Analytical Thinking & Problem-Solving

The ability to gather relevant information and identify key issues from a base of information; relating and comparing data from different sources; identifying cause - effect relationships, drawing conclusions

Behavioural indicators include:-

Gathering Information

  • Recognise the need to obtain more or higher-quality information.
  • Gather correct amount of relevant information.
  • Ask appropriate questions of self and others to obtain relevant information.
  • Use appropriate methods and sources for obtaining information.

Identifying Issues and Problems

  • Recognise underlying issues and problems.
  • Recognise trends, associations, and/or cause-effect relationships in data.

Organising Information

  • Relate pieces of information.
  • Integrate information and data to make their meaning and implication clear.
  • Draw conclusions based on information and evidence.

Do I Have This Skill?

You'll need to be able to prove to employers that you actually have the skills they want for the job. In applications and interviews they will ask 'competency questions' that begin with phrases such as 'tell me a time when ............. ' or 'give me an example of .............. ' Your answers are the evidence that you have what it takes.

To find out how well developed your skills are already you could try this simple exercise:

Rate yourself on each of the behaviours:

  • 1 = I do this very well. I am consistent and successful in it
  • 2 = I am good at this. With some practice I can make it perfect!
  • 3 = I am getting better, but still need to work on this a bit more.
  • 4 = I am not particularly good at this - yet!

Revisit this exercise several times through your years of study - you'll want to have as many skills as possible at 1 and 2 before you apply for graduate jobs.

And, think about all the life situations you've been in - university, work, leisure, travel, social - and identify incidents and examples from them that show that you have already used the skill.