I was intrigued by the following instructions from veteran copywriter Jim Sinkinson of Infocomgroup: “Create a one- or two-page ‘copy platform’ for one of your products. Include a solid, well-thought-out description of the audience (including the audience’s biggest problems and untapped opportunities) and a strong list of product features and corresponding benefits.

Ask candidates to write a headline and the first two paragraphs for a magazine ad for the product. Assuming you know the difference between good advertising and bad (don’t use this method unless you have an advertising pro in on the judging), you should get a good idea pretty quickly. Don’t judge whether the head and copy are “correct” (since you may not know that without testing), but rather the creativity and sophistication of the approach.”