It’s the classic question that many have been asked during the interview process…what are your strengths and weaknesses? Well, we know that everyone has them and it is part of who we are as employees and how we fit into the company…but do we look at them accurately, or in a way that we can make them work in our favor? As a recruiter, have you ever wondered why this is important to know? And, most importantly, do we really need to improve our areas of weakness?
How are we hard-wired?
Knowing yourself is as important in the hiring realm as in everyday life. There are many different assessments or “tests” that exist to help measure a person’s strengths and weakness. Some of us know these behaviors already while others are surprised by the results. When I was first hired here, I took a ProfileXT assessment that showed where I am on a scale for different cognitive and behavioral traits. I was not shocked to learn I have high scores in numeric reasoning, sociability and independence. I was surprised to see a lower score in assertiveness, since I always felt I was pretty straight forward.
Why is this important?
Seems obvious, but these scores show us and our employer a lot about how we think each day. These scores can be used by management to help understand why employees act a certain why, what motivates them and with which other employees they will most naturally interact in a positive, productive way. This whole idea is to create and cultivate the best job fit for the employee, thus creating an optimal work culture and environment. For example, my boss knows I am a social person so he is okay if I spend a little time chatting around “the water cooler” because he knows I need that to re-energize and then focus back on my work. Since we are a small company, we have the added bonus of sharing our assessment scores with each other and this helps us all out in knowing how to communicate and problem solve within our group.
What should we try to improve?
No one is Superman (or Superwoman), so there is no way to turn each weakness into a strength. Instead, focus on the areas that are already your strengths (could be behavior and/or cognitive traits), and use those to your advantage. For example, I am the official “bean-counter” at ExactHire so it make sense for me to sharpen my accounting knowledge and number skills, staying up to date on the financial world. I also know that it does not make a lot of sense to wear myself out trying to improve on my “technical” scores when I am not the IT person for our company. The same is true for someone who is customer service oriented, they do not need to be a numeric calculation genius because it is not in their job requirements…but it would make sense for them to be creative problem solvers in addressing client requests and inquiries.
Knowing your strengths can truly help in your job search or just in your daily life and how you interact at the office. A cohesive team can be created by knowing each other’s strengths and weakness because you can personalize your response for each situation at work…i.e. thinking about how you know others may react to your statements and using that knowledge to deliver news in the most optimal way as a result. For the person job hunting, you will be able to see how you will best fit into an organization ahead of time, based on what you know about the position and/or organization, and point out those strengths to the recruiter or hiring manager. To learn more about employee assessments available from ExactHire, please visit our assessment features page or contact us today.