Soft Skills Interview Questions And Answers
Soft skills constitute an individual’s communication and social skills and personal attributes. They form the core competencies required for every job. A recent study shows that 53% of managers consider soft skills as essential when making a hiring decision. Therefore, including soft skills questions during the interview is important. A well-curated questionnaire can help hire the right candidate, improve retention rates, and ensure the company’s success.
Soft Skills Interview Questions to Evaluate the Suitability to the Role
1. Have you handled a task without preexisting experience?
Individuals who have worked on tasks beyond their capability are more creative and diligent. Therefore, the recruiter must include a special question like the one above to test the applicant’s tenacity. Consider it a good sign if the applicant’s answer includes several instances where they have left their comfort zone. Some green flags include tangible results, multi-tasking abilities, and humility.
2. How do you attract people to follow your leadership?
Leadership is a vital soft skill. It has significance for all job roles, especially managerial positions. Thus, the question reveals the leadership potential of an applicant. While answering, if the applicant immediately talks about attracting people by authority, such as their status or position in the company, the recruiter must immediately recognize that they are not talking to a true leader.
However, suppose the applicant’s response mentions connecting with people on a personal or professional level and listening to the needs and feedback of the subordinates. In that case, they are signs of true-blue leaders. Similarly, if the candidate talks about leading people by presenting his vision in an understandable and meaningful way to others, it indicates a good leader.
3. How do you prioritize tasks when you have tight deadlines?
This question helps the interviewer test the organizational skills of the candidate. Every job role requires employees to juggle many tasks. The situation becomes more serious during peak seasons, the end of the month, etc. New hires must possess the right analytical and judgment abilities to prioritize the various tasks.
Simultaneously, the applicant must have an organized mind and deal with all responsibilities calmly. While evaluating the response, the recruiter should look for a calm demeanor. In addition, mentions of organizational tools like calendars and project management systems are great signs.
4. How do you feel about working in a team environment?
With this query, the recruiter can gauge the teamwork and collaboration skills of the candidate. This question reveals the comfort level of the interviewee in a group environment. While evaluating the applicant’s answer, the hiring manager should look for examples of previous collaborative experiences. In addition, the applicant should be willing to work with others and listen to their peers. They should understand the importance of open and honest communication for better teamwork.
Soft Skills Interview Questions to Evaluate Behaviour
1. How would you define your attitude to change?
This question allows the recruiter to delve deeper into the candidate’s temperament. The best way to evaluate the applicant is by observing them during the interview and listening to their answers. Are they nervous during their response?
Do they mention mostly negative or positive things about change? How do they react when your counter-question them? Such assessments can help the hiring manager strengthen their evaluation process. Some green flags are honesty, simple explanation, and reflective temperament.
2. How do you maintain your composure while facing workplace problems?
The response to this question helps understand the patience level and stress-handling abilities of the candidate. Situations of chaos and stress are bound to arise sooner or later. Therefore, hiring candidates who can remain calm even during the most tenuous workspace problem is important. For instance, last-minute deadlines and eleventh-hour changes from the client are part and parcel of every profession.
The candidates should show that they could sail through situations of extra steps. In addition, the application should also recount some steps they took to mitigate the problem’s impact on their performance. Some green flags to look for include honesty and reflective nature. In addition, a go-getter attitude and team-working abilities are also important.
3. How do you react to criticism?
Accepting criticism and learning from mistakes is a special soft skill. The question helps the recruiter assess how well the candidate takes feedback. It reveals if the applicant can be an asset to the company by being willing to learn. Some green flags to look out for include active listening skills, introspective temperament, and the ability to take criticism positively.
4. When was the last time you made a difficult decision? How did you handle the situation?
What this answer denotes are the problem-solving and decision-making abilities of the applicant. Both are essential skills to thrive professionally and ensure the organization’s growth. The applicant’s answer will reveal much about how decisive they are. In addition, the hiring manager should look for traits like teamwork, creativity, resourcefulness, etc.
5. How do you explain a new topic to colleagues unfamiliar with them?
In 2023, communication skills will be crucial for every job role. It is the most sought-after soft skill for six different industries. However, many young professionals might be lagging in it. Therefore, recruiters must go the extra mile to hire people with stellar communication skills.
When the candidate answers this question, it helps the recruiter understand the communication abilities of the candidate. It helps gauge how well the interviewee interacts with coworkers. The applicant’s response should include a situation wherein they introduced a new subject to their colleagues. The main quality to look out for is empathy. Besides, the candidate should not use too much technical jargon. They must display the ability to explain complex topics in a simplified fashion.
Situational Soft Skills Interview Questions to Assess
1. Narrate a situation where the results went against your expectations. How did you handle the change?
The question helps test the adaptability abilities of the candidate. Every company, regardless of the job role, wants a flexible worker. As times are precarious, workers must be able to accommodate an ever-changing professional landscape. The applicant should include an example where they had adapted to change swiftly. In addition, they should also explain how their dynamic approach helped the previous company.
2. Can you cite an example when you had to work with someone difficult to get along with? How did you navigate the situation?
In a professional workplace, the best results are achieved when employees collaborate. It is an essential skill for a company’s success and growth. Thus, the recruiter learns how the candidate navigates tricky situations by asking the above question. It also reflects their emotional intelligence and how they use it in serious situations. The recruiter should also follow up with other questions, such as if the applicant likes working with others, etc.
3. Can you recount a scenario when you were asked to do something you had never done? What was your reaction, and what did you learn?
Adaptability is a crucial soft skill for every job role. Research reveals that adaptable people will likely be the best hires. They can grow and transition into bigger roles as the company scales. Asking the candidate the above question gives the recruiter an insight into how they approach novelty in their professional life. Did the candidate embrace the challenge?
Did they find new ways to get things done? Did they run away from the responsibility?
The following observations show how adaptable the candidate is. While evaluating the candidate’s answer, the recruiter should look for honesty.
4. What are the three things that you value most in a job?
The hiring manager can examine if the candidate is a cultural fit with the response to this question. Studies show that employees with an appropriate culture fit have greater job satisfaction and superior performance. And ensuring that candidates will mesh with the company culture implies higher retention and enhanced performance.
The above question helps reveal the candidate’s priorities. Their answer must align with the company values. However, the recruiter should be careful enough to rope in identical candidates, as no company can thrive with clone-like workers. Diversity is crucial in a workspace. But, it is best to get a sense of the applicant’s background and personality and see if they could work well with others and contribute to the company and culture.
5. How would you guide your team through last-minute changes?
Studies show that companies with high-quality leaders are 13X more likely to outperform their competition. Therefore, regardless of the job role, recruiters must curate a questionnaire with relevant questions on leadership assessment. The above question helps the recruiter see the candidate’s response during chaotic or unplanned situations.
Most importantly, it reveals their ability to guide their subordinates or peers through the situation and ensure the sanctity of the workplace. Some green flags are accountability, willingness to learn, empathy, and collaboration.
6. Can you explain your biggest failure at work? How did you learn from the experience?
Failures are part of being a professional. They are, indeed, the pillars of success. The question helps the hiring manager understand the reflexivity of the applicant. It reveals if the candidate is willing to accept their mistakes. It also shows if they have learned something from their past. The applicant’s response should include an example of a situation they consider a failure and the key learnings. The question helps the hiring manager see if the candidate is resilient enough.
Soft skills are critical for success in the workplace, and they can often be the deciding factor in whether a candidate is hired or not. When conducting interviews, recruiters should prioritize asking behavior-based, role-based, and situation-based questions to assess a candidate’s soft skills.
Behavior-based questions ask candidates to describe how they have handled situations in the past, giving insight into their approach to problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. Role-based questions require candidates to imagine themselves in a particular position and consider how they would handle various scenarios, providing insight into their ability to adapt to new situations and take on new responsibilities. Situation-based questions ask candidates to think on their feet and demonstrate their problem-solving skills in real-time, giving recruiters a glimpse into their critical thinking and decision-making abilities.
Overall, incorporating these types of questions into the interview process can help recruiters identify candidates who possess the soft skills necessary for success in their organizations. By focusing on behavior, roles, and situations, recruiters can gain a more complete understanding of a candidate’s abilities and make better-informed hiring decisions.