15 Creative Problem Solving Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Creative Problem Solving skills will be used.

Creative problem solving is a process for approaching problems in a creative way. It involves looking at the problem from different angles and coming up with new and innovative solutions.

If you’re applying for a job that requires creative problem solving, you can expect to be asked interview questions that assess your ability to think outside the box. In this guide, we’ll provide some sample creative problem solving interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next job interview.

1. What is creative problem solving?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you understand the importance of creative problem solving and how it can be used in a work environment. You can answer this question by defining what creative problem solving is, explaining why it’s important and giving examples of how you’ve used it in past roles.

Example: “Creative problem solving is a process where I use my creativity to find solutions to problems or challenges. In my last role as a graphic designer, I had to solve many different types of problems for clients. For example, one client wanted their logo to have a specific color scheme but didn’t want to change their current branding. I was able to come up with several ideas for them until they found one that worked.”

2. Can you explain what a brainstorming session is and why it’s useful?

Brainstorming is a common method of creative problem solving. It’s important to show that you know how to use brainstorming effectively in your work and can explain it to others.

Example: “Brainstorming is when a group of people come together to generate ideas for a project or task. The goal of a brainstorming session is to generate as many ideas as possible, even if they’re not practical or realistic. Brainstorming sessions are useful because they help me think outside the box and generate new ideas I might not have thought of on my own.”

3. Can you describe the steps involved in an SCAMPER technique?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the creative problem-solving process. It also allows you to demonstrate how you apply these steps in your work.

Example: “The SCAMPER technique is an acronym that stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other uses and Eliminate. This method helps me identify possible solutions when I’m stuck on a project or task. For example, if I can’t think of a solution to a problem, I’ll use the SCAMPER technique to help me brainstorm ideas. In my last role, I used this method to come up with new ways to display products at the store.”

4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach challenges and use your creativity to solve problems. Use examples from previous work experiences or personal projects that show how you used creative problem-solving skills to achieve a goal, overcome an obstacle or complete a task.

Example: “I find that I’m most productive when I have some time to think about a project before starting it. In my last role as a graphic designer, I had a client who needed a logo for their new business but didn’t know what they wanted. I scheduled a meeting with them where we discussed their company’s goals and values. Then, I took a few days to sketch out ideas based on our conversation. When I presented the sketches to the client, they were able to choose one right away.”

5. Why are mind maps so popular for problem-solving?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of creative problem-solving techniques. Mind maps are popular because they allow you to organize information visually, which can help you see connections between ideas and concepts more easily. You should explain how mind maps work and why they’re beneficial in solving problems.

Example: “Mind maps are very useful for organizing thoughts and ideas. They allow me to create a visual representation of the problem I’m trying to solve. This helps me understand the issue better and find solutions that might not be obvious at first glance. In my last role, I used mind maps to brainstorm new marketing strategies for our company’s website. After creating several different mind maps, I was able to come up with some unique ideas that helped us increase sales by 10%.”

6. Can you give me some examples of how you would apply design thinking to solve a real-world business problem?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you have the skills and experience needed to succeed in their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide examples of how you used design thinking to solve problems at previous companies or with clients.

Example: “At my last job, I was working on a project for a client who wanted to create an app that would help them manage their finances. The first step I took was to research what other apps were available to do this task. After researching several different apps, I found one that had all of the features our client wanted but wasn’t as user-friendly as they wanted. So, I created a plan to redesign the app so that it could meet both needs.”

7. Can you name three common barriers to creativity and discuss ways to overcome each one?

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work through challenges. It also shows the interviewer that you can be innovative in your thinking.

Example: “There are three common barriers to creativity, which include fear of failure, lack of confidence and not having enough time. Fear of failure is something I’ve overcome by reminding myself that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as I learn from them. To help build my confidence, I remind myself that I am creative and capable of solving problems. As for not having enough time, I find that prioritizing tasks helps me get more done in less time.”

8. What are some ways to ensure that your team doesn’t get stuck on a single idea or concept when trying to come up with new ideas?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of how you approach creative problem solving and your ability to lead others through this process. Your answer should show that you know how to encourage creativity in your team members while also helping them move beyond their initial ideas.

Example: “I find it helpful to remind my team members that we’re not looking for one solution, but rather many solutions to our problems. This helps us avoid getting stuck on any single idea or concept because we know there are other options out there. I also like to make sure everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the discussion so that no one feels left out or ignored. This can help ensure that we don’t overlook any great ideas.”

9. Can you tell me about a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work?

This question can give the interviewer insight into your ability to communicate with others and influence their opinions. Use examples from previous work experiences where you successfully persuaded someone or a group of people to agree with your point of view, or when you were able to convince someone to change their mind about something.

Example: “At my last job, I was working on a project that required input from several different departments within our company. One department in particular wasn’t very receptive to my ideas for the project and kept rejecting my suggestions. I decided to meet with the head of the department one-on-one to discuss my ideas further. After listening to me explain my reasoning behind my suggestions, she agreed to implement some of my ideas into her department’s portion of the project.”

10. Do you think there’s any benefit to taking risks, even if they don’t always pay off?

Employers want to know that you’re willing to take risks and try new things, even if they don’t always work out. This question can help them understand your perspective on risk-taking and how you handle failure. In your answer, explain what you think the benefits of taking risks are and share a time when you took a risk and it paid off.

Example: “I definitely think there’s value in taking risks. I’ve seen many situations where people were afraid to try something new or different because they didn’t want to fail. When we only do things that we know will succeed, we miss out on opportunities for growth and innovation.

In my last role, I was tasked with creating a new social media campaign for our company. I knew that I wanted to use humor as part of the campaign but wasn’t sure exactly how to incorporate it into our brand voice. I decided to take a risk and create a video that used humor to promote one of our products. It ended up being very successful and helped us reach a wider audience.”

11. When have you been innovative in your career?

Employers ask this question to see if you have the ability to come up with new ideas and implement them. They want to know that you can use your creativity in a way that benefits their company. When answering this question, think of an example from your previous job or one from school. Explain what led you to be innovative and how it helped you succeed.

Example: “In my last position as a graphic designer, I was tasked with creating a logo for a client’s website. After looking at some of the other logos they had, I noticed that many were very similar. I decided to create a logo that would stand out more than others. I used bright colors and geometric shapes to make it unique. The client loved it, and we ended up using it on all of their marketing materials.”

12. What steps can be taken to encourage innovation in our company?

This question can help the interviewer determine your understanding of how to encourage innovation in a workplace. Use examples from your previous experience or discuss strategies you would use if you were hired for this role.

Example: “In my last position, I was tasked with creating new marketing campaigns that would increase sales and customer satisfaction. To do so, I met with different departments within the company to learn more about their goals and objectives. This helped me create a campaign that appealed to multiple audiences and increased sales by 10% during its first month. I also implemented a system where employees could submit ideas for improvement, which led to even more growth.”

13. What are some examples of problems that could not be solved using conventional techniques but were solved by creative thinkers?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you have the ability to think outside of the box and come up with unique solutions. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific examples from your own experience or research some famous cases where creative thinking led to breakthroughs in technology or science.

Example: “In my previous role as an art director, I worked on a campaign for a new type of dog food. The client wanted to target millennials who were looking for healthy alternatives to traditional pet foods. After conducting extensive market research, we found that many millennial pet owners were using human-grade ingredients to make their own homemade meals for their pets. We decided to create a campaign that would encourage people to buy our dog food so they could use it to make their own homemade meals for their dogs.”

14. What are the differences between creativity and innovation? Which one is more important?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the two terms and how they relate. It also allows you to show that you understand which one is more important in business.

Example: “Creativity and innovation are both very important, but I would say creativity is more important because it’s what leads to innovation. Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas or solutions to problems. Innovation is when someone takes an idea and makes it into something useful. For example, if someone had an idea for a new type of phone case, they could then make it into reality by innovating.”

15. What steps should we take as a company to promote creativity among our employees?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you might apply your creativity to benefit a company. Use examples from previous work experiences or describe what steps you would take if you were in charge of implementing a creative culture at your workplace.

Example: “I think it’s important for companies to provide their employees with opportunities to be creative, such as by offering training and resources that support innovation. I also believe that managers should encourage their teams to share ideas and feedback so everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Another way to promote creativity is through collaboration between departments. For example, when I worked on my team’s annual marketing campaign, we invited other departments like sales and customer service to brainstorm ideas with us.”


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