This is a blog post from Caitlin, one of our Intern Queen Campus Ambassadors from Florida State University.
In any interview, there is one question that is almost always asked, “What are some of your strengths?” I always have so much difficulty with this question because I want to say something creative and original but I have difficulty finding the right thing to say. This is an opportunity in an interview to highlight you and stand out. One day, I was asking one of my advisors about the best way to go about this question and she told me about the strengths test.
The Strengths Test is a self-evaluation where you rate yourself on a scale based off of things you like and dislike and how good you think you are at things. The results of the test give you your top 5 strengths; usually, these strengths are thematic and test takers will find that their strengths relate with each other. The purpose of the test is for people to recognize their strengths and highlight them. The test only shows you your top 5 strengths and does not tell you which areas where you are weakest. The reason behind this is that if you spend your time strengthening your weaknesses, your strengths will become weaker and then you’re in a mess! So why not become the strongest person possible based off of your skills?
When I took the test, my top 5 strengths were strategic, maximizer, empathy, futuristic, and positivity. At first, I was really surprised with the results. Upon my discussion with my advisor and reading the detailed report with strengths insight and action-planning guide, I realized some strengths that were unique to me and how I was living them in my life. In my next interview, I mentioned some of these strengths and I noticed how the interviewers were impressed that I had something different to say that stood out and was unique to me. The test also is helpful when working in groups and communities to know how you can be the most beneficial.
Many advisors in student affairs on college campuses are certified to proctor this test. You can also buy a book at a local bookstore, like I did, with an access code to take the test online and have a full report sent to you on your strengths and reasoning’s behind them. The book I purchased is Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
Have you taken the strengths test? What are your greatest strengths?