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How to Identify Your Own Skills/Stories

Anonymous A asked on Dec 12, 2018 - 2 answers

tl;dr: Soft skills come easily but are hard for me to identify in myself. Help please!

Hey everyone, do any of you have suggestions for how to objectively look at my own skills and see where I shine? For example, there are certain traits (apathy, learning quickly, adaptability, leadership, innitiative, resilience, communication) that fortunately come very easily for me. However, it's hard for me to identify them as skills because I have them innately, they are just part of my personality.

I'll be telling a story and a friend will ask how I managed to accomplish something or get past a hurdle and I just shrug and say 'I don't know, I just did' and I can't identify exact reasons or skills I used - I just did it. Obviously this kind of answer will not pass in a fit interview, and there are certain stories I may not even think of as impressive even though they are to other people, because to me they are just part of my life.

It's difficult for me to see soft skills that I have as skills, because they have always been part of who I am. I hope this makes sense. I'm also told I have a problem with being too modest about my skills and accomplishments, which I know I need to change in order to actively use them to help me succeed in my future career.

If anyone has suggestions of exercises one can do to assess their own skills / stories for PEI and Fit interviews I greatly appreciate it!

My weaknesses I'm very cognisant of.

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Vlad
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replied on Dec 12, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

I recommend buying some great books on leadership that have all the relevant frameworks and go through them trying to assess where on that scale you are now. For example:

  • The positive leader - John Muhlfeit
  • High output management - Grove
  • HBS articles on leadership

Best

Guennael
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replied on Dec 12, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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3 step process:

1. Create a list of things you believe you do well, and ask a group of people who know you well to do the same

2. From the aggregate list, take the 4 or 5 that speak most to you

3. Practice talking about these, both alone and in front of people

It is very normal to not being good at identifying your strengths well; even the weaknesses you think you have may or may not be obvious to those around you, and they will likely bring up some you wouldn't have identified yourself. That's what 360 is for, so people above, beside and below you can provide input and depth to your own self-knowledge.

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