Rarely is there a great decision that came from traditional ways of thinking.
“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” ~Albert Einstein
Those that are faced with challenges often need to be able to respond to these challenges in a unique way in order successfully overcome them. If you can prove that you’re someone that can create some type of creative approach to any problem, you’ll also be someone that employers would love to have working for their organization.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you have had to develop a creative approach to problem solving in order to get the job done.
No tricks here. Ideally you have proof of some creative experience that you had in the past that shows that you know what it takes to problem solve, and that you have the ability to provide a unique approach to the role.
Any time you’re in an interview for a job that requires decision making you should consider an answer to this type of question.
But what if you have not had to come up with a creative solution to a problem in the past? If you don’t have any good examples, consider describing your mindset approaching all work, and what you would do if you had to find a solution to an uncommon challenge.
“At my last position, I don’t recall having to come up with too many creative solutions. We worked primarily with pre-set queries, and while there was some degree of creativity when it came to interpreting the data during analysis, I don’t know if a single solution stands out as especially creative.
However, what I will say is that I strongly believe that unique problems require unique solutions. If I’m faced with a challenge that can’t be solved by any traditional means, I make it a goal of mine to try to determine the exact issues that need to be addressed, and then I openly explore all the potential solutions regardless of whether they have been used in the past – sometimes more than once, because I know that whatever I find may become the ‘go to’ solution in the future. I strongly believe in not being afraid to try new techniques to address any type of challenge, knowing that it can help both the company and my own experience.”
It’s still better if you have a bit more of an answer to this question, rather than using a “what if” scenario, because employers do like to see that you’re more than just words. But not everyone has had to think that far outside the box before, and if you don’t have a good example it is better to explain what you would do, rather than try to stretch the truth on an answer that shows barely any creativity.