With a hyper-competitive job market and more university graduates than ever before, standing out from the crowd in job interviews is crucial.
Many hopeful employees are likely to tick the boxes for prior work experience and education, so the key difference between you and them is your soft skills.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are the personal attributes that make you who you are and will help you to succeed in a workplace. Things like creativity, communication skills, problem solving and emotional intelligence are all types of soft skills that will make you the right fit for a role or company.
How can you best showcase your soft skills in an interview?
The Next Step’s Talent Acquisition Specialist, Lisa Hammond, says that soft skills are the type of attributes that are more appropriate to bring up in an interview than on a resume. Most importantly, it is all about how you position your skills to a potential employer.
“Anyone who has run a household or perhaps managed a home renovation has great project management skills. They might not be certified in project management but it is around those soft skills like time management, managing multiple stakeholders, networking, communication skills influencing and negotiation. These can be done in any part of our lives.”
“There are lots of interpersonal skills that are transferable in a workplace, it is about how you position them,” explains Lisa.
When it comes to skills like problem solving or teamwork, employers will often ask you to explain a scenario where you have shown your strength in these areas. Think about honest and positive examples to share, and have a few up your sleeve in case they ask a couple of similar questions.
Show, don’t tell
Communication can be a buzzword in the world of job hunting. Employers want team members who have good written and oral communication skills. So, make sure your resume and cover letter are well-written and you are organised, prepared and communicate clearly with your interviewer. It’s no use saying you are a great communicator if you don’t nail these basics!
When you join a new team it is always nice to bring your knowledge and ideas to the table. But it’s equally important to show employers that you are keen to learn and demonstrate adaptability in the workplace. This will tell them you are always striving to grow and able to adapt to any changes the organisation will go through.