The following is Part Three of a four-part series on hiring for innovative ideas. The series will post each Wednesday during the month of April.
If you are hiring for innovative ideas, the following are three questions you must ask.
by Dr. Geil Browning
The interview is where you can really get a sense of conceptual thinking. Be prepared for innovative thinkers to go off on tangents—in their minds they are not digressing, but connecting the dots. Listen for words or phrases like these: brainstorming, big picture, global, vision, hunch, oneness, synchronicity, and cutting edge.
Here are useful interview questions to ask to identify strong innovators:
1. If you were to assemble a piece of furniture from the directions, how would you go about it?
I love this question because each thinking type answers it so differently. Someone whose thinking is very innovative will often say, "I look at the picture on the box, dump the pieces in a pile on the floor, and then begin. When the project is complete, I use the directions to start a fire."
2. When a deadline is a month away, how do you finish a project—and when?
An innovative thinker will say something like, "First, I search the Internet for ideas. Then I'll take a walk or ponder until a solution makes itself known. This may happen immediately or it may happen three days before the deadline, but when the solution surfaces, it will come all at once—and it will come."
3. How do you make important life decisions?
Innovative minds will answer, "I base my decisions on intuition."