What are you best at?


No matter how you try to avoid it, the classic interview question is, “What are your strengths?” At best, it usually doesn’t lead to the vapid and/or dishonest responses to the companion, “What are your weaknesses?” (e.g., “I care too much,” “I get too involved in a project,” “I want to learn everything I can about a new job.”)

At worst, it results in a repetition of what sounds like the Boy Scout Law: “A (candidate) is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.”  (And detail-oriented, hardworking and passionate…)

A client of ours has found another way of get at what you’re really trying to find out – what do you like doing, what might you do well if I hire you, what do you really want to do with your life?

“What are you best at?” he asks. It’s a great, subtle way at getting to the information you want. More importantly, one that avoids the overworked “P” word “passion.” The answers he gets are a lot more sincere, thoughtful and complete than the usual recitation of adjectives the “strength” questions elicits. They tell you a lot more about the person.

Over the years we always listen to our clients – and always end up learning from them.

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