Thinking "out of the box"

Here's a story from "Fred" (not his real name):

"I made the mistake of not thinking 'out of the box.' It was a PM role. The recruiter said that the hiring manager (whom I interviewed with) was looking for someone with very strong process skills (MSF). So naturally I answered the questions from a fundamental development process standpoint. This was against my normal 'out of the box' style and was later told by the recruiter that the manager said I did not have the 'out of the box' Microsoft quality they were looking for!

"My answers were along these lines...

"'Well... I would probably query the user community and find out how they currently use (or do not use) such products and then incorporate the feedback into a set of requirements that would drive a couple prototypes."

"After talking to some of my programmer friends at MS I was told that the correct answer would have been... '[ed: answer deleted to protect readers from memorizing answers instead of answering from their heart]' (this would have been my answer except that I assumed the hiring manager was looking for a "Status Quo" and "Process Driven" candidate... so I answered accordingly)

"Live and learn... Next time I interview with MS I will be a bit more off the wall and creative in my answers."