How do I identify my strengths?

25 Jul 2023, 13:23

How do you identify your own strengths - and how do you understand whether those complement a job or opportunity?

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At Fidelity International, our process is strengths-based. Unlike a competency-based interview, a strength-based interview focuses on what you enjoy doing, rather than what you can already do. Questions may revolve around your passions and hobbies; things that you are proud of and that inspire you.

Strengths-based interviews are designed to draw out aptitude better - what you have the potential to do, rather than just what you’ve already done. That’s why we don’t require particular work experience, grades, or technical knowledge. However, we do want to see you demonstrate strengths that we believe will help you to succeed in our industry.

How do you identify your own strengths - and how do you understand whether those complement a job or opportunity?

What is a strength?

You may have heard of competency-based interviews. A strength is different from a competency because it’s not only something that you do really well, but also something that you want to do often, and derive energy from. You can be good at something, but it can be really boring! That means, it’s not a strength. We want to know that you can perform the role, but we also want to know whether a role will motivate, energise, and excite you.

Examples of strengths include:

  • Curiosity
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Being a self-starter
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Problem-Solving

This is not an exhaustive list! We suggest you check out our key strengths article HERE if you want to learn more about what these mean, and how to demonstrate them.

How do I identify my strengths?

Here’s a few simple steps to help you identify your strengths:

Write down a list of tasks or activities you enjoy and think you’re good at.

  • These don’t have to be work-related - it could be a school project, or the fact you love planning parties for your friends.

Dig deeper and ask yourself WHY you enjoy those things.

  • If you like party planning, what is it about that which makes it enjoyable? For example, is it being in control and knowing exactly what’s happening end to end, is it delivering a party that’s really spectacular and that your friends love - what’s the driver for you?

Look at the list you have created, and hopefully you will find some trends. This is how you can then identify your strengths.

  • The strengths are not the tasks, they are the underlying skills and qualities which make you good at those tasks and makes them motivate for you.
  • You may notice there’s four or five things you’ve written down which involve an element of working with people or collaborating, or you may notice that two or three things were enjoyable to you because they involved designing a process. These are your strengths.

Link those strengths to the responsibilities in the job description!

  • If you you love delivering a great end product and the role you’re applying for involves change management, at the end of that change process, you want to deliver a quality outcome for the business, which is something that motivates you.
  • You can also link your strengths to our Fidelity values, or our business strategy. For example, we want people to be bold and brave - do you have examples of being innovative and brave?

Now think about your development areas - it’s okay to have some, we all do!

  • But think about perhaps why particular tasks or activities more difficult for you, following the same process as above.
  • Write down whether you have started/could you start to work on those?
  • Also, remember to consider whether a role is actually the right one for you if it doesn’t play to your strengths. It is very unlikely a role will tick 100% of your strengths and not include anything you don’t enjoy as much, but if you are applying to a role that is 95% things you struggle with and really don’t enjoy, it might be better to consider a different role which requires different strengths.

Top Tips

Here’s some more top tips:

  • Adversity can create strengths. Talk about challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve learned from them.
  • Throughout the interview, we want to see specific examples when you’re answering questions, which is why identifying and mapping your strengths in advance can be helpful. Read our article HERE on effectively using the STARR model to help with preparing your examples ahead of an interview.
  • However, don’t shoehorn in an example which doesn’t fit the question, just because you like it, or spent time memorising it.
  • Don’t pretend something is a strength when it isn’t!

We hope this article has been helpful; we look forward to receiving an application from you! Fidelity International offers a range of opportunities in Dublin from summer internships to apprenticeships, to graduate apprenticeships for recent university graduates. There really is something for everyone.

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