Creativity Is the New Intelligence

04/07/2015 13:48

I recently run into the bestselling book by William Poundstone – Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? This is a must book for any candidates who make it to the interview at the World’s Top Companies. I just got into the topic which was mighty interesting – creativity and intelligence of the candidates and how do we access such qualities during interviews. To me this is the key of any interview process, so let me summarize my thoughts.


International employers who offer the best positions on the job market keep seeking for one essential quality among candidates: creativity. I’m not speaking about some artistic skillset here. I’m talking about the way you think; the way you would tackle complex issues on the job; the way you would deal with conflicts; the way you would present your innovative ideas. All of this (if being creative enough) will determine your success on the job.


In fact, creativity has become the new intelligence!


I bet all of you are intelligent; some might be even highly intelligent and would be able to pass IQ test with scores that would make Mensa happy. This may make you feel proud and feel like the perfect candidates for any job position. But be honest. How many of you know somebody who is highly intelligent and struggles to get the job? Many…right? This is no coincidence. This is because of two reasons:

  1. Poor job search/interview skills.
  2. They lack a sense of creativity.


Being simply intelligent is not enough anymore.  Especially concerning the global job market where you have a jungle of candidates from all around the world competing with you for your dream job. Truly there are companies and organizations which do not seek creative minds. And there are jobs which don’t need high sense of creativity. In the end, less creative people must be able to find employment somewhere. But if you are going for a role in the World’s Top Companies, you need to seriously catch this wave. Otherwise, other creative candidates will beat you.


It is no secret that employers favor candidates who do well on the interview. Thankfully, interview skills are something all of you can master. And so is the skill of creativity. Companies nowadays developed their techniques how to access creativity and your job is to prepare for this. If creativity is not something natural to you, practice it or at least read about it to be ready for specially designed questions. Poundstone’s book includes multiple examples of such questions used during the interviews; scroll down for one of them. Remember: Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail. Use your time wisely.


Good luck!




An example from a Microsoft interview using a question seeking creative answers from the candidate (from the book – Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? by William Poundstone):

   “You’re in an 8-by-8 stone corridor,” announced the interviewer.

“The prince of darkness appears before you.”
“You mean, like, the devil?” asked the unlucky applicant.
“Any prince of darkness will do,” she answered. “What do you do?”
“Can I run?”
“Do you want to run?”
“Hmmm. I guess not. Do I have a weapon?”
“What kind of weapon do you want?”
“Um, something with range?”
“Like what?”
“A crossbow?”
“What kind of ammo do you have?”
“Ice arrows?”
“Because the prince of darkness is a creature made of fire?”
She liked that. “So what do you do next?”
“I shoot him?”
“No, what do you do?”
“You WASTE him! You WASTE the prince of darkness!”

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