Have you prepared yourself for a strength-based interview? If you haven´t you might be asking yourself what is it all about. As far as you can remember interviews were based in a competency-framework, this is what you know and what you have prepared for. So now what? Does it mean that all your preparation has been a waste of time? Of course not but you need to understand what it is and how to approach it, as you know there are different ways of interviewing, and this new approach is being used by some graduate recruiters at the moment.
What is the difference between a strength-based interview and a competency-based one?
While the competency-based questions helps an employer to see what you can do, strength based questions helps employers to know what you enjoy doing and have a natural aptitude for. That is nice you may think… but why on earth are they changing the way I was used to?
Recruiters are turning towards strengths-based interviews because candidates were turning up to interview with rehearsed answers. This made it difficult to find out what applicants were like. Gosh, now that I had my interview well prepared and nicely tied …..
Digging into it they basically explain that our strengths are not our skills that can actually be learnt and developed, our strengths are that pre-existing capacity for a certain way of thinking, feeling or behaving that enables us to function, develop or perform a particularly well in certain areas. Our strengths are tied to our interests
Why are they now so interested in our interests?
Recruiters are searching for that enjoyment or flow that happens when you are completely engrossed in a project, losing all sense of time. Ah, yes that is understandable then, they want us to enjoy what we are doing Isn´t that nice and considerate?
Well, the reality is that everybody knows that enjoying what we do make us more productive and this is why it makes sense to explore it during the interview process.
What do I have to expect?
The recruiter wants to know what kind of activities engage and energise you, they will try to assess your personal attributes, identifying your abilities, such as working with others or look for a pride in what you do. They will note your body language and your tone of voice and look for cues that show them you have enjoyed etc. In general they are looking for that genuine response. I am not sure about this, I feel more confident with my rehearsed answers
Should I be alarmed by this new way of approach?
Most candidates who have undergone a strength-based interview report that they found it interesting and satisfying. Most people are likely to be at their best when they talk about what they enjoy.
Do we have some questions as example?
Some examples are the following questions:
1.Do you prefer starting or finishing things?
2.When would those you know best say you are at your happiest?
3.Are there enough hours in the day?
4.What gets done first on your ‘to do’ list? What gets done last?
5.What would a successful day be for you?
6.What comes easily to you?
7.What gives you a buzz?
8.What are you most proud of?
9.What were your favourite subjects at school?
10.What part of your job do you enjoy least?
How do I prepare for these questions?
Be open and think about what you really love doing in life as well as at work. Be prepared to be honest about your dislikes, as you know our dislikes tend to relate to our weaknesses so tread them carefully. How to frame our weaknesses is important as we don´t want to rise the alarm bell at the interview. Yes, that sounds ok I think I will be able to cope with a strength one now 🙂
For more information you can read the following links: