When preparing for your next job interview, remember to prepare for questions that assess your “soft skills”. This is because the number one reason cited by hiring managers and staffing professionals for bypassing a candidate is due to a lack of “soft skills”. Sometimes, the reason cited is a “lack of fit”, other times it’s a “lack of connection” with the applicant. Regardless of the expression used, it’s clear when we debrief with the hiring manager that the reason is due to a lack of soft skills.
So what exactly are soft skills? Soft skills include interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, problem solving and so on. They also include traits like motivation, ethics and honesty. In contrast, hard skills are job or industry specific such as: formal education, driving, typing and so forth. Hard skills are typically observable and more easy to train.
The behavioural based interview question is one method that many employers use to assess the essential soft skills of a job. Behavioural questions ask you to cite an example where you demonstrated a certain skill. For example, a typical behavioural interview question to assess ethics and interpersonal skills would be:
“Tell me about a time when you were aware that a fellow employee had broken a company policy. How did you handle this?”
Interview questions like this can cause cold sweats for most candidates. We can’t tell you how many times, we have sat in the interview room and witnessed a candidate stutter and stumble over this type of question. In contrast, most candidates handle questions that assess their hard skills (usually technical and job specific) very well. For example, a hard skill question for a web developer may be:
“Describe an applet and its function on a website?”
So before your next interview, remember the importance of soft skills. Consider how you might answer questions that assess the soft skills of that job. It’s important to do this because soft skills sell in job interviews.
Information provided by HR Difference.
Our HR team specializes in providing small and medium sized companies with cost-efficient and customized human resources solutions to meet your need and budget. We also provide custom resume writing and telephone job interview coaching to job seekers