Interviewing for a job? It's time to get creative

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Sometime in the past year or so it became important to be creative when applying for a job. That doesn't mean you can get creative with your resume by embellishing some of your achievements. What that means is the people looking to hire you, especially Investment Banking types, are seeking out those applicants who approach problems creatively.

In fact, recent studies have shown that creativity is quickly becoming one of the top traits big employers look for. IBM's global survey of 1,500 CEOs found creativity was rated as the most important trait leaders needed to possess. And a 2010 study by Ernst & Young found that 'the ability to manage, organize, cultivate and nurture creative thinking is directly linked to growth and achievement.

Therefore, to address this issue, a test has been developed that actually measures your creativity and it's starting to catch on among HR departments and hiring managers.

The psychometric assessment was developed by Australian psychologist Dr. Amantha Imber with some help from global giant Kimberley Clark.

That's right. The same company that brought us Kleneex and Huggies decided to approach Dr. Imber after the head of innovation found that recruiting creativity people was down right difficult without giving them some kind of test to check their claims. She believed it was just too easy for people to lie about their creative ability.

So Dr. Imber's team spent two years designing the tool, known as the Inventium Creative Aptitude Test or ICAT. The test is based on the latest psychological and neuroscience research and identifies 14 key traits to creative behaviors. This forms the basis of the psychometric assessment.

Those taking the test are quizzed on topics including applying experiences to work place problems, desire to master new skills, dealing with open ended problems, trusting their intuition, self confidence in their ideas and assertiveness.

ICAT also predicts behaviors the person is likely to exhibit in the workplace like commitment to change, challenging the norms of the company, adaptability, ability to work with other people and communication.

Dr. Imber, the founder of Inventium, believes checking someone's creative ability is difficult. Afterall, anyone can come up with examples of creative thinking even if they aren't their own. She's confident this tool will give employers an accurate picture of an employee's ability.

"Before developing ICAT, we looked at what companies were currently doing to check a candidate's creativity and found the measures completely pointless," said Dr. Imber. "This tool will help companies find employees who will think differently to solve problems, who can generate ideas and help the business grow. Creativity isn't just about coming up with great ideas and executing them, it's also about finding a new way to solve a financial or staffing problems, making processes more efficient and engaging employees."

As companies continue to rebuild after the recession, ensuring you get the right staff will become even more important, and as Dr. Imber puts it, "having the right team who are able to think creatively both in terms of problem solving and developing innovative ideas is going to help drive businesses forward."

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