Good Questions regarding Strengths
“What are your strengths?” is a favourite question for job interviews. That’s the time when you can ‘blow your own trumpet’. It’s worth listing your strengths – not just for job interviews, but for the goals you want to set for your own life. How can we use our strengths to achieve our goals? (not a bad question in itself!). It is best to be specific, especially at a job interview, because that is where you stake your claim for the position.
Marcus Buckingham of leanIn.org says “a strength is an activity that strengthens you”. To help you recognise this type of strength he suggests you notice the following aspects (SIGN):
• Success — When you do the activity, you feel effective and in control
(what psychologists call “self-efficacy”).
• Instinct — Before you do the activity, you look forward to doing it.
You can’t wait to do it.
• Growth — While you are doing the activity, you feel inquisitive and
focused. You may lose track of time and two hours feel like only five
minutes have passed.
• Needs — After you’ve done the activity, even if you’re tired, you feel
How we perceive our strengths can change over time. It depends on the knowledge we acquire, the skills we learn along the way, and we may discover new personal strengths that we were not aware of until we faced a new challenge.
Where do our strengths come from?
You can start by making a list and dividing it into 3 parts:-
- Knowledge-based skills: Acquired from education and experience (e.g., computer skills, languages, degrees, sales and marketing, training and technical ability).
- Transferable skills: Your portable skills that you take from job to job (e.g., communication and people skills, analytical problem solving and planning skills).
- Personal traits: Your unique qualities (e.g., dependable, flexible, friendly, hard working, expressive, formal, punctual and being a team player).
What are your strengths?
Some examples of your strengths might include:
When you complete this list, choose three to five of those strengths that match what the employer is seeking in the job posting. Applying your strengths to your goals will help you decide how achievable and realistic your goals are, and whether you may need help to get to some.
Good questions to help you discover your strengths
Can you find your strengths?
What could you work on?
Do you know your greatest strength?
What strengths would other people select for you?
Even though things may be tough at the moment, what strengths will help you get through?
Do some of your strengths get you into trouble?
Do you use some strengths more than others?
Has anyone ever criticised your strengths? – Do you think they were right?
What strengths do you need to work on?
Have you lost some strengths you used to have? Why did they go? Could you get them back?
Are there any strengths you wish you had?
What strengths could sort out this situation?
Do you know anyone who already has these strengths?
How could you get these strengths?