22nd February 2023
Creativity and imagination questions are a common feature of Medical School interviews, and they can feel intimidating at first. But if you stay calm and can clearly talk the interviewer through your thought process, you will tackle these more unusual interview questions with ease.

Talk Through Your Thought Process

Interviewers want you to demonstrate your thought process in a difficult situation, which is why they might ask you some challenging creativity questions. It might feel unnatural at first, but talking aloud as you think is the key to acing this type of question.

For example, to answer a question like ‘How many toothbrushes are there in London?’ you might consider (aloud):

  • How many people are there in London? How many of these people will own a toothbrush?
  • What about any toothbrushes that are waiting to be sold? How many could there be sat in warehouses?

By establishing these factors, you’re demonstrating to your interviewers that you can think logically about a problem – and you are also giving yourself guidelines for numbers to calculate.


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Don’t Worry About The Answer

The answer is the least important part of creativity questions. Focus your energy on showing your thinking, rather than trying to reach an accurate, correct answer.

More importantly, don’t be afraid of being wrong. The questions are designed to be challenging and you won’t be expected to know the exact numbers involved.

When it comes to numerical questions, your figures don’t need to be completely accurate – just reasonable. Make an intelligent estimate and explain how you calculated that figure. For example, if you’re asked how many words there are in a book, you should:

  • Think about how many words could be on a single page, e.g. 20 lines of 10 words would equal 200 words per page.
  • Consider how many pages might be in an average book.
  • Be kind to yourself by choosing numbers that are easier to work with.
  • Do some quick maths.

Think Outside The Box

With all creativity questions, your interviewers want to see that you’re capable of looking at a problem from all angles. This can be tricky, especially if you’re anxious, but remember to stay calm and take a few moments to compose yourself and consider your answer.

For example, with a question like ‘How different would the world be if the wheel wasn’t invented?’ you could think about transport – but you could also think about other uses of wheels. For example:

  • How would the absence of wheels affect electricity production and machinery?
  • How about mills?
  • Where else are wheels used?

Practise Example Questions

One of the best ways to prepare for your interview is to familiarise yourself with some common questions in advance.

This gives you a chance to get used to the weird and wonderful questions you could be asked, and practise your strategy for answering.


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