What Are Your Strengths?

by | Nov 5, 2023 | Human Thinking and Behavior, Job hunting, Positive psychology, Work | 0 comments

People rarely think about their strengths — unless they are facing a job or admission interview. One likely question there: What are your strengths as a candidate?

Aside from an impending interview we can benefit from thinking about our strengths. The thoughts can boost our mood and help point us in the right direction about what to aim toward in the future. Also, we might get ideas about strengths we would like to develop. 

When individuals try to list their strengths they often miss important ones. In an interview, omissions of strengths can be costly. Naturally, in an interview you want to mention your strengths that are relevant to the role you are seeking.

You can find relevant microskills in strengths that on the surface seem unrelated to a role you desire as a student or employee. For instance, suppose you are great at playing field hockey. What makes you so good? Answering that question for yourself can point out microskills. Here are some possibilities: You are energetic, physically fit, fast-moving, and goal-directed., You can anticipate what others will do. You can identify weaknesses and strengths in in yourself and in others. You can change strategies quickly as needed. You are open to feedback and have a strong desire to improve. You help motivate teammates by encouraging and praising them. 

Some of those microskills are valued in certain roles. Others are not. 

Suppose instead that you are a teacher and want to become a psychologist. What skills do you have that would transfer usefully? Here are some possibilities: You prepare carefully, you interact in a positive way with students, you show flexibility, you look for the potential in each student, you seek feedback from students and other teachers, you consistently strive to improve, you frequently and carefully assess assess student learning, You attend to strong emotions shown by students — positive and negative — and show empathy and caring. You do your best to project enthusiasm and optimism. 

Don’t wait until you have an interview approaching to identify your strengths. Now is a good time. Push modesty aside and get going. 

Once you identify your strengths, you will find it easier to identify and to try to overcome weaknesses. Getting past weaknesses, however, is a topic for another time.


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash


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