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June 2013
« May   Jul »

The Candidate’s Experience of a Strengths-based Interview (SBI)

Posted by: Gurpal Minhas, Consulting Psychologist, Capp


I’m travelling back on the train from an interview that I’ve had today and I thought I’d let you know how it went. Initially, I was quite surprised that I was asked to return for a face-to-face interview, considering I haven’t got any experience in this field!


When I received the invitation from the company, they informed me that I’d be having a SBI. I hadn’t had one of those before, but I really enjoyed it….something that you don’t normally say after an interview!


So, what was it like?


I was pleasantly surprised that the interview opened up with some ‘gentler’ questions about me. I knew that I couldn’t get these wrong! The interviewers asked me about what I enjoyed doing on an ideal day and what significant accomplishments I was proud of.


The questions got me thinking. It was nice to see that the company were interested in getting to know more about me.


The interview was different compared to others that I’ve done. The questions varied in style and were mainly short and rapid fire. I’m not sure how the 45 minutes managed to disappear so quickly!


I found that the interview allowed me to explore my experiences both in and outside of employment. It didn’t matter so much that I hadn’t worked in their industry before.


The interview enabled me to show my passion and genuine enthusiasm for their organisation and industry. I didn’t feel constrained to talking about my past work-related achievements. The interviewers let me talk about my interests and how I felt about things. I was able to give genuine responses that were true to me.


I answered a lot more questions today in comparison to a competency-based interview. This was good - it enabled me to share more of myself. As with all good interviews, I got to understand more about the role and the company.


I found that the questions were structured in such a way that I was able to understand and get a real insight into the sorts of activities that I’d be involved in. They got me really excited about the role!


By the end of the interview, I felt that the assessors had seen the best of me and I knew a lot more about the role. As I walked out of reception, I had a real ‘buzz’. I felt that I could gauge my performance, whereas normally I’d be left feeling rather anxious after an interview.


So, what will I take away from this experience?


The SBI enabled me to share what I was good at alongside those things that I get energy from. I was able to share more about my motivations, energy and interests than I have ever shown before in an interview.


I look forward to completing many more – but hopefully sat on the side of the assessor, rather than as a candidate!


This blog showcases the candidate experience of a strengths-based interview. If you are a large employer and would like to see a SBI virtually or face-to-face (and you can even play the role of a candidate!), please contact us at to benefit from a free demonstration.


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