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13 Incredible Things About Highly Creative People You Can’t Miss

13 Incredible Things About Highly Creative People You Can’t Miss

Creativity works in a mysterious way often leaving us baffled. Inspiration and great ideas often pop up out of the blue and fail to show up when we need them. The science gives us a complex picture of creativity. However, there is a couple of telltale characteristics creative people possess that make them so unusually attractive, odd, and worth admiring at the same time!

1. They daydream a lot

They are here, but their minds are miles away during your conversation. Don’t be mad at them. It’s just the way they are! In fact, despite what teachers may have always told you, daydreaming isn’t a waste of time. According to this research, letting your mind wander can boost the process of “creative incubation,” or idea generation. Many of us know that often our best ideas come seemingly out of the blue when our minds are hovering in the clouds. Daydreaming actually involves the same brain processes associated with creativity and imagination.

2. They choose to work at odd hours

Many great creatives are known for working during odd hours. Haruki Murakami and Sylvia Plath preferred to get up at 4 a.m. and focus on writing for 5-6 hours during the day, and so did Nabokov, who also preferred to start writing once he got out of bed. On the other hand, Feodor Dostoyevsky was a night owl and wrote when it was dark and quite. Frank Lloyd Wright woke up at 3-4 a.m., and worked for a few hours before returning to sleep for a couple more hours. The creative type will figure out the times when creativity strikes most and structure the rest of the day accordingly. Don’t expect them to fit into a standard 9-to-5 grind.

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3. They have special rituals

The little unusual things they do when they need to spark creativity, focus on work or just get into the mood. Nabokov liked to soak for 20 minutes in a hot bath, with a sponge on his head when he needed to restore his mojo. James Joyce had a signature white coat he preferred to wear during work and mainly wrote lying on his stomach in bed with a blue pencil. Dali invented his own power nap technique. He would clutch a key in his hand, sit down in a chair and place his hand over a metal dish. Once he was falling asleep, the key would slip from his fingers and bang noisily on the plate, waking him from the brief moments when he had barely lost consciousness. Igor Stravinsky, the composer, began his day by standing on his head for 10 minutes to “clear the brains.” If you live with a creative type, you’ll soon discover their odd and curious habits and fascinating rituals that help them stay inspired.

4. They easily lose track of the time

Once a creative gets “into the zone” or what’s defined as the flow state – a mental state when a person transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness – they become immune to any external distractions and can stay focused on crafting for hours without keeping an eye on the time. Have you ever noticed how baffled they look when you say them it’s been already late evening and they spent the whole day at work?

5. They surround themselves with beauty

Creative folks usually have excellent taste and prefer to surround themselves with aesthetically appealing things. Studies show that musicians express particularly strong response to visually appealing objects and goodness.

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6. They are always curious

Creatives are not afraid to challenge the status quo and ask big questions typically starting with “What if….” They are immensely curious about different things surrounding them, always eager to know how things work and why do they work this and not the other way.

7. They take advantage of the life’s hardships

When life give them lemons, they squeeze out the juice, drink it and in the process create a new art piece about their painful experience. Numerous songs, books and paintings were created as a result of some strong emotional pain like heartbreak, grief or some other serious trauma. In fact, scientists proved that overcoming wrenching emotional pain and stressful life experiences if tackled correctly, can boost personal growth, interpersonal relationships, spirituality and creativity as one starts to see new possibilities in life and treasure them more. Today, there’s a whole new field of psychology called post-traumatic growth helping people turn their past emotional traumas into creative energy and subsequent growth.

8. They have no fear of being alone

Embracing solitude and appreciating it helps the creative to free their mind and let it wander – just like when daydreaming. A lot of creatives are often labeled as loners, yet they just need some alone time to think and listen to their inner creative voice, whispering the new powerful idea. Best works of art are often visual representations of the internal dialog the artist has been cherishing inside.

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9. They are very observant

People-watching is one of their favorite pastimes. Nothing escapes the eye of the artists. They love taking notes, they love making sketches, and they always comment on some random things like the color of someone’s hat in the crowd or a shape of the shadow that reminds them something. They pickup and gather those tiny observations to weave them later on in their next artwork.

10. They can’t stand routine

They need strong stimulations in order to stay active and they often neglect tasks they find uninspiring or repetitive. The thing is, creatives devote all their energy to focusing on their inner universe and don’t have enough strength to carry on effectively with the day-to-day tasks.

11. They combine playfulness and discipline

The light playful attitude is what we typically see or expect from the creative type. Yet for one quick moment think how many razor sharp pencil strokes were made before you could see this painting? How many hours the sculptor spent trembling over the stone, methodically cutting down piece after piece until it transformed into a beautiful statue? Despite their carefree attitude, creatives devote long hours and tremendous efforts to work, stubbornly aiming for not less then perfection.

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12. They are their own worst critics

Each writer loves each paragraph she writers, yet at the same time she’s being objective and knows which sentence doesn’t sound good enough. A painter will never be 100% satisfied with the final product and neither will the composer. It’s a huge struggle for the creative type to find a balance between adequate self-criticism and self-worshipping.

13. They are smart and naive at the same time

The paradox is that most well-known creative contributors had a high-level of general intelligence and gotten high scores on IQ tests. According to a study conducted in Stanford children with very high IQs do well in life, but after a certain point IQ no longer correlates with superior performance in real life. The cutoff point is around 120. It might be difficult to do creative work with a lower IQ, but an IQ beyond 120 does not necessarily imply higher creativity. At the same time, creatives often show immaturity and inability to deal with “adult” problems and important decisions. Often they never grow up and live with childish reactions and attitude towards various life difficulties.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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