Are we suggesting you show off your killer dance moves at your next Middle Tennessee job interview?
Maybe demonstrate your juggling prowess?
Nope. We’re talking about flaunting your soft skills.
Success in any job requires much more than task-specific skills; it takes soft skills, which are traits that allow you to work well as a functioning member of a team (e.g., communication, problem-solving, empathy and listening, to name a few). If you’re new to the concept of soft skills, these earlier posts provide a nice primer on the following topics:
- What are soft skills?
- Which soft skills do I need for my career?
- How can I develop soft skills on the job?
How can you demonstrate your soft skills in a job interview?
While it can be fairly straightforward to provide evidence of your hard skills in an interview (your work experience and credentials speak for themselves), showcasing your soft skills is a bit more challenging – but no less important! Your interviewer will want to assess your total fit for the job, and your ability to interact effectively with others is an important part of that fit.
To sell your soft skills in the interview:
- Do your homework. Study the company’s mission, vision, values and corporate culture. Review the job description for the role you’re interviewing for.
- Identify a few soft skills that are required for success in the role. This post reviews soft skills essential for popular jobs.
- Prepare a few anecdotes from your work history that demonstrate those skills.
Tips for demonstrating your soft skills:
- Concisely describe a situation in which you exhibited the soft skill in question.
- Describe the specific actions you took.
- Explain the outcome.
When is the right time to highlight your soft skills?
Interviewers will rarely ask you direct questions about your soft skills. Instead, they will likely ask behavioral interview questions to find evidence of a soft skill, or they will ask questions about your unique personality and character. Here are a few questions you may be asked, which provide an ideal opportunity to “flaunt it”:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Tell me about a time when you did more than was required of you on the job.
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Do you consider yourself successful?
- Tell me about a recent conflict with a coworker.
- Describe a challenge you had to overcome in the last two years and what was the outcome?
- How do you plan your work week?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work for this organization?
Regardless of the question or the nature of your response, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself! If you exaggerate skills or fabricate stories, you may knock yourself out of contention, or wind up in a job that’s not right for you.
Need a job where you can put your hard and soft skills to good use?
Find a job that truly suits you by connecting with one of our recruiters. We can help you:
- Access jobs that complement your personality and soft skills.
- Identify assignments and positions to help you develop your soft skills.
- Match you to Middle Tennessee employers where you will be naturally poised for career success.