Two of the most dreaded questions in interviewing are dreaded for good reason. “What is your greatest strength?” and “What is your greatest weakness?” are mirror image questions that drive jobseekers crazy. (For the record, they drive most recruiters crazy, too; they would love to hear the real answers, but never get more than tired clichés in return.) We are perpetually perplexed by these mirror image questions because they are not mirror images at all – they’re the same question.
When asked the question “At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” only 20 percent answered yes; the other 80 percent felt that they were not using their strengths in their roles at work.
Buckingham starts out by defining “strength” as “near perfect, consistent performance.” Being pretty good at something is not enough. It starts with talent, which Buckingham describes as an innate ability – something you may have been a natural at all your life. In fact, being a natural is what keeps many of us from understanding true strengths; if it’s that easy for me, doesn’t everyone find it to be easy too?
The DISC model of behavior and personality types divides personalities into two categories: those who focus on people, and those who focus on tasks or systems. You may intuitively know which type you are. The question is, do you know how to use it effectively in an interview?