What links chocolate, fortune & tin? Classic creativity tests & interview questions

Did you see the recent Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions from recruitmenters Glassdoor? Some of the questions in the research include:

“Do you believe in Big Foot?” Norwegian Cruise Line.
“If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?” Yahoo
“If you were a pizza deliveryman how would you benefit from scissors?” Apple
 
How would you answer the questions? In our Holmes Report research 26% of companies said they don’t use any specific method, with only 18% having a specific interview test. Have you ever had a specific test as part of an interview process? Below is a classic creativity test, see how well you fare….

The Alternative Uses Test

Aside from ‘creative’ questioning, there are some standard creativity ‘tests’ that you might have been asked to do – like different possible uses for a paperclip, washing machine or brick in 2 minutes. This is called the alternative uses test and was invented by JP Guildford. It’s designed to demonstrate divergent thinking (as many options as possible).

Try it now – how many uses for a fork can you think of in 2 minutes?

The scoring is based on the following:

Originality – compare answers from the group you give the test to.  Answers given by only 5% of your group are deemed unusual = 1, answers given by only 1% of your group are unique = 2.  Add them up and the theory is that a higher score shows creativity.
Fluency – Just the total number of ideas you came up with.
Flexibility – these are the categories e.g. weapon, tool
Elaboration – the detail  – e.g. weapon = 0, compared to “a weapon to take out someone’s eye” = 1, compared to “a weapon to take out someone’s glass eye” = 3

If you do this in a group you can compare scores. Don’t get too caught up though in the results – it’s just one way of looking at creativity.

The opposite to divergent is convergent thinking – finding one answer to a problem. We all flex between both types of thinking which can make brainstorming tricky! It’s sometimes hard to suspend judgement and try and keep in the divergent phase (many ideas) but it’s important to try to do this if you want many choices in the idea generation phase. There are tests too to analyse your convergent thinking abilities – known at the Random Associates Tests (RAT) try linking these words. There is one word that links all three. Try these:

Broken Clear Eye

Widow Bite Monkey

Coin Quick Spoon

Room Blood Salt

Salt Deep Foam

Chocolate Fortune Tin

The answers are here. How did you do?

Broken Clear Eye – Glass

Widow Bite Monkey – Spider

Coin Quick Spoon – Silver

Room Blood Salt – Bath

Salt Deep Foam – Seat

Chocolate Fortune Tin – Cookie

At Now Go Create we have an insight-led approach to creativity training using our academic background.  We use a tool called the VIEW which assesses an individual’s approach to problem solving as part of our coaching and training tools which can help to create what has been termed a whole-brained team. Instead of measuring creativity on a vertical scale – how creative are you? It asks – in what ways are you creative? We find this far more useful when working with teams. You can find out more about the VIEW here.

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