Last night I chatted to a guy who is training to be a lawyer and is having doubts about whether he really wants to pursue a career in law after all.

The fact is, he is one of those people who is good at pretty much everything he turns his hand to. He told me that rather than this being a positive thing, he’s experienced it as quite a hindrance, because it’s meant he has never really been “sure” about what to study or what career path to take.

He bought a copy of The Strengths Book and said that, as he’s working through the exercises in it, he feels like a detective gradually piecing together his strengths. His true self is slowly being revealed!

That is what often happens in strengths interviews, too.

As the strengths interview progresses, the candidate gradually learns more about themselves. This means that if they are suitable for the job, they really understand why that’s the case (and indeed, by the end of the interview they will believe in their hearts that the job is right for them). And if they’re not a good fit for the job, they also realise why that is, and that the organisation would be doing them no favours by appointing them – they may not be right for this job, but they gain real insight into the strengths they do have.

And that’s the beauty of the strengths interviewing method that my team and I teach people.

At a conference last week, I heard a woman speak about interviews being a bad thing for people who are chronically shy or who, or whatever reason, become nervous in such situations. She was posing the question, should interviews as a selection method be done away with? I could empathise with her. But, my answer would be, it depends on the type of interview! I wish she could experience The Engaging Minds strengths interview which feels more like an easy-flowing conversation; even shy or nervous candidates enjoy the experience and feel like the interviewers really get to know them. Hear about the differences between strengths and competency interviews, and hear people talk about their experiences of strengths interviewing in our short videos.

Sally BibbDirector, Engaging Minds
Sally Bibb is the author of Strengths-based Recruitment and Development: A Practical Guide to Transforming Talent Management Strategy for Business Results and The Strengths Book: Discover How to Be Fulfilled in Your Work and in Life, and is a leading strengths expert.