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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Soft Skills in an Interview

Highlighting Your Soft Skills in an Interview

 Soft Skills in an Interview
 Soft Skills in an Interview

Soft skills are crucial in the job searching process; and the best way to demonstrate your soft skills is through the interview. After submitting your resume and your job application, interview is the next step. In your resume, you probably have successfully demonstrated your hard skills by including your technical skills, experiences, and education. When the employer calls to schedule an interview, he or she is now looking to understand your strength or weaknesses in different soft skills.

In order to successfully interview well, you need to understand what soft skills the employer is looking for and be able to demonstrate it clearly. In this post, you will understand what soft skills you  need to portray your strengths in, how to demonstrate it in your interview, and some interview questions that employers ask regarding these soft skills.

These are the top five soft skills that your employers are looking for:
1. Strong Work Ethic
2. Teamwork
3. Communication
4. Positive Attitude 
5. Problem Solving Skills


1. Strong Work Ethic
What It Is: Strong work ethic is how self-motivated you are to getting your work done. Employers want to know that you will do your best in this job. You will work hard to always give your best work and do it in an honest way that portrays integrity. They want someone that can do the work without having to be micro-managed.
How to Demonstrate It: Describe a situation in the past when you worked more than the required amount. You need to show that you will go above and beyond for this job if you do get it. Make sure that you not only portray that situation but also the positive outcome that resulted from your hard work. Your past examples are going to be the best way to demonstrate your work ethic.
Interview Questions:
- What is the farthest you have gone to accomplish a goal in the workplace?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work?
- Give an example of when you were unable to finish an assignment and explain.

2. Teamwork
What It Is: Teamwork is being able to work together with others for a common goal to produce quality work. There are very few jobs that do not require teamwork in any capacity, so this have always been a soft skill that are necessary for most working environment. Even though many tasks can be done by one person, employers want to know whether you can work with others to put together a far better outcome. As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one”.
How to Demonstrate It: With teamwork, you not only answer questions to describe a situation that you demonstrated teamwork like stated above in the “strong work ethic” section, but you also want to show that you are interested in your team. When given the opportunity to ask a question, you should ask about the current team and how they work currently. This will show the employer that you truly care about teamwork and how you will fit in the team.
Interview Questions:
- Describe what types of teams you were involved in and how that worked.
- What difficulties have you had in the past with teamwork and how have you handled it?
- How do you resolve difficulty in working relationships?

3. Communication
What It Is: Communication is the ability to speak or write clearly so that others who are receiving the information has a clear picture of what is communicated to them. It is truly important soft skill to have since most workplace problems happen because of misunderstandings. Also having good communication skills can help workers be more efficient and maintain good working environment.
How to Demonstrate It: Demonstrating communication skills start as soon as the interview start. Make sure you have good eye contact and posture, speak clearly and confidently, and answer in an organized way without going off the topic. You don’t need to tell the interviewer that you have good communication skills; you need to show that you have good communication skills through the interview. Do not use phrases without any content like “um”, “you know what I mean?”, “like”, “and yeah”, and “uh huh”.  Make sure that the interview flows, and there isn’t any awkward silences.
Interview Questions:
- Sell me ______ right now. (it can be any item around like pen, paper, cell phone, etc)
- How well do you communicate with your superiors, subordinates, co-workers, and/or customers?
- What would you say to an irate boss, co-worker, and/or customer to improve the situation?

4. Positive Attitude 
What It Is: Positive attitude is having a good positive feelings or outlook about the job even through difficult situations. Studies show that those with positive attitudes not only produce well but also help others to produce well. Having a good sense of humor or optimism can be contagious and can lighten up the whole office/workplace even at difficult times. Employers love a person who will contribute greatly to making the workplace a happy place.
How to Demonstrate It: First, smile. Show that you are happy to be here to interview for this job. You don’t have to be a comedian and make the employer roll on the floor laughing, but if you are able to joke lightly to make the interview a good time, it will show that you have a positive attitude. Also, try not to say the word “no”. As humans, we usually associate that word with  negative things. On the flip side, saying “yes” often is associated with having positive attitude.
Interview Questions:
- Give an example of how you handled a tense situation at work.
- What brings you joy?
- What are three words that describe your attitude in the workplace. Explain.

5. Problem Solving Skills 
What It Is: Problem solving skills is the ability to solve a problem in the best way possible. It requires the worker to weigh different options, think out of the box, and find solution in a timely manner. In every working situation, problems are going to appear. It is up to the workers to be able to solve these problems without panicking, pessimism, and giving up. Although problem solving skills can be a hard skill, because there are many different problem types like technical, and relational, it is considered a soft skill to be able to calmly address it and resolve it.
How to Demonstrate It: Make sure you discuss the problems that you have faced and how you have resolved them. You need to address both technical problems as well as relational problems. Although those situations don’t have to be from a workplace, it would be good to elaborate on your previous employment. Make sure that the interviewer understand the problem. If you summarize it too briefly, then the situation will not seem as substantial which means that your problem solving skills don’t shine.
Interview Questions:
- Describe a major problem at work you’ve faced and how you dealt with it.
- What process do you go through in order to solve a problem?
- Give an example of a personal problem you had with a co-worker and the boss, and what you did to resolve it.