So we went over soft skills in one of my last posts, On the Hunt? Here’s Why Soft Skills Matter. If you didn’t read it, take a few minutes to skim it. As a recap, soft skills are basically those skills that employers are looking for that don’t necessarily have to do with the direct skills required to perform a job. Basically, are you the kind of person they want to work with?
Your resume says you are hard working, dedicated, even tempered, and a team player. Maybe (hopefully) you are all of those things, but how does that translate when you are in an interview? How do you show your potential boss that you are who you said you were on your resume, and that you have the soft skills required to make you a valuable asset to the company? While the concept might sound overwhelming, it really isn’t that difficult to show off soft skills!
So how do I show off soft skills during my next interview?
Here is a tip: interviewers suck. Well, many of them suck. Interviewers who don’t know what they are doing are going to ask you a variety of closed end questions or questions that are so vague, they can be taken in a ton of different directions. This doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person to work for, they just don’t know the first thing about vetting candidates.
This is your time to shine. Use the interviewer’s questions as an opportunity to tell a story. Never, ever, answer a vague question with a vague answer. That is probably one of the worst things you can do. Instead, when the interviewer asks you what teamwork means to you, take it as an opportunity to tell a kick-ass story about a time you worked as a team in order to achieve an impressive goal. Think in terms of S.A.R.= Situation, Action, Result. Every time you answer a question, you should be able to come up with what happened, what steps you took, and what resulted from your actions. Be as descriptive as you can be, but keep your answers under or close to one minute in length.
Aside from walking in with your head held high, looking neat and polished, the next best thing you can do to show off soft skills during your next interview is think S.A.R. Do you have any best practices? Tell me about them in the comments!