Graduate Coach Blog

How to Sell Your Strategic Thinking Skills in a Job Interview

Posted: November 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Author: Chris Davies

Exploring the strengths-based approach for Graduates – Part 2 of 4

We began looking at this subject last time and we learnt that adopting a STRENGTHS-BASED APPROACH in your life and work can help you to perform at your optimum. To perform at your best, all you need to be able to do is recognise, accept and utilise your own strengths.

So how do we define a strength?

A strength is the ability to be consistent and to achieve near-perfect performance in a specific activity. It’s a combination of:

  • Talent: recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings or behaviours that help you to be productive
  • Skill: the capacity to perform the fundamental steps of an activity with ease
  • Knowledge: all that you’ve acquired through your experience

So Talent + Skill + Knowledge = Strength

As mentioned last time, there are 34 main strengths and they can be categorised into four domains: EXECUTOR, STRATEGIC THINKER, INFLUENCER and RELATIONSHIP BUILDER. We looked at EXECUTOR last time. Now let’s look at the main strengths of a STRATEGIC THINKER.

What’s so unique about your strategic thinking skills?

A STRATEGIC THINKER is someone who always thinks ahead and plans. They’re able to anticipate what will happen next, or what others will do, and they can prepare themselves for this. They foresee the opportunities and take them. They’re always prepared for the “what ifs” and they’re ready to respond.

Here are the different types of “Strategic Thinker” strengths:

1. Analytical – People who fall into the analytical category are logical, rigorous in their approach and meticulous, always paying attention to the detail. When it comes to analysing data, they consider all the relevant factors, no matter how small, before reaching a conclusion.

2. Context – People who fall into this category tend to mull over past data, actions and experiences in order to reach careful decisions. They consider what they’ve learnt from the past. This sense of context gives them the perspective and confidence they need to be effective in their life and work.

3. Futuristic – A futuristic person is one who inspires others with their sense of vision. They’re creative and insightful – able to imagine the future and what it might hold.

4. Ideation – People who are described best by the term ideation love thinking “out of the box”. They can apply a new perspective to an old concept. They’re fascinated by ideas.

5. Intellection – This theme describes those who enjoy taking time out to think. Thinking energises them and drives their enthusiasm. They relish intellectual discussions and debates and enjoy developing their ideas.

6. Input – People who fall into this category are able to store away all kinds of information. They crave knowledge and enjoy learning just for the sake of it. Their wide range of interests helps them to connect with almost everyone they meet.

7. Learner – A learner is a person who likes to better themselves through knowledge. They constantly want to learn new facts and consider new arguments. They love reading, researching and browsing the internet.

8. Strategic – A person who’s strategic is always prepared. They’re ready to act and respond, and they always have an answer! They’re quick-witted and can easily spot possibilities and solutions.

Do you recognise these strengths in yourself, and if so, which ones? In what way are you a STRATEGIC THINKER?

Being able to answer this will place you at an advantage over competitors when placed in an interview situation. Make this difference known. Describe your abilities and strengths using real-life examples. Perhaps your sense of vision led you to set up a new club at university. Or maybe your love of learning led you to carry out further research into your specialist area.

These strengths will make you attractive to potential employers, so put your “context” skills into practice at your interview, to make sure your interviewer can see you in context!

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