Strengths guidance

We’re looking for something different

What if you could build a career around the things you’re naturally good at, and enjoy most? At EY, we were one of the first employers to use strengths-based recruitment to select the right people to join our business. It’s proof that we value your abilities and will encourage you to develop a career you love. We want to see your authentic behaviours, rather than a list of rehearsed competencies, and help you uncover where you’d naturally work best here.

Strengths are behaviours, things you can do, or an ability that you have, almost innately. They’re what make you unique, and are either ‘realised’ or ‘unrealised’. A realised strength is something inherent to your character, one that you have experience of because you do it on almost a daily basis without thinking about it. For example, feeling comfortable starting conversations with strangers, or being quick to pick up, and teach others about, new technology. An unrealised strength can essentially be re-termed as ‘potential’. These are areas where you can develop but perhaps have not yet had the opportunity to do so, such as quickly learning a third language, or leading a team to success when the odds are stacked against you.

The best way to prepare is to know yourself

In practice, a strengths-based interview isn’t too different from competency-based interviews you may be familiar with. At EY, it starts with online assessments where you are given work-based scenarios to look through, and are then asked to decide what the best action is to take. In person, the strengths-based approach to questioning means that you’ll be asked several questions in a quick-fire manner. These aren’t designed to trip you up, but rather find what your first, natural response is. If you’re successful in these, you’ll then move on to two cognitive assessments: verbal and numerical.

It’s difficult to go into these interviews with specific answers in your head, but we recommend you have a thorough understanding of yourself and your experiences. Ask yourself:

  • What do I do well?
  • When am I performing at my best?
  • What activities get me energised and why?
  • In which scenarios do I most feel like myself, and which elements of my personality show through?
  • Above all, ask yourself, how do all of these answers relate to the role you’re applying for at EY?

When you’re using your strengths, you’re not only more likely to be enjoying what you’re doing, but also likely to be performing at a higher level. If you’re using your strengths in the workplace every day, you’re going to have a more positive experience and, hopefully, continue on a long happy career at EY. We’re interested in the real you, so come to your interview prepared and relaxed, and ready to be honest.