Strength-Based Interviews – Should You Adopt the Technique?

Businessman shaking hand to business partner

Are you currently using the most effective interview technique? Interview trends come and go like the wind, but this one seems here to stay – at least for a while. The popularity of strength-based interviews has increased after a realisation that they help identify passionate individuals that share the same passions, values and interests as the company does, which therefore leads to finding the best person for the role.

A strength based interview is similar to a competency based interview in the way that it aims to assess workplace skills and suitability. A competency based question asks the candidate describe an example of them using certain skills, such as teamwork or leadership.  A strength-based interview question asks what particular skills or tasks the candidate prefers doing, in order to assess suitability for the role.

Competency-based interviews are great for helping to establish the context in which candidates have exercised their skills – but they don’t necessarily enlighten an employer on how good the candidate is at that certain aspect of the role. For example, a candidate may have played a team-leader role in the past but hated every second of it and weren’t too great at it at all. The interview becomes an assessment of what potential the candidate has, rather than what they have done in the past.

As a result, this type of interview lends itself well for interviewing graduates or college-leavers – people with technical skills, qualifications and ability but a lack of workplace experience. In a recruitment market where experienced employees are increasingly hard to find, a new way of interviewing less experienced candidates to identify their potential seems just what the market needs.

The idea is to find employees that will be a better fit for the organisation as a whole, bettering the chances of the employee succeeding in the role but also staying with the company long-term. Strength-based interviews best suit companies that are willing to offer further training and development to staff to make them their business leaders of the future.