You may be wondering why interviewers ask certain questions of you. For example – those regarding strengths.
But – if you have the skills – which you made clear in your LinkedIn Profile and Resume – why is it important for an interviewer to question you about your strengths – you may be asking yourself?
Technically – what is a strength?
Your strengths play a larger part in determining who you are or would be as an employee or leader than you may think. Interview pros tell us, they also inform them how you will perform in the role (position) if hired. Which is also why knowing and sharing your strengths in a resume, LinkedIn profile and with an interviewer is so important.
A strength is a combo of your inherent talents and skills.
# Let’s say you were born with the inclination to listen. And in time became a good listener. Throughout your life you have taught yourself how to utilize ‘listening’ to accomplish goals, develop relationships, supervise employees. In short, your natural talent, combined with what you have learned, has allowed ‘listening’ to develop into a strength. Don’t discount those which come naturally to you. On the other hand, don’t only take into account those used to perform your job.
Note: Emotional Intelligence is fast rising as the top strength companies want in
candidates they hire.
Every unique job not only requires a specific set of skills but also a specific group of strengths to optimally perform the job. And every interviewer wants to choose the individual whom they believe possesses those necessary strengths not only to do the job well but to successfully help move the company – and its employees – forward. Meaning – both your skills and strengths must match the job requirements.
It’s not enough to qualify for a job, interviewers want and need info about your strengths in order to properly evaluate whether you are a good fit the job they are interviewing for. They begin considering whether to interview you when reading your resume or scanning your LinkedIn profile. What most potential job candidates don’t realize is while your Profile and/or Resume can be dismissed for a variety of reasons, it will generally be dismissed for these two –
1) They fail to include your strengths.
2) Your strengths and skills don’t match the job at hand.
That said, without the leveraging of your strengths, it could take a long time for you to obtain an interview and get hired.
10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine Your Strengths?
- What am I good at?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What are some unusual skills I’ve developed into strengths which make me valuable yet different from others?
- What am I most proud of? (These are strengths you regularly use.)
- What do people, co-workers and my boss compliment me on most?
- What would co-workers or my boss say is my greatest strength? (cooperation, relationship building, organizing, for example.)
- In my personal and work life what do others ask me to help them with most? (This could very well be your top strength.)
- Think about your top achievements. What strengths did you use or develop to accomplish them?
- During a difficult work or personal situation what strengths did you utilize to turn it around?
- Strengths are often developed during difficult times. Consider some difficult situations you’ve struggled through and what strengths emerged. (This could also be a top strength.)
Drill down for details; don’t gloss over any achievement or natural strength you’ve developed.
What did those strengths help you achieve?
It’s important you not only head into an interview having a list of your own strengths in mind and ready to discuss but you also must have a short list of your achievements associated with those strengths.
While your strengths show you can do the job, your achievements show what resulted from use of those strengths.
Hiring pros and decision-makers want to know how you have used your strengths effectively for your current company and what using those strengths has helped you achieve. Knowing these facts strongly suggests what you can do to help their company continue to profit and succeed.
With years of experience, interviewers and hiring pros understand people with no idea what their strengths are usually have no sense of who they are and what they can do. And less likely to get the job done.
Including your strengths in both your resume and LinkedIn profile helps you leverage them to help you obtain an interview.
Once in the interview, you’ll leverage them – again – by optimally sharing them with the interviewer to demonstrate what you bring to the table. When you know what your strengths are and what you’ve achieved using them, it’s easy to present them at an interview to help yourself rise above the competition. And, very importantly, when leveraging your strengths you dramatically raise your opportunities to receive the job offer.
When you know your strengths you can easily sell an interviewer not only on your ability to do the job but help prove you are the best person for the job.
Jean L. Serio CEIC, CPC, CeMA, CSEOP