The Complete Interview Guide: Creativity
This is part of our new ‘Interview Guide’ blog series, where each post will be focusing on a different aspect of a medical school interview. This guide collects a range of our resources on Creativity, from topic-specific blog posts to Interview Questions.
What is Creativity in an interview?
Creativity and Imagination questions are designed to assess your communication skills and ability to think clearly under pressure, or when approaching a question you’re not sure of. They’re less about stating the right answer and more about demonstrating a logical thought process. These are also particularly common for Oxbridge interviews and certain MMI stations.
Questions are usually particularly difficult to answer, such as ‘How much does a mountain weigh?’ – these are all about demonstrating a logical thought process in a tricky situation. Interviewers are not looking for you to come up with an accurate number, but want to hear how you would think this through. For example, you could start by asking how tall the mountain is, what its radius is and what kind of rock it is made from.
Our Creativity Question Bank is perfect practice to see the kinds of questions you may be asked – and includes detailed answer guides on how to tackle them.
Key resource: Creativity Question Bank
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What kinds of questions will I be asked on Creativity?
You may be asked a variety of questions – some might be numerical (such as calculating the number of words in a book, or the mountain question above), or some may be creative thinking exercises (for example, ‘why do we wear shoes?’). Here are three examples below:
- How many toothbrushes are there in London?
- If you were stranded in the jungle and you could pick one person to accompany you, who would you choose and why?
- How different would the world be if the wheel wasn’t invented?
These questions are testing your imagination as well as your ability to think logically and practically. Certain MMI stations may also be assessing similar factors – for example, you may be faced with different objects on the table and asked to pick five to take with you on a camping trip, explaining your reasoning behind each selection. In a situation like this, you should think about how each object would be useful, perhaps explaining why you picked them over the others.
Our blog on Top 3 Creativity Tips provides you with some key top tips on how to approach these questions.
Key resource: Top 3 Creativity Tips
How can I prepare for Creativity questions?
Our blog on practical advice provides a range of preparation techniques, games and tips to help you prepare for your interview. Point 2 includes details on creating a Creativity question game with your friends, which may be a fun way to prepare together.
Another good way to prepare may be to familiarise yourself with thinking outside the box – looking at communication questions common at an MMI may help with this. For example, a question asking ‘How would you explain how to tie shoelaces without using your hands?’ may help you to think creatively about how to explain this – and will encourage you to verbalise your thought process. This can be useful practice for Creativity questions, which are all about testing lateral thinking in unusual scenarios.
Key resource: 3 Interview Preparation Tips (Part One)
Other key Creativity resources:
- Oxford Interview Question Bank – Creativity questions are common for Oxford – so for those of you preparing for your interview, this question bank may be particularly useful!
- MMI Question Bank – Creativity questions can crop up at several MMI stations to test your thinking skills, so use our question bank to help you prepare.
How we can help:
- Interview Courses – we devote a session to ‘Oxbridge and Lateral Thinking’ questions at our one-day Interview Course. The day also includes a full-length mock, proven techniques to tackle all interview formats and a comprehensive workbook.
- MMI Circuits – created and run by doctors and education experts, our practice MMI Circuits recreate a real MMI experience with a variety of different stations – perfect interview preparation!
- Interview Tutoring – our bespoke sessions are entirely tailored to suit your needs, so you could choose to focus on Creativity question techniques, a full length mock or bespoke adjustments for particular UK medical schools.