5 Ways to Spot Creatives in Group Interviews

Janet Lee
Reading Time: 5 minutes

When it comes to employment recruitment, managers know just how difficult a task this can be in any type of organization. This can be especially difficult if an employer is seeking workers who are extremely creative, since in most cases a standard sit-down one-on-one interview can sometimes offer little to let an employee’s creativity shine through. To solve this problem, many managers are now turning to group interviews, where they bring together multiple candidates, put them together, and use a combination of questions along with group projects to discover who can be the most creative when dealing with a variety of issues, while taking note on personality traits. If you’re looking to hire the most creative employees who fit your company’s culture, here are five ways you can be guaranteed to spot innovative employees who can have a prolific impact on the team you are trying to form.

creative group interview

Build a Tower in Group Interviews

For a really creative interview, gather your job candidates together and have them build a tower. Designed to find the people who work best with others and are creative thinkers, it’s also an excellent activity to distinguish between who is a leader and who is a follower. For this activity, people are divided into groups of three and given the task of building a tower using dry spaghetti and large marshmallows, but must abide by the following rules:

–Tower’s minimum height is 12 inches

–Must support a cup filled with paper clips, your car keys, or a toy

–Must be completed within one hour

In addition, 20 minutes into the project, the interviewer informs the groups they must name their tower, and after 40 minutes groups are told they must create a product or service around their tower, then give a two-minute presentation while demonstrating their tower’s strength. If you want to find creative employees, this is an excellent test.

bricks and blanket test

Bricks and a Blanket

Another interesting exercise in group interviews is to have participants write down as many uses as possible for bricks and a blanket. For example, if they write down obvious answers such as staying warm or building a house, chances are they are not very creative. However, if a person states they can build a fire-pit and then use the blanket to encase it so they can smoke some meat, you’ve probably got a very creative employee at your disposal. And who knows, if someone gives it some thought and then exclaims they will write a line from a sonnet on each brick and then build a poetry wall, you’ve got someone who can think outside the box, and then some!

marooned game

Marooned, Popular Group Interview Game

With television shows such as Survivor being so popular today, playing a game called Marooned can not only show you a person’s creativity, but also give you insight regarding their values and problem-solving styles. This is a popular group interview game in which persons pretend they are marooned on a desert island and the group as a whole can have only five items at their disposal. By writing down their choices and then having to tell the other groups about their choices, you’ll know who’s creative, and who’s not.

find creative employees in group interviews.

Finish the Sentence

While finishing another’s sentence may be considered rude by some people, using this activity as part of a group interview can be very revealing when it comes to an employee’s personality. In this activity, you can go around the room and have each person complete a sentence such as “The riskiest thing I ever did was…” or “The one time I felt most stressed was because…” . Once they complete the sentence, have them explain their answer. By doing so, you’ll be able to have a very creative interview while also having an excellent discussion with everyone.

innovative group interviews

The ADDIE Game

ADDIE, which stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate, is becoming one of the most popular activities used in employment recruitment. When using this in a group interview, it’s an excellent way to see people’s problem-solving skills in action. Along with this, it’s a great way to have people introduced to one another and observe how they interpret instructions for a particular task. By using this activity in a group interview setting, you can see how people handle problems, get to know one another under somewhat stressful situations, develop objectives, watch how they outline their methods for solving a problem, implement their plan of action, and ultimately evaluate their strategy and how successful it was in solving the problem. A lot of companies will even customize this exercise for their industry. For example, Google partner SEO agencies scramble during the hiring process to get the most creative and inventive people in their departments. Because they design websites, execute digital marketing strategies, and  put together content marketing solutions, they need to find a Dream Team, and not some 24 year-old who needs a job to support his video game habit. Agencies such as these could ask the group of candidates if they think there is any validity that color in digital marketing impacts consumer behavior, and have them play the ADDIE game according to their view on the subject.

As today’s work environments become more and more competitive, employers realize hiring employees who are creative is crucial for success. Whether it’s a high-tech company looking for web developers, hospitals seeking doctors and nurses, or schools seeking teachers who can think outside the box, having creative employees can take a company or organization to the next level in terms of success. And when that happens, both customers and employees will find themselves reaping the rewards.

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