In any job interview, you’re being assessed on two things: your hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills, such as being a master at Excel pivot tables, are generally easier for most candidates to highlight. Examples of soft skills can be difficult to articulate. But it’s usually the soft skills that get you hired. Why? Because they are what separate and distinguish one highly qualified candidate from another. In an increasingly competitive job market, it’s critical that you are able to talk about your soft skills with just as much precision and specificity as you would any technical skill.
So here are the examples of soft skills in high demand for 2019.
When we think of creativity, we think of painting or creative writing. But the corporate world needs just as much creativity as the arts do. What they’re really looking for is people who offer unique points of view. People who think differently. It’s out of this type of creativity that innovation is born, and every company wants innovative people on board! So how can you show that you’re creative? Think about the initiatives you’ve helped launch or ideas you contributed to existing processes or initiatives that made them better. Maybe you thought of a different way to position a product that helped capture greater market share. Or perhaps you were able to open a new revenue stream for your organization to ensure it evolved with the needs of the marketplace.
If you’re interviewing for a leadership or managerial role, you can be sure you’ll be asked questions that test your ability to be persuasive. Usually this word invokes an image of a trial lawyer making closing remarks to a jury. This soft skill however, is an asset to anyone in business for many reasons.
As a leader, you may initiate a lot of change. Being able to deliver potentially unpopular news and getting employees to adopt the change and trust that it will ultimately be an improvement is no easy feat. The more skilled you are in persuasion, the more success you’ll have. It’s also likely your team will often collaborate and at times depend on the deliverables of other departments. Being able to work with them and have them adhere to your deadlines, especially when it’s not in line with their priorities, will be an essential part of your ability to meet your own team’s goals.
Start to identify times when you had to convince your team of taking a certain approach to a project that wasn’t the initial popular choice. Or perhaps you had a hand in making sure your team adopted certain changes in processes and procedures that other teams had difficulty accepting. The more you’re able to talk about these instances with clarity and purpose, the more leadership ability you’ll be able to communicate.
These days, collaboration is at the heart of just about any company and therefore every role. Businesses have multiple locations, some even have global operations. It’s critical to be able to communicate and work effectively, not just with those sitting next to you but those working elsewhere. Of course, projects often require participation from various teams.
Try showing how you’ve been involved in multi-team projects or instances where you enlisted participations from other groups to enhance the success and quality of your own deliverables.
Things happen quickly. Project objectives change, meetings get rescheduled and deadlines shift. We all know people who have a hard time with change. Maybe they get flustered when the agenda for a meeting is switched up at the last minute. However, adaptability is what has kept various species alive for centuries and it’s equally important in a corporate setting in a variety of ways.
Whether it’s in relation to a constant wave of new technologies to learn, or being able to take a project that’s going in a different direction than planned and make it work, you’re probably more adaptable than you realize!
5. Time Management
No explanation required here. Time is money. You’re busy and need to be productive for your organization. Showing that you’ve mastered the ability to manage multiple projects at once without sacrificing quality is key. Have concrete ways to show how you keep yourself on task. In some cases, your interviewer may even be looking to pick up some time management tips.
Just remember, specific examples of soft skills in interviews are the most powerful way to show an employer what you’re capable of. Take some time to really think about your past experiences and how your soft skills have helped you be the success that you are!