This is a guest blog written by Larry Gard, Ph.D. 

It’s easy to assume that if you like what you hear in an interview, you can move ahead without any reservations.  Keep in mind though, even seemingly ideal candidates who ace the interview can prove to be poor choices.  Sometimes they’ve misrepresented themselves and their talents (pre-hire testing can help detect this).  But in many instances, it’s not that they don’t have the required strengths you’re looking for – it’s that they over rely on them. 

Remember, a person’s weaknesses are often nothing more than their strengths taken to excess.  Be vigilant for the possibility that a person may over-use strengths and get themselves into trouble, as this chart suggests:

For example, if you’ve interviewed someone and determined that they are extremely hard working, ask yourself if perhaps the person might be too driven at times and how that could potentially impact their relationships at work.  These questions can then be explored in a second follow-up interview.  

About the author:

Larry Gard is a psychologist and president of Hamilton-Chase Consulting, a Chicago-based firm that helps individuals and small-to-medium sized businesses overcome the all-too-human obstacles that impede performance and profitability.  He specializes in Executive Coaching, Evaluation of Candidates for Hire, and Multi-Rater 360 Surveys. 

Larry can be reached at



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