the end of Q4, our team started to go into a panic. We lost a lot of data that was part of our annual reporting. We felt crippled, stuck, scared, and didn’t know what to do. This data was essentially financial information. Not private information, but reporting that we needed in order to end the year. We didn’t know what to do. The team needed to act fast. I found a way to recover some of the lost data through a hardware backup that was made on someone’s computer. But it still required us to do a lot of data entry work. So we quickly hired a few virtual assistants to help us with this process and overcame this block. Both the solution of finding the hardware backup and hiring the virtual assistants was a thought I had, that we acted on. The problem was resolved in under 24 hours.”

If you're curious about what other skills might be important to bring up in your interview. They would consist of:

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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