How to Identify Your Strengths Before a Job Interview

How to Discover What Career Will Make You Happy

We all know how intimidating it can be to put yourself forward for a new job. Yeah, you know you can do the work – it’s selling yourself in the first place that’s the real challenge!

Everybody dreads being asked what their strengths are and what they can bring to a team, because it feels like you have to show-off and express a strong positive opinion of yourself. So next time you’re writing an application or preparing for an interview, instead of relying on opinion – try to back yourself up with the facts.

Okay, so it’s tough to ‘objectively’ state that you’re charming, or spontaneous, or systematic. They still seem like opinions, even if you hold those opinions strongly. Coming up with examples from your work or extracurricular life that demonstrate your particular strengths in action is a common and effective way to convince a panel that you are what you say you are.

But figuring out what you are in the first place takes a bit more work.

And that’s where this excellent new career resource from OnStride comes in handy.

Word Maps of 12 Personality Types

Their visual guide uses the theories of psychologist William Moulton Marston to create ‘Word Maps of 12 Personality Types’ – the 12 types that Marston identified using his celebrated DiSC system. DiSC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness, and these are the personality compass points between which the various character types find themselves.

The Seeker, for example, is a curious character. She finds herself bored when not learning something new, and has a tendency to move ahead to new pastures while others are dwelling on details. If you can demonstrate times in your career or education when you’ve been the one to identify or seize an opportunity, or you’ve shaken up the way things are done to improve the outcome, you may well be a Seeker.

When the interviewer asks you your strengths, you might say that you’re pioneering, dynamic, enthusiastic.

Everybody wants to work with someone like that!

Or perhaps you’re one of Marston’s ‘Peacekeepers’. Your role has not been to rock the world, like the Seeker, but to keep it one piece when opposing ideas or personalities have threatened to stunt productivity.

Try to think of examples of when you’ve rallied a team around to an unlikely success or proved yourself an understanding listener to a trouble-maker. If you have examples of this, try to drop words like ‘diplomatic’, ‘supportive’, and ‘problem-solver’ into your spiel. You’ve proved it: you’re a peacekeeper!

Recognize yourself already? Great! If not, browse through the infographic until you find the profile that fits your skills.

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