When you’re on the job market, it can easy to detail in each and every application with exactly what technical know how you have and why that makes you the perfect fit for a job. And whilst this is without a doubt important, one of the crucial elements that hiring managers must consider is whether you have the soft skills suitable for the job. More often than not, a ‘person match’ has far more weight when it comes to deciding between two candidates.
Though it can be difficult to quantify soft skills, the purpose of an interview is for the hiring manager to establish that you have the right qualities that make you a good fit for the team. By getting to an interview, it’s pretty much already believed that you have the experience they’re looking for, they need to know now that you have the essential, but sometimes elusive soft skills. All of the skills below are obtainable with a little practice, and every employer is looking for them…
It’s almost a given that at some point in the job application process you’ll be asked something like ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’. This isn’t a test of your ability to see into the future. Rather, they’re looking to establish what your goals are and how that fits with their company. Employers need to know not only that you’re a good fit now, but that you’ll still be around in a year’s time and they don’t have to go through the recruitment process all over again.
In almost every job out there, you need to be able to work well with others. It’s something you can quite easily prove and demonstrate too; both as a leader or a team member. It’s critical that you’ll be productive as part of a team so you need to be able to demonstrate where you’ve done so effectively. Every organization has a common goal, you need to be able to show that you’re willing to work as a team to reach that target.
Instead of simply accepting data or results as they are, an ability to evaluate the reasons why could be what sets you apart from others. Being able to understand why a project has been successful, or otherwise, is a crucial soft skill. Being able to understand the bigger picture when it comes to your day-to-day responsibilities is both a rare and very desirable soft skill no matter what your profession is.
In work and in life, being able to understand others is an extremely valuable skill. Being able to build up a picture of someone, who they are and why they think the way they do will allow you to both understand and predict how they’ll react to situations. This is not only a really important skill as a manager but at any level of an organization. Understanding the things you think about differently to others is just as important as finding out what you have in common. An understanding of others ultimately helps you to feel more comfortable as your own person, and if you can demonstrate this skill you’ll immediately be a more appealing candidate.
Now you might see this point and think that because you don’t work in the creative space, it doesn’t apply. But simply put, creativity is nothing more than the ability to find new ways to solve problems with resource constraints. An ability to focus on what you or the team have and develop this into a solution for the biggest challenges is a really important skill regardless of the industry you’re in.
Not only will these skills put you in a strong position to land the job you want, generally, they are valuable soft skills to have in your everyday life. Though it may seem arbitrary that every company looks for these skills, it’s for a reason, and the more you can develop and demonstrate these skills, the further you’ll take your career.