StrengthsFinder works by analyzing an individual's responses to 180 items intended to assess normal personality traits from the perspective of Positive Psychology, the study of individual and community strengths. The analysis identifies the participant's five dominant talents, encouraging him to focus on these talents to build life-enhancing strengths
The 180 items included in the Web-based StrengthsFinder assessment require a choice between two statements. Participants must decide on the one that best describes them and to what extent, making each choice within a 20 second response period. A participant's five dominant talents are identified from among StrengthsFinder's 34 talent themes. Talent themes range from Achiever and Competition to Maximizer, one who encourages other to excel, and Woo, one who likes to meet and attract new people.
A participant may use this information about his top talents to select training programs, drive career research or focus a job hunt, basing his choices on those steps that allow him to build on his strongest foundation. Awareness of one's strongest talents provide a basis, for example, for a person seeking employment that is outside his past experience to describe how his talents translate into future success in this new pursuit. The underlying thinking is that the greatest benefit is achieved when an individual focuses on and enriches his talents rather than attempting to balance his weaknesses.