When it comes to interviews, job applicants usually focus on hard skills, defined by Investopedia as “learned abilities acquired and enhanced through practice, repetition, and education.” Skills such as knowing how to use a certain program, experience working in a certain industry, or being familiar with a certain product or service.
However, employers are just as interested, if not more, in soft skills, defined as “character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationship with other people.” When looking for hireable applicants, decision-makers often look for certain soft skills in their applicants. Specifically, they look for a good combination of willingness to learn, dependability, and communication skills. Here’s how to show you have these abilities in your next interview.
- A Willingness to Learn
Just saying you “like to learn” isn’t always enough in an interview. Instead, show your willingness to learn through your experiences. Tell your interviewer about a time you enjoyed learning in a previous position, or how you took on new job responsibilities because you wanted to try new things.
Like a willingness to learn, just saying “I’m dependable!” doesn’t really tell your interviewer much. Focus on how you’ve handled sudden responsibility in previous positions, or how you went above and beyond to accomplish a goal. Maybe a co-worker didn’t show up to work and you covered their shift, or your boss was out of town and you handled their responsibilities while they were away.
- Communication Skills
With many companies going back to working on-site after the pandemic, some managers are seeing recent hires not prepared to work and communicate with others. They might not be used to cohabiting in the workplace or still be conditioned to making their own schedules or working at their own pace.
Show your interviewer that you like working with others by giving examples of great teamwork or working on shared deadlines where you clearly outlined what you needed from your peers.
Showing you have both the soft and hard skills for the job will be sure to impress your interviewer. Good luck on the job search!
Are there any soft skills you value? Let us know in the comments section below!