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What does the word 'innovation' mean to you?

1 of 15 Creative Thinking Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Written on August 12th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The term 'innovation' is often overused in business these days and has now become a buzzword that many people don't fully understand. The interviewer would like to know what you feel innovation indeed is. Include an example of a time when you have witnessed an innovative change in the workplace, or when you have exercised creativity.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"To me, innovation means presenting a new idea or making an existing idea better. It's important to be innovative in the workplace, but often it's a misunderstood concept. An example of when I was innovative was when our company was facing budget cuts. I suggested that we begin to operate as though the cuts were already made, in an attempt to preemptively save funds. The concept worked well, and we were able to eliminate many unnecessary expenditures."

Admin
Answer example

"Innovation means introducing a new process, or breakthrough in the workplace. A time when I have been innovative was when I built a new tracking system in our company's CRM. I wanted to create a more accurate way to track projects with a simple option for our sales team to update the project stage. The owner of the company loved my creation, and now it's implemented company-wide."

Manager
Answer example

"I encourage my team to be innovative by asking the impossible of themselves, and their coworkers. We will get together once per week and bring up situations that we think are out of our scope and then reverse engineer these ideas to see how we could go about putting them into action. To me, this is being innovative in the workplace."

Marketing
Answer example

"This year I introduced a virtual idea box to my agency, as a way to encourage creative ideas from our employees and freelancers. This initiative is a concept that we have now introduced to our clients. This 'idea box' allows for anonymous, or named, employees and even clients to give their two cents without feeling the pressure of brainstorm meetings. To me, innovation can mean taking existing ideas and transforming them to make them work for today's digital age."

Retail
Answer example

"The store where I currently work had a lot of trouble with selling add-on products. I did some research and learned how to better merchandise for our store layout. From there, I made a presentation to the owners to show how we could better position the products and encourage add-on items near the checkout. This merchandising idea is not a new concept; however, I altered it slightly to be a concept that would interest the store owners and still work with their design concept."

Sales
Answer example

"I believe there are many opportunities to be innovative in a sales environment. To me, innovation is transforming a concept or introducing a breakthrough. Last year I introduced new types of sales scripts that incorporated NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, concepts. The scripts were well-received by the leaders in my organization."

Teacher
Answer example

"In my classroom, I introduced the 'innovation awards' for my students. We take the science concepts that we have learned through the year and then host a competition. The kids can have their ideas and run with them. I believe that innovation is the conceptualization of new ideas and revolutions, all of which are important to encourage in students."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Published: 08/12/2018
*Specific career answer examples vary on published date
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