I ask every hiring manager I meet what they are looking for in top candidates. Most agree the new graduates they interview have the technical skills to do a job but lack soft skills. What are soft skills? They are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Most new graduates have strong soft skills; in an effort to demonstrate their technical skills they forget to showcase their soft skills during an interview.
As you prepare to answer interview questions about projects you have completed, include examples of both your technical and soft skills. Let an employer know you have the “people” skills to be a top performer in their organization.
Dr. Gary Berger, an Economist at LinkedIn, identified the top ten soft skills most employers are seeking. I have added suggestions for incorporating them into answers to interview questions asking about projects.
Communication: Explain how you provided team members with updates on what your activities.
Organization: Include details of the steps you took to plan the project.
Teamwork: Give credit to those you worked with and define your role in the team.
Creativity: Describe did you did to make the project unique.
Social: Give examples of how you build relationships with other team members.
Critical Thinking: Describe the process you used to solve problems.
Interpersonal Communication: Explain how you avoided misunderstandings.
Adaptability: Explain how and why you made changes to improve the project outcome.
Punctuality: Include an example of how team members appreciated your timely completion of work.
Most employers won’t ask the question, “What are your soft skills?” They do use the knowledge they gain about soft skills to make a hiring decision. Don’t leave this unspoken question unanswered. Showcase your soft skills throughout your interview. Include them in your answer to the “tell me about yourself “question and examples of how you use them when you answer questions about projects and activities.