Are you creative?

  | James Innes

     

Are you creative?

Alternative and related questions:

In what ways would you say you are creative?
Are you innovative/inventive?

The meaning behind the question:

There’s no hidden meaning here. It’s a very direct question; every walk of life requires at least some degree of creativity – and creativity is often seen as an indicator of intelligence. My core question, “Are you creative?” is clearly a closed question but answering it with a straight, “Yes” isn’t going to get you anywhere. Regardless of precisely how the interviewer phrases their question you need to aim to tell them precisely in what ways you are creative, how this applies to your line of work – and to back this up with at least one example.

Your answer:

Some lines of work are clearly more creative than others and the way you phrase your answer will naturally depend on exactly what it is that you do for a living. If you work in a creative field then clearly you will need to give a much more comprehensive answer. But even if you work in a field that isn’t generally seen as particularly demanding in terms of creativity you should be able to come up with an example of where you have displayed lateral or ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking or invented a new and better way of handling something.

Example:

Yes, I believe I’m a creative individual. I’m certainly able to think laterally and to be inventive in terms of finding solutions to problems. Quantity surveying isn’t generally seen as a particularly creative profession but I have nevertheless used my creative abilities on numerous occasions, for example converting old manual systems of reporting to highly automated – and much more accurate – spreadsheet based systems. This saved myself and my team a considerable amount of time in the long-term as well as meaning we were less exposed to the professional embarrassment of errors in our calculations.

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