The “7 Survival Skills” – Accessing & Analyzing Information

The “7 Survival Skills[1],” established by Tony Wagner, contribute to your success at Sheridan College, in your career. These blogs posts are dedicated to explaining how you can gain these skills in and outside the classroom, how they may be positioned as interview questions, and tips on how to effectively respond. To start at the beginning click here.

banner anaylzing info

What Is It?

Accessing Information involves searching for, looking at, and acquiring relevant information to develop a comprehensive understanding of material to analyze information and generate a result, idea or recommendation.

Analyzing Information involves breaking down an idea into components to determine the key elements and make assertions; examining data or information in detail to identify causes, key factors, recommendations and possible results.

In the Classroom

Course work and assignments are the most applicable experience to develop these skills. Projects require in-depth accessing of information to ensure that you are able to produce a final result or provide a solution to a case. From the information you acquire you analyze it from different perspectives. This might also require research into what professional’s believe about the topic from multiple perspectives, as well as your own knowledge on the subject. Analysis takes practice; take your professors’ advice given to you so that you can improve your ability to assess and recommend ideas.

For assistance on how to conduct research, visit staff members at any ot the Sheridan Library locations for information and resources available to you. Click here for the Sheridan research Guide. To search the library for articles click here.

Tip: take a look at your course outline to determine how the class will engage your analytic skills.

Outside the Classroom

Competitions are the most applicable experience to develop accessing and analysis skills. Students are given a case and are then required to conduct research to make an informed decision which they present to a panel of judges. These sorts of opportunities engage students in real-world application of their knowledge and skills.

Learn more about upcoming Competitions.

Possible Interview Questions

Interviewers are likely to ask specific questions pertaining to a work task, or job knowledge to test your ability to analyze. Here are some general interview questions:

  • Can you tell me about a time when you discovered a more efficient way to do a work task?
  • Tell me about a tricky situation for which you found a very simple solution?
  • Tell me about an assignment you worked on in which you had to amass a huge amount of data, and then analyze it?
  • How well do you know how to use Excel?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to complete a research project that required you to propose an idea or solution.
  • Tell me about a time when you were given a project with very little parameters and information. What did you do?

How to Answer

  1. Focus on explaining the whole process including: the solution or final product, how you came to that solution, what additional information you needed to collect, what your thought process was, ect.
  2.  When answering a specific work task/job knowledge question, take your time. Give yourself a moment to work through the question and how to provide a comprehensive answer. Refer to Communication Skills post.

Example Q: “Tell me about a time when you had to complete a research project that required you to propose an idea or solution”

A: “In my ABC course I was required to analyse a current problem with XYZ company and propose a solution to said problem. To come to my conclusion I conducted research on the problem itself to understand what exactly is going on at XYZ and how the problem was impacting the business. From there I took a look at other companies who experienced similar problems to observe how they have attempted to resolve the issue. I also researched articles interviewing professionals who has opinion regarding the XYZ issue. From this information I completed a write-up of the issue, including all of the components I generated from my research. I then proposed GHI solution (describe your recommendation). The feedback I received was positive, however I did receive some constructive criticism, which I have learned from (describe what you learned and how would implement it in the future). 

Next Post: Curiosity & Imagination

Previous Post: Communication

Click here to start from the beginning.

[1] Wagner, T. (2014). Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.