Inductive Reasoning in the Workplace
Inductive reasoning is a type of logical thinking that involves forming generalizations based on specific incidents you've experienced, observations you've made, or facts you know to be true or false.
Inductive reasoning is different from deductive reasoning, in which you start with a generalization or theory, and then test it by applying it to specific incidents.
Inductive reasoning is an important critical thinking skill that many employers look for in their employees.
10. A market researcher designs a focus group to assess consumer responses to new packaging for a snack product. She discovers that participants repeatedly gravitate towards a label stating “15 grams of protein." The researcher recommends increasing the size and differentiating the color of that wording.
Highlight Inductive Reasoning in Your Job Search
If the employer explicitly mentions inductive reasoning in the job listing, or if you know it is critical to the job, you might mention it in your job application materials. For example, you can provide an example of successfully using inductive reasoning in your cover letter, or you can include inductive reasoning in your resume summary or list of skills.
A question about your inductive reasoning skills might come up in a first or second interview.
As a job candidate, you should review your past roles and identify situations in which you have applied inductive reasoning. Think of times when inductive reasoning resulted in positive outcomes, as this information can help convince employers that you can independently apply knowledge learned on the job and pick up the role quickly.
When highlighting your inductive reasoning during an interview, use the STAR interview response technique. This is an acronym that stands for:
First, describe the situation (Where you were working? What project were you working on/).
Then, describe the task (What was your responsibility? What problem did you have to solve? What observations did you make?).
Next, explain the action you took (What solution did you implement? How did you translate your observations into a solution or action?).
Finally, explain the result (How did your action help the problem, or help the company more broadly?). This technique will clearly show the interviewer that you have inductive reasoning skills that can add value to a company.
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Read More: What is Critical Thinking? | What is Creative Thinking? | Deductive Reasoning | Soft vs. Hard Skills