During an interview, it’s important to be prepared to answer questions that showcase your soft skills. Soft skills are the skills that relate to how you work and interact with others. Companies and hiring managers value these skills because they are harder to teach but are essential for long-term success. In an article on Society for Human Resource Management, they found that “67 percent of HR managers said they’d hire a candidate with strong soft skills even if his or her technical abilities were lacking, while just 9 percent would hire someone with strong technical credentials but weak soft skills.” Some of the most common soft skills include “integrity, dependability, effective communication, open-mindedness, teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, organization, willingness to learn, and empathy.” Here are some examples of common behavioral interview questions and the soft skills to showcase so you can make a great impression.
Question: “Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it?”
This is a common interview question employers ask to see how well you handle stressful situations and your ability to resolve conflict with others professionally. With this question, the skills you’ll want to showcase are your ability to problem solve, understanding of the situation, and conflict resolution.
Question: “Tell me about a time you juggled multiple deadlines for important tasks.”
This question is to see how you manage situations under pressure and your ability to stay disciplined. The skills you’ll want to showcase when answering this question are time management, communication, and prioritization.
Question: “Tell me about a time you handled a disagreement with your colleague or supervisor.”
When working on a team, conflicts or disagreements can arise. Your response to a question like this should illustrate your ability to collaborate with others. The specific soft skills to showcase for this question are empathy and active listening.
Question: “Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle and changed your approach or method of work.”
Employers ask this question to see your ability to creatively problem-solve, your level of resourcefulness, and your resilience. Some of the soft skills you’d want to showcase are proactive thinking, troubleshooting, creativity, and critical thinking.
Question: “Tell me about a time you had to work with a difficult client/customer.”
The answer to this question gives hiring managers an idea of your customer service skills and professionalism during high-stress situations. The soft skills to showcase for this question are empathy, adaptability, and problem-solving.