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Asked by KelliMae on September 10, 2017

Is the ability to think critically and solve problems more valuable to a potential employer than their education or work experience?

Answered by Alisha, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on September 12, 2017

Critical thinking and problem solving are valuable skill sets to have but they are not excluded from your education and work experience. Think about times while getting your education that you had to work in teams and on projects. How did you deal with diversity and conflicts that arose? These are all great examples of problem solving and critical thinking and can also be beneficial in interview questions as well.

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Answered by Jenna, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on November 21, 2017

I wouldn't say that critical thinking and problem solving skills are more important than education or work experience. Education and work experiences are "hard skills," where the critical thinking and problem solving skills are more of the "soft skills".  The two different sets of capabilities complement each other.
During an interview, candidates should give examples of where in their education and work experiences those soft skills were applied and utilized.  In this way, a candidate can showcase all of their abilities, as well as past experiences in interview questions. Typically, interviewers are looking for candidates to connect the dots between their own experiences, the skills they gained and/or improved, and how they see them fitting into the role and organization as a whole.

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Answered by Christianna, Hiring Expert at BNY Mellon, on April 2, 2018

Thank you for asking this question. Critical thinking, problem solving, education and work experience are equally important. Education and work experience present you with the opportunity to think critically and solve problems when faced with assignments and tasks. When asked competency-based interview questions, a strong response would include examples of a relevant situation you faced either in your education and/or work experience and explain how your critical thinking and problem solving skills contributed to a successful result.

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