Tag Archives: #Brainstorming

How to Answer Bizarre Interview Questions – Such as: How would you count the hairs on a cat!

imagesA client was asked this question when he was interviewing for a project management role at an investment bank in the City and was given a pen and paper, and calculator! to work it out. He was thankful of this because it gave him time to gather his thoughts and while he didn’t calculate he did scribble down a few thoughts.

His answer was: “He’d weigh one hair, then shave the cat and weigh all the hair he shaved off, he’d then divide the overall hair weight by the individual hair weight to get the number of hairs on the cat. He got the job!

What the interviewers were looking for was a candidate who could demonstrate their ability to think on the spot, showing creativity and intuitiveness as well as logical and practical thinking, including how they would go about solving difficult and even unusual challenges that might arise, and also to have conviction in their answer and the confidence to communicate this. The interviewer is more interested in how you get to an answer, as opposed to what the answer might be.

Such challenging questions are becoming ever more commonplace in interviews it seems, as employers seek to get past the polish and hire the best candidate. With so many self-help websites, candidates can be quite polished on standard interview questions, making it difficult for people to stand out if they ask the routine questions, so doing things differently will help them get to the best candidate.

Evolving Careers Players can help you “Get past the polish to hire the best candidate”. We support our clients in their selection process by devising role-play for real-play workplace scenarios, including a few quirky situations!, allowing you to get to know each candidate beyond ‘canned’ answers. They’re having to react in the moment allowing you to find the right person that both fits your company culture and can refresh your business with new ideas.

We deliver corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios, career coaching, group learning and development, and outplacement services. We devise community forum theatre,www.evolvingcareersplayers.com Get in touch to discuss your requirements: carmel@evolvingcareersplayers.com

Check out one of the role-play scenarios we set up for a client who wanted a candidate to demonstrate how she would manage a team member who is resistant to being managed by a younger manager. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz3_3b06Kuk

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Brainstorming Techniques for the Creative Mind

Role-Storming is a brainstorming technique to encourage group members to take on other people’s identities while brainstorming. This reduces the inhibitions that many people feel when sharing their ideas with a group, and it helps people come up with ideas that they may not have otherwise considered, because they’re considering them from someone else’s perspective.

It’s a useful technique for #CorporateDramaRolePlay for developing problem solving skills.

Begin by presenting the problem to be solved to the group. It need not be a problem directly related to their work, in fact its probably even more beneficial to have a generic problem, because this demonstrates the transferability of problem solving skills which can be taken back to the workplace and applied to real problems.

Step 1. Brainstorm obvious ideas by conducting a regular brainstorming session with your group. Not only will this generate some good initial ideas, it will also highlight more obvious ideas. This leaves the group free to expand their thinking and push boundaries in later steps.

Step 2. Identify Roles: Ask each group member to think of someone they know – alive or dead, who they admire and respect for their problem solving skills. Ideally, they should know enough about them to take on their identity for a short time. The person they choose can be anyone, so long as it’s a person not in the current group.* Its best for it not to be someone the rest of the group knows.

Step 3. Get Into Character: For each role, allow group members a few minutes to get into character. ‘Hot Seat’ (put them on the spot with quick fired questions) using these questions to help with this:
• How does this person see the world?
• What is this person’s personality or attitude likely to be?
• How would this person solve problems?

Make an effort to support each member to get into the persona of the character: the more deeply
they understand this person’s feelings, worldview, and motivations, the better they can use this
perspective to generate good ideas.

Step 4. Brainstorm in Character: Present the same problem to the group and ask them to brainstorm in their chosen character.

Step 5. Repeat the exercise with as many different identities as you need, so that you can generate enough good ideas.

Evolving Careers Players can help you in developing creative and imaginative solutions to your problem solving skills. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development and outplacement services. We devise community forum theatre, corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. http://www.evolvingcareersplayers.com  Get in touch to discuss your needs: carmel@evolvingcareersplayers.com