Competency-based interviews have become very popular over the past few years, but they’re not the only type of interview you may come across.

Competencies are essentially the things that you can do, whereas, strength-based interviews assess what you enjoy doing. Increasingly, strength-based interviews are taking preference over competency interviews.

When a candidate is using their strengths they:

  • demonstrate a real sense of energy and engagement,
  • often lose a sense of time because they are engrossed in and enjoying the task,
  • quickly learn new information and approaches,
  • perform well and
  • are drawn to do things that play to their strengths – even when tired, stressed or disengaged.

How to prepare for a strength-based interview

Although they don’t need as much preparation as competency-based interviews, these types of questions still need some preparation and careful thought. While you can't change the fundamentals of what you enjoy, for a recruiter, thinking about how your preferences fit with the organisation and the job requirements is still important. Try to relax and be yourself!

The type of questions you will be asked in a strength-based interview

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you learn quickly?
  • What things give you energy?
  • When did you achieve something you were really proud of?
  • Do you prefer to start tasks or to finish them?
  • Do you find you have enough hours in the day to complete all the things you want to do?
  • What things are always left on your to-do list and not finished?
  • What have been some of your achievements and how have you made them happen?
  • Do you think this role will play to your strengths?

Use the interview as an opportunity to understand more about the company and the role – as they assess you, make sure you assess them.

For more useful interview advice, visit the Michael Page Career Centre.

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