How to Prepare for a Strengths-based Interview
Posted by: Celine Jacques, Managing Psychologist, Capp
Many job candidates ask, ‘How can I prepare for a strengths-based interview?’ They want to know:
- What is a strengths-based interview?
- What will I be asked?
- How can I make sure I do well?
The answer is simple, albeit something of a cliché: Just be yourself.
A strengths-based interview is all about understanding what energises and motivates you, as well as what you do well.
Organisations use strengths-based interviews to find out what candidates love to do and do well. They are focused on making sure that the people they select are the right people for the right role, who will enjoy their jobs, perform well and stay with the organisation.
Another reason that organisations use strengths-based interviews is because it is difficult for candidates to over-prepare for them. As a result, the strengths-based interview is a lot more difficult to fake, and the organisation gets to see the ‘real’ candidate coming through.
To help prepare for a strengths-based interview, be prepared for:
- More questions that are delivered more quickly
- Little or no probing
- Some closed questions
- The chance to express how you feel in relation to a task or activity
- A request to provide several short examples.
Before having a strengths-based interview, there are a few simple things you can think about that will help you show the best of yourself on the day. As you prepare for your strengths-based interview, think about:
- What your friends and family know you for - how would they describe you to a stranger?
- What you enjoy doing, and what you are like at your best
- The achievements you have made and how you made them
- What a ‘great’ day looks like for you - when did you last go home energised, and why was that?
- Activities that you do not particularly enjoy, and why.
When the day comes for your strengths-based interview, stay calm and be yourself. Let your individuality shine though. Use the interview as an opportunity to understand more about the company and the role – as they assess you, make sure you assess them.
Do you think this organisation is right for you? Do you think the role will play to your strengths? How will you fit in with the culture here?
And last but not least, enjoy it! A strengths-based interview is a genuine two-way process. The interviewer is interested in getting to know you, but you can also take the opportunity to show yourself at your best, demonstrating if you’re the type of person they’re looking for.
Strengths-based interviewing is part of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five steps to strengths-based recruitment.
Read more about the strengths-based interview here.