Job interviews are tough. For the start, in most cases, you don’t know who you will be meeting and what questions they will be asking. However, regardless of the questions they will be asking, they will all be looking out for the following:
Will you be a good cultural fit?
Talent and skills are no longer the only criteria for assessing candidates. There might be exceptionally talented and skilled candidates in the market but they might not be the right cultural fit. A cultural fit not only for the team but the whole organization.
The best way to show your cultural fit is by being yourself during the interview. If you are trying to be someone you are not just to get a job, it will come through and experienced hiring managers will be able to spot it immediately. Alternatively, if you succeed in your masked-approach and get the job, it will eventually become an uncomfortable experience for you and your team will see the change come through either during or right after your probation period. Either ways this could turn into a short-term-gain for a long-term-pain.
What soft skills do you have?
Soft skills are incredibly valuable in today’s job market. While technical skills can be taught / learned, soft skills are deeply embedded and harder to teach. The hiring manager will be evaluating your soft skills throughout the entire interview, and not just by listening to your answers but also your body language, mannerisms, and overall disposition.
Here is the list of most in-demand soft skills that you should demonstrate in your answers:
More than just clearly speaking the language, communication skills involve active listening and excellent presentation and writing capabilities. One highly sought-after communication skill is the ability to explain technical concepts to partners, customers, and coworkers who aren’t tech-savvy.
Planning and effectively implementing projects and general work tasks for yourself and others is a highly effective soft skill to have. Haphazard, slapdash organization wastes your colleagues’ time and your employers’ money, so having stacked skills in the organization department will always come in handy.
The bigger the company you work for, the bigger the chance that you’re a member of more than one team, which means solid team player skills are crucial. How well do you work with other team members in reaching team goals? How do you help other team members? Are you an asset to every team that you’re a part of, and how?
No one likes to wait. Not for employees late to a meeting; not for candidates late to a job interview; and certainly not for colleagues who deliver their work late on million-dollar business projects. We’ve all heard some variation of “5 minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.” Where do you fall on the punctuality scale?
The ability to use imagination, reasoning, past experience, research, and available resources to fundamentally understand and then resolve issues is attractive for obvious reasons. Highlight this skill by listing an example (or speaking of one in an interview) of a time when your company was dealt a sticky situation and you effectively addressed/resolved it via critical thinking skills.
The more people you come into contact with on a daily basis, the more important your social skills will be to your success. Can you handle yourself in all situations when dealing with other people, regardless of stature, position, or rank? Can you deal with a wide variety of personalities?
This is probably the most underrated soft skill because it usually takes someone creative to appreciate the need for others who are, and most people just aren’t that creative.
The ability to work in teams, relate to people, and manage conflict is a valuable asset in the workplace. Interpersonal communication is an important skill to hone to get ahead, and as you advance in your career, the aptitude to work with others becomes even more crucial.
Don’t underestimate the ability to adapt to changes. In today’s tech-driven and rapidly evolving business environment, the ability to pick up on new technologies and adjust to changing business surroundings is critically important.
People want to work with people they like, or think they’ll like—people who are easygoing, optimistic, and even fun to be around regardless of situation. Do other people tend to come away feeling good after working with you? How can you tell?
Do you have the learning capacity?
With the workplace rapidly changing, adoptability, flexibility and learning ability have become an important consideration for hiring managers. Your willingness to learn shows your hunger for growth and your drive.
So to incorporate this skill into your answers, think about the times when you had to learn a new skill to complete a project or to improve your existing skills. Talk about how you enjoyed being challenged.
Hiring managers will not be asking these questions directly so it is up to you to find ways to inject these ideas as you answer other questions.
Never attend a job interview without practicing first since you only get one chance to make the right impression and stand out.