MAU desires to explore a potential employee’s strengths, weaknesses, talents and gifts to the
fullest degree possible. We believe that a person is best suited to a job in which they can use their
unique strengths and gifts during the majority of their working hours.
A person’s strengths, talents and gifts are usually consistently displayed in their life, from early
childhood up to present day. Often these unique characteristics are best seen through the
significant accomplishments, achievements, events and situations in an individual’s life.
Your challenge is to think back in your life, from the earliest points possible to the present
moment, and write a short narrative on five significant memories. These memories should have in
common something you did well and enjoyed doing. Explain each memory as outlined below. If
you have any questions, please ask, because this exercise largely influences our evaluation of
every prospective employee.
Please follow these guidelines:
1. Name and describe the specific memory (i.e. experience, achievement, accomplishment,
etc.) and your approximate age at the time.
2. State what you remember about the details surrounding this memory.
3. Each narrative should be something that you did well and enjoyed doing. Both
characteristics must be present. Both are necessary because often in life we achieve
significant accomplishments, but our heart really wasn’t in it, and we really didn’t enjoy
4. Describe why this event or accomplishment was so significant in helping you understand
your strengths, talents and gifts and why it so enjoyable.
Below is a real life example from another person’s Five Things.
An executive recalled one of her favorite memories as a child growing up on a farm. Apparently,
one day she found a bird in the barnyard that had a broken wing. She remembered taking thread
and wrapping it around the bird’s broken wing. Over several weeks she nurtured the bird, both
feeding it and ensuring that the wing was healing correctly. Her greatest joy came on the day
when she was able to go in the barnyard, throw the bird up in the air, and see it fly away.
Do you know what this executive’s job is today? You might guess a nurse, doctor, or dentist,
right? She is a highly skilled, corporate turn-around artist. She is an expert in fixing broken
companies, restoring them to health, then letting them fly on their own. Her true gifts and
abilities are found in her thrill for fixing broken companies, and yet those same skills would be
very harmful if she had stayed in a company long-term.