You know that the interviewer is not interested in hearing about your weekend woodcarving or that collection of realistically painted garden sculptures you made yourself, so it can be difficult to understand why they are asking about your creativity. The key to this question is to understanding what it is that creativity covers.
Creativity is a complicated system of thoughts that involves analysis, judgment, problem solving, ordering and sorting, and making a plan. When you demonstrate your creativity, you’re showing how those things come together in a professional setting. If done right, your answer to this question can be one of your top selling points.
Points to Emphasize
The key to a good answer to the creativity prompt is… creativity. Seriously, if you can talk about the process that gets you unique results, you’ll do great.
- Mention how you got the idea for the solution that you’re describing.
- Discuss the process you used to compare it to other options and make a judgment. This shows the interviewer that you deliberate before jumping into action.
- If possible, use this opportunity to highlight your communication skills, including any delegating you had to do to pull everything together.
- End by showing how the creative solution led to innovations that lasted or that had a significant impact on a major area of concern for the company, like costs, personnel retention, and so on.
Creativity is about being responsive to your environment, so make sure that shows through at every step.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
It’s easy to go overboard with the creativity questions, so be sure you are steering clear of the following hurdles.
- Refrain from comparing your ideas to coworkers directly, because this can seem like you are making yourself appear better at the expense of others.
- Don’t go overboard with an off-the-wall anecdote. Focus on showing how your creative side can be applied to tasks.
- Your example should be important to the work you do. Avoid talking about extracurricular tasks like planning social events.
- Stay away from reinventing the wheel. Your solutions should simplify and streamline.
When you put everything together, your example of your own creativity should be to-the-point and engaging. Something like this is great.
Well, when we opened a new location at my last job, we had a problem with the building’s air conditioning. To keep the customers cool and the employees comfortable, I organized a sidewalk sale as part of our launch, and I don’t think anyone even noticed how hot it was inside!
Just remember: keep your answers positive, professional, and to the point.