Strengths-based interviews at Capgemini: “it’s not about whether a candidate does well, it’s about whether they are the right fit”


Mike Procter, Graduate Recruiter for Capgemini talks to us about why the company introduced the strengths-based approach to recruitment and the impact it has had on finding future talent for Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services.

Mike studied a Psychology Degree at The University of Surrey and graduated in 2013. After gaining recruitment experience at Fitness First & Siemens, Mike is now working to help attract the best junior talent into Capgemini.

Mike, when and why did Capgemini decide to incorporate the strengths-based approach into their selection process?

“We adopted the strengths-based interview model in October 2015. We felt that the graduates that do really well with Capgemini were the ones that really loved the area they were working in. We wanted a way of assessing that passion. We wanted to know about future potential rather than past performance. We wanted to know the people we were hiring better and what they love to do so we could get the best out of our graduate hires.”

What impact has the shift to strengths-based interviewing instead of competency based had on your recruitment?

“Strengths-based assessment is more about finding out what somebody loves to do, does often and does well rather than assessing what their background is which we can tell from a CV. We get to know the candidates better, as examples don’t necessarily have to be work based. It also gives the chance for the candidates to get to know us better and ultimately helps both parties to come to better decisions. We have found the quality of the successful candidates has improved and the feedback from candidates & assessors at assessment centres has become more positive.”

Are there some universal strengths that you’re looking for when recruiting for Capgemini?

“We have a collection of core strengths we look for in all potential Capgemini employees. These are classed as Agile, Collaborative Spirit, Personal Growth, Self-Drive, Active Ownership, Networker, Credibility & Work Ethic. We also have 4 key strengths specific to the graduate programme which are Courage, Client Advocacy, Level-Headedness & Creative Analysis.

Although all our assessments are standardised across the company, each role requires different strengths to be more prominent that others, creating a graduate community made up of diverse strengths.”

Where do you see candidates excelling and what do they need to improve on?

“The great thing about strengths-based interviews is that it’s not about whether a candidate does well or not, it’s about whether they are the right fit for the role and Capgemini. Scoring low on a strength is an indication that a student’s passion is not aligned to the role and they should re-think the type of career/company they are looking for.”

Can anyone really prepare for a strengths-based interview? If so, what would your advice be?

“It’s hard to prepare for a strengths-based interview because it’s hard to fake being passionate about something. You can tell passion from body language, tone, how easy examples come to them etc. The best advice is to know yourself and be authentic. Our motto is “Be the You You Want To Be.”

Want to know more about Strengths-Based Interviews? Check out our blog post here.