Return to site

Strength-Based Interviews: Hiring to Attract and Retain Top-Performing International Candidates

· Talent acquisition,International hiring,Hiring

Strength-based interviewing is becoming recognized as a highly effective way of matching the right job candidates with ​organizational roles.

In fact, strength-based hiring is now being used as an alternative to competency-based assessments. In contrast to a competency-based interview, for example, an important part of a strength-based talent acquisition strategy is that it reveals a candidate's innate talents. The process delves into what tasks naturally motivate and energize the candidate as opposed to what tasks they are merely capable of completing. In international recruitment especially, where top-performing candidates from diverse cultures and backgrounds are looking for jobs in which they can flourish, strength-based hiring offers numerous benefits.

Revealing the Candidate's True Interests

An individual may be capable of completing many tasks, but that does not mean they are motivated or energized by them. On the other hand, when your employees complete work that truly motivates them, they are more likely to be naturally talented in those areas. The employee becomes motivated to the point that they become engrossed in the task and actually lose track of time. As a result, even when they are stressed or not feeling well, the employee is still motivated and capable of producing high-quality results. The University of Kent provides some sample questions that you would ask a candidate during a strength-based interview:

  • "What are you good at?"
  • "What do you learn quickly?"
  • "What things give you energy?"
  • "What do you enjoy doing the least? These are likely to be areas where you lack natural aptitude or skills."

Focus on the Individual

Strength-based hiring does not take into account a person's work history or experience -- so the interview really becomes about the individual. Focusing on the person's interests and natural abilities, a strength-based interview reveals precisely what motivates the candidate to perform their best -- regardless of their background. For that reason, top-performing international candidates seeking employment in a country other than their own have the chance to flourish during this type of interview. In addition, this type of interview allows the hiring manager to recognize top-performance potential in new graduates and others with limited work history or with work histories that are different than that of the average candidate.

Two-Way Transparency

Throughout the interview, the focus on the candidate's gifts and talents gives both interviewer and interviewee a clear understanding of the job-seeker's strengths. By the time the interview is finished, both parties know whether the candidate is really an authentic match for the job. And the candidate who doesn't get the job walks away with a positive experience behind them, and does not feel like they have "failed." Instead, they have enjoyed the process, and leave the interview with a better understanding of what type of work they are best suited for.

Finding the Superstar in Candidate-Driven Markets

In candidate-driven markets such as IT and the financial sector where there is a great need for highly qualified, top performing job candidates, strength-based interviewing is becoming more widely used. In these fields, there is frequently an abundance of lower-to-mid level candidates, but not necessarily a lot of the highly trained upper-level candidates that could become your organisation's top performers.

A strength-based interview helps eliminate the candidates that may be capable, but not truly meant to excel in the high-level role you are seeking to fill.

Getting the Best ROI

It takes 5000 euros to hire a candidate. With that fact in mind, it is important to find the candidate who fits in exceptionally well with your organisational culture, has the capacity to become an ambassador of your company brand, and demonstrates the potential to operate at a stellar level. This calls for an individual who can truly come to love what your organisation does, and demonstrates during the hiring process that they will be passionate about their organisational role.


Finally, once you have identified the best candidate, the strength-based interview provides information that will help management train them for success. As this article notes, most hiring processes remain separated from the onboarding process. As a result, training managers and supervisors frequently lack access to vital information about the newcomer's strengths and interests that were revealed during the hiring process. As the above-linked article states:

"In organisations where these processes are joined up, the candidate experience is reported as much improved, and managers are given a real advantage in motivating their new starters from day one."

In short, knowing an employee's strengths allows your organization to match them with work opportunities that energize and motivate them. At UDiverse Global, we dedicate ourselves to helping organisations create hiring, training and coaching programs from a strength-based approach. Together, we work with companies on how to attract and retain top-notch, high-performing international teams.

If you have any questions about strength-based hiring, or anything else, please contact us.

We support global organizations holistically who want to achieve their goals of working internationally by hiring and developing global talents, leaders and multicultural teams. We offer not only customized, top-quality international talent acquisition strategy, global leadership, teams, cross-cultural and diversity consulting and training programs, but we also provide in-depth coaching from ICF-certified coaches and trainers who speak French, English, Dutch, Spanish and German. Take action and schedule a free strategy session with us today.

About U Diverse’s founder:

Magali Toussaint is the founder of U Diverse. She is a certified talent acquisition strategist, an ICF-certified leadership and career coach, cross-cultural trainer and job search strategist with an extensive career in recruitment, HR, diversity, and education. She has lived and worked in over four countries and speaks French, English and Dutch.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly