Let’s start by clearing up a common misconception. If you asked someone to give an example of a competency-based question, chances are they will open their mouth and out will come the words “give me an example of when…”. STOP. Please don’t say anything else. Spare my poor cynical ears. Let me ask you a question instead – is “give me an example of the nicest day you walked your dog” a competency-based question?
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So what are ‘strengths’?

Posted by Rebecca Stevens, Business Psychologist, Work Brighter | business value, Interviews
Posted on January 26th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Are they knowledge, skills, or abilities? Well in the context of positive psychology they are defined as “something that energises you, which leads to your personal growth and development and which results in peak performance” (Strengths Partnership). But what does this mean to you? Are ‘strengths’ different to competencies? Are they a fad that’ll come and go? Why spend time trying to persuade your managers that there is yet another thing to consider?
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“He just felt right”… it’s the line any assessment professional dreads hearing from a line manager. The brutal truth is that almost everyone over-estimates their own ability to make good hires. As humans, we often have a habit of trusting intuition over reason, thinking that we’re the best judge of who will make a good hire for often emotive reasons.
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