I'd also say, ask them "Who do you want to be?", and tell them they can name any character from movies, books, or shows. Try to refine what defines these characters, and you essentially already have a character, and a role-model for the new player, too.
Tell them to think like their example: what would Luke Skywalker do? How would Indiana Jones react?
I think that's an excellent idea.I initiated a friend into D&D (and re-initiated another) basically by giving them pre-made characters and saying "just tell me what you want to do, and I'll tell you what roll/check you need to make."