Skip to main content
Recruitment tips

Assessing Creativity in Recruitment: 6 Questions to Identify Creative Profiles

eye 49 Published on 15 May. 2024
tag #Potential identification

What type of candy best represents you? Are you a tough little shell with a soft centre, a zesty flavour that demands attention, or perhaps a confidently self-assured vegan option? Each of these responses is valid and simply needs a thoughtful explanation to support it. In contrast, hesitant replies such as "um...", "I don't know...", or "I don't understand your question..." fail to impress recruiters who are keen on assessing a candidate’s creativity and their knack for thinking outside the conventional box.

This unusual yet insightful question is expertly designed to identify creative thinkers in a job interview setting. Here are six additional questions you can pose to your candidates and the types of responses you should expect. Although these questions might seem unconventional, the interview remains a critical part of the recruitment process. It’s not merely the originality of the response that’s important, but the candidate’s ability to unleash their creative potential and infuse their answers with significance.

Q1 - What is the colour of your personality?

This question isn't about selecting a specific colour, but rather about how well the candidate can think outside the box and articulate their thoughts. If their initial response is unclear, encourage them to delve deeper into their choice. This discussion will help you understand what the chosen colour reveals about their personality traits and thought processes. For those with creative inclinations, expect vivid, painterly responses—candidates might describe themselves as gentle twilight pink, mysterious peacock blue, or vibrant mimosa yellow—each colour reflecting key aspects of what drives and inspires them.

Q2 - What is the common point between a tree and a financial manager?

This thought-provoking question is designed to stimulate the candidate's analytical thinking by encouraging them to draw parallels between seemingly unrelated subjects, such as a tree and a financial manager. It also tests their mental agility and their capacity to adopt new perspectives. Responses should demonstrate the candidate’s skill in tackling complex problems and finding coherent links, showcasing their creativity and depth of thought. Any well-reasoned answer that identifies a meaningful connection between the two will be highly valued.

Q3 - Can you list five innovative uses for a single sheet of paper?

This question serves to gauge the imaginative potential of the candidate. While more pragmatic individuals who are not accustomed to stimulating their creative thinking might struggle with this exercise, those with a penchant for creative thinking could provide a plethora of possibilities for utilising just one sheet of paper. The challenge encourages candidates to demonstrate their innovation skills by exploring new ideas and thinking laterally. As a recruiter, the focus should not be solely on the practicality of the ideas—since this is more about brainstorming—but rather on how effortlessly the candidate can devise unique solutions and demonstrate their ability to "think differently”.

Q4 - The role includes the support of a virtual assistant equipped with AI. Would you be interested in using it and what tasks would you assign it?

This question evaluates a candidate’s readiness to embrace new technologies and their capability to adapt to modern and future workplace environments. It particularly probes their approach to integrating advanced tools into their work processes. Candidates with a creative outlook are expected to leverage the virtual assistant for handling routine and time-consuming tasks, thus freeing themselves to concentrate on more strategic initiatives. The key aspect to assess is their enthusiasm for partnering with AI to enhance their productivity, innovate new ideas, push the boundaries of conventional thinking, and refine their work processes.

Q5 - How would you describe ChatGPT to someone from 100 years ago?

This question challenges candidates to think unconventionally by extrapolating current knowledge and concepts to a time when these ideas did not exist. The candidate's ability to grasp the components and functionalities of ChatGPT and then relate them to elements of a past world is indicative of a capacity for logical and abstract thinking. Recruiters should focus on the candidate’s use of appropriate analogies and metaphors to simplify complex ideas, evaluating their skill in communicating advanced concepts in an understandable and relatable way.

Q6 - What can we do to improve our recruitment process?

This question invites candidates to demonstrate their critical thinking and proactive attitudes. It offers a unique challenge, potentially placing candidates in an uncomfortable position as they critique the very process of evaluating them. A successful response requires a blend of confidence and diplomacy. Candidates are assessed on their ability to articulate thoughtful, relevant improvements in a sensitive context, showcasing both the innovative nature of their suggestions and their tact in communication.

In conclusion, by asking questions that break away from the traditional framework and push candidates out of their comfort zones, recruiters can more effectively tap into their creative potential. These questions are designed to assess candidates' openness to new ideas, their adaptability to unexpected scenarios, their capacity to think laterally, their ability to think differently, juggle various possibilities, and their skill in devising solutions to novel problems. Integrating such questions into the recruitment process helps identify those who are best equipped to adapt and excel in a dynamic, ever-changing work environment, meeting challenges with creativity and strategic insight.

Helen Simard

Consultant psychologist (career guidance and psychometrics)

Theses articles may also interest you
Recruitment tips | 05 Mar 2024
Writing a compelling job offer in 6 steps

Writing a job offer can seem like a routine task, but in reality, it's a crucial strategic skill in the arsenal of any human resources professional. In 2024, the recruitment landscape demands clarity, precision, and attractiveness in every listing more than ever.

Recruitment tips | 06 Nov 2023
The advantages of recruitment tests

In the ‘Recruitment test’ category, I'll take the MBTI!... Not available? Oh?... The DISC then!... Not that either? Well, the MBTI, DISC, or any other typological test isn't on the list of tests meant to facilitate your recruitment.


images newsletter