5 Soft Skills You Must Demonstrate In An Interview To Land The Job
Resumes, cover letters, and portfolios are necessary to attract attention from recruiters and hiring managers, but these materials don’t usually dictate who gets the job. Technical skills might earn you an interview, but how you perform once you’re in the room typically plays a much bigger role in whether or not you receive an offer.
Decision makers usually look for anything that separates one candidate over another during the interview process, and soft skills often make the difference. Some companies might value certain attributes over others, but regardless of position, these are five soft skills you must demonstrate in an interview to land the job you want.
Communication is the backbone to nearly every business meeting, so if you can’t relay your thoughts in an effective and engaging way, you probably won’t make it past the first interview. No matter what profession you’re in, employees must be able to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely to be successful.
Keep in mind that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Most hiring managers also evaluate your tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, and other nonverbal cues during an interview. It’s not a bad idea to practice some dialogue in front of the mirror beforehand to see how you present yourself and how people might perceive that image.
No matter what line of business you’re in, problems come up at one time or another. How you handle those problems often dictate how serious they become. That’s why hiring managers want to test your problem solving skills and evaluate how you would react in those situations. Whether it’s a conflict resolution scenario or another potential issue, decision makers want to see if you can keep a cool head and be proactive in solving a number of situations that might arise in the workplace. Before the interview, think about a time you’ve faced a serious challenge or issue in the workplace and be prepared to talk about how you overcame it.
Most jobs — if not all — require some type of collaboration. Whether you’re in a leadership position or just a member of a team, understanding how to work together toward a common goal is essential for success. Selfish employees who refuse to buy into an organization’s philosophy or the framework of a team often bring everyone else down. Interviewers typically want to see some evidence that you’ve worked within a team environment successfully and how much leadership potential you might have.
Critical thinking exercises are a great way for employers to gauge your true understanding of a subject. It’s one thing to research a subject and collect data on it, but the next step is interpretation. What does the data mean, how does it affect what we want to do, and where should we go from here? Demonstrating an ability to critically think through a scenario shows an employer two things: you can work independently without much direction, and that you have a firm understanding of the company’s goals and what’s necessary to reach them.
It’s probably the most stereotypical line of interview questioning, but understanding your strengths and weaknesses and conveying them effectively is still very important during the hiring process. Employers obviously want to know what you’re best at and what you would add to the company, but how you approach your weaknesses gives them a look into your mindset. It’s OK to admit a weakness — everyone struggles with something — but displaying an eagerness to learn and a desire for self-improvement shows them you won’t be a stagnant employee.