Strength based interviews are a method of assessing what your strengths are to identify your fit for a role. It differs from the competency-based interview, which probes about your past experiences to infer how you would behave in the future. Strengths based interviews are designed to showcase your unique talent – what are you good at? What are your passions? Many organisations prefer strength based interviews because candidates can more genuinely engage with the interviewers – after all, it’s much easier (and relevant) to talk about your interests than it is to talk about highly contextualised scenarios from your past.
Below are our seven tips to help you ace your strengths based interview.
- 1. Prepare ahead of time. If the interview is over Skype, do you have a comfortable, quiet place to conduct the interview? Do you have a reliable internet connection? Consider connecting via ethernet, as those connections are stable. Connectivity issues can sometimes interrupt even the best interview experiences. Also, do your research. Research, research, and research some more. You want to demonstrate your understanding of what the company does. Not only will this give you a better idea of the kind of work you’ll be involved in, but it’ll also show the organization that your interest is genuine. Familiarise yourself with the broader market they’re in, and you’ll be able to impress interviewers with the amount of initiative you’ve shown.
- 2. Engage in self-reflection. What do you value in an employer or workplace? What do you like doing? The better you’re able to articulate your passions and values, the better the potential cultural fit with the organisation you’re interviewing for.
- 3. Know your story. What does your path say about your interests? Why the choice of one field over others? Remember, there are no wrong answers when you’re sharing your story – but you do need to communicate it!
- 4. Identify how your interests and passions align with the company’s goals. Maybe you came across a company initiative or project you find intriguing, or you know the company’s goals overlap with some of your own. If you can identify this overlap, it tells a much more compelling story of why you might be a good fit for the position you applied for.
- 5. Be honest. Strengths-based interviews are aptly named – they’re meant to highlight your strengths! Organisations are interested in who you are, not who you think they want you to be. This goes a long way in ensuring your long-term success in the role: they want you to do well, too!
- 6. Answer questions directly, but give enough detail that people don’t have to fill in gaps for you. One-word answers leave a lot to the imagination, and you want the interviewer to know enough about you to help you make an informed decision. Plus, by giving some concrete examples, you’re showing a higher level of engagement and enthusiasm – and the interviewers will become more engaged themselves!
- 7. Relax! Companies are using this interview method because they’re interested in finding out more about you and are interested in finding a good fit for you. It’s natural to be nervous, but strengths-based interviews are meant to showcase your abilities and accomplishments, and you already know what those are!
Written by: Stefano Di Tommaso, Project Co-ordinator at Futureboard.