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Showcase your Strengths - Strength Based Interview

Showcase your Strengths - Strength Based Interview

Sell yourself - How to Shine in the Interview

The way employers interview candidates is changing, traditional interviews (normally competence based, meaning you usually answer questions based on examples of your experiences) maybe set to be taken over by a less conventional option, the strength based interview. 

With competence based interviews relying so heavily on experience it might mean a difficult interview or that you just don't get the job if you don't have that experience. Not entirely fair but experience has normally always outweighed anything else; until now.

Strength based interviewing is a new wave of recruiting that instead looks at your natural strengths (and unfortunately we can't get away from them) your weaknesses. The interviews purpose is to highlight your transferable skills and personal traits rather than just focusing on your previous work experience or educational history. Starting to sound like your perfect interview? Well there is a slight problem with strength based interviewing; there is limited preparation you can do as it is based on your initial reactions and reflections. 

So if you can't prepare what do you need to expect?

Even though there is limited prep you can do, I am not going to let you off that easily, there is some ways we can get equipped to impress. (I mean what would be the point of writing a blog about this, if there is nothing you need to know!)

So where to start? You need to really be aware of your own strengths and although this isn't all about experience do have examples to hand to help you give more depth to you answers. If you are like me you don't like singing your own praises so thinking of your key attributes can be difficult. If you haven't already complied a list from my previous blog when we were discovering What Career Suits You then start writing. These strengths can be anything you do well at, whether work related or skills you pick up through education or even talents you complied from family life or hobbies. I'd always start with your Top 10 but don't be afraid to add more (it's a great ego boost before any interview to see everything that makes you great written down) and if you're really struggling why not ask friends, family or work colleagues for some suggestions.

Top Tip Alert

When thinking of your strengths make sure they relate to the job you have applied for, so print off the specification and highlight all the strengths the company are looking for, that way you can better demonstrate how you represent them.

So how does a Strength Based Interview work?

Strength based interviewing is usually about the first thing that comes to mind so if you aren't good at thinking on your feet, then it might be worth a practice run or two (practice definitely makes perfect)
Below, I am going to list a few examples of a strength based interview questions so why not give them a go and see what answers you come out with. (remember although it is the first thing that comes to mind, you can always take a few moments to think of the perfect answer)

Companies will have different formats for their strength based interview as it can come under either a one to one interview, a group interview or become part of an assessment day. So as ever if you are invited into an interview, do ask the employer what you can expect on the day.

Benefits of Strength Based Interviewing

Technically there are no right or wrong answers in this type of interview process, which does take the pressure off slightly but unfortunately that doesn't mean you get an automatic pass and job offer (it would be much simpler if that was the case.)
It doesn't rely on you having tons of experience so if you are considering a career change then this could be the ideal type of interview for you as it will focus more on your engagement, passion and enthusiasm for the job.

However, this does mean that if you are just going through the motions to get a job and your hearts not really in it then a strength based interview will hugely highlight this so you need to perfect your poker face. 

Question Examples

  • What energies you?
  • Do you prefer working in a team or working more independently?
  • How do you feel about working towards deadlines?
  • What strengths do you think you can transfer to this role?
  • What are your main weaknesses?
  • How do you feel about working towards strict (guidelines or rules .. )?
  • Would you describe yourself as (a team player, resilience, motivated .. )?
  • What did you enjoy most about your last position or your previous studies?
  • How would your friends or family describe you?

As you can see from the above it is less about when did you last or give me an example of but do remember this doesn't mean that examples aren't wanted or needed; so if you have the experience then definitely bring it forward.  If there is ever an interview where you need to shine then it's one where you need to showcase you skills. 

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