You’re sitting across the table from a potential future boss. You’re almost done with your interview and everything is going great, then…boom. They ask you a question we are asked in nearly every interview, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
“Um, I’m good at brainstorming projects, and I’m not good at details.”
You might think, oh no, did that make me sound like I let things fall through the cracks?
This can be a pretty dreaded question, and you might meet it with pause, as you may not want to sound too vague, generic, or like a bad employee. But, it doesn’t have to be like this.
Let’s take a step back. The interviewer sitting across from you is asking you questions because they want to know how you work, they are not there to judge and analyze every single thing you may excel at or have failed at. Every single person works in a different way, you cannot be good at everything. You will have strengths and excel more in one area than another, so it is important to be aware of this.
Oftentimes, me move through the to-do’s at work and don’t really stop to process how we work. You can solve this is by using Cloverleaf to raise your self-awareness and learn about your personality traits, strengths, culture preferences, and productivity rhythms. You will also learn how to lean into these to realize your potential, both in and out of work.
So, let’s start with assessments!
According to a study posted in Forbes in 2015 30% of companies are using personality assessments in their interview process. As time goes on, the world of work is realizing more and more that an employee is more than just their resume. People are complex, and knowing their own cognitive traits and preferences can help the understand why they work the way they do, as well how to lean farther into traits that will help them be a higher performer.
If you haven’t had a chance to lean into your strengths in a prior job, it might be difficult knowing what they are. When you take an assessment like Strengthsfinder, you will get your top five strengths and learn what you excel at. This assessment is a great place to start when trying to learn more about your strengths.
Among the other assessments that Cloverleaf provides, you will gain a greater awareness of your drives, values, motivations, culture preferences, productivity rhythms, and so much more.
You will learn how, at the core, you work best, and how to move towards your highest-performing and healthiest self.
Let’s start with 16 Types. This assessment is based on Carl Jung’s Theory of Psychological Types. The results are broken down into four categories that measure on four functions: how you get energy, how you take in information, how you make decisions, and your outward behavioral tendencies.
Take a look at the image to the right. This person’s16 Types is ISTJ. You can see at a high level that this person likely has a rational and purpose-driven focus on work. They likely work in an honest and dedicated way, not trying to find work-arounds, and instead adhering to rules. Bringing this into the context of a job interview, a person this type might say that they approach their work with a high standard of responsibility, rationality, dedication, and working toward a purpose. If asked how they prefer to receive tasks or manage projects, they might bring up that they prefer to know the facts and statistics and approach projects in a practical way.
Looking at the Strengthsfinder assessment is a great way to understand the areas you excel in.
The StrengthsFinder assessment was developed by the Gallup organization and is based on 2 million interviews which derived 34 different patterns or themes that are consistent and prevalent themes of human talent or strengths.
When you take the assessment, you are given your top five strengths, which will each fall into one of four categories: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking.
If someone going into an interview has the strengths on the right, they might be able to tell the interviewer that the majority of their strengths fall in executing, so they are good at finishing things, checking tasks off the list, and want to see ideas being implemented. They might say a weakness of theirs is that they might not prefer working with big, lofty ideas, but that they overcome this by breaking them down into tangible steps until a goal or task is complete.
Why do companies love assessments?
Assessments are a great starting point to demonstrate that everyone works in different ways. Everyone has a unique set of preferences and skills, and even if they have the same assessment types as someone else, they may still work in a different way.
Assessments bring a great awareness to cognitive diversity, and recognizing that because we all work in different ways, we need to learn to work together based on those differences. That might look like learning about the strengths of a team member, and working off of each others’ top strengths. It might also look like comparing conflict styles to avoid any triggers and know what outcome the other person will thrive from.
In addition, when people are working at their own personal best, and working better with team members, there s an increase in productivity. Teams will be higher performing when they can effectively communicate, solve conflict, and understand each others’ work styles. When a team is intentional about working together effectively and in a way that works to everyone’s preferences and strengths, teams will be better off, higher performing, and more engaged.