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Strength Based Interview Coaching

strength interviewA strength based interview is a more recent style of interviewing which is is becoming increasingly popular for graduate interviews with companies such as Ernst and Young, Standard Chartered Bank, Nestle and a number of law firms. It is often used to complement rather than replace competency based interviewing. It is currently being introduced within the Civil Service Interviews as part of their Blended Assessment approach. It can sometimes be confused with value based interviewing within the NHS. However, value based interviewing is more similar in style to competency based interviewing.

The physiology behind the strength based approach is that there is more to be gained by building on a candidates existing strengths rather than learned skills.  A true strength is different to learned skill or competency in that it will energise and motivate you, encouraging you to perform well. So a strength is something that comes naturally. It should feel authentic. Weaknesses in contrast, often drain us.

Benefits of a strength based interview

  • more likely to find candidates with a natural fit for the job
  • candidates are likely to have a higher potential for success and engagement
  • candidates are less likely to be able to prepare for strength based questions and will need to rely on more spontaneous answers, therefore revealing their true self.

Strength based interview questions

Generally the style of a strength based interview is very different to a competency based interview. Strength based questions tend to focus on what you like and don’t like. The pace will be faster with multiple follow-up questions to explore your answer. However you still need an example to substantiate your perspective but you will need a more flexible structure to support your answer rather than following the STAR structure (Situation, Task, Action, Result). The interviewers will put much more emphasis on assessing your enthusiasm and expression with body language and tone of voice.  Questions tend to start with ‘what’ and ‘how’ rather than ‘can you tell me about a time’.

Strength based interview questions are often used in initial video interviews rather than competency questions. Here are a few strength based interview questions:

  • What does a good day look like for you?
  • How do your friends describe you?
  • What does a high performing team look like for you?
  • Are you a half empty or half full kind of person?
  • What’s the last thing left on your to do list?
  • When are you at your best?

Follow up questions might challenge how you know this and what you felt.

Preparation for strength based interview

Strength Based Interview CoachingStrength based interviews are easier for people who have good self-awareness, know their strengths, are natural story-tellers who can relax in an interview, be engaging and show the best of themselves. Unfortunately many people are anxious in an interview and may not be able to display the energetic and positive body language and tone of voice needed to do well in a strength based interview. So practising for a strength based interview is essential.

Strength based interview coaching

      • Identify the strength the organisation value above others such as collaborative team working or innovation. This will help you identify whether you are a good fit for the organisation and the likely focus of the strength based interview
      • Understand your own strengths and the difference between learnt strengths and authentic strengths
      • Identify the experiences and stories you can draw on in an interview to substantiate your answers
      • Practise answering a variety of strength based questions at a fast pace
      • Be coached in body language and voice using a video camera to sound and look positive, confident and energetic.

Why Interview Skills Clinics?

  • You work with Elizabeth Conley a professional interview and communication coach from the initial free consultation and supported throughout the interview process.
  • Coaching is tailored to your needs whether you need help with your CV, online application, interview or presentation coaching.
  • You’ll be offered two types of coaching: Preparation Coaching and Mock Interview Coaching. 
  • You will get an Interview Preparation Guide and Interview Question Guide . This includes a list of challenging questions tailored to your job specification so that you can use this for additional practice.
  • Video recording: During your interview coaching session you can choose to be recorded on video. Watching yourself can transform your delivery and body language.
  • Audio recording: Skype coaching sessions can be recorded on audio so that you can listen back to the coaching session and have continual access to the training. 

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