Are You Interviewing for Soft Skills?

Are You Interviewing for Soft Skills?

Have you found that many of your new hires have technical expertise, but lack the necessary people skills? Even if it may not seem this way on the surface, soft skills in candidates are just as important as hard skills. A candidate with strong, soft skills will likely possess a greater potential to excel in your workforce in all aspects – from working well with teams to effectively leading others on the job.

Here are some key tips for how you can fully assess soft skills in candidates throughout the interview process:

Evaluate communication style.

How a candidate communicates with you during an interview is often largely indicative of how well they’ll communicate on the job. Keeping in mind that nerves can often affect a candidate’s overall interview performance, it’s important to evaluate how a candidate responds to questions and interacts with you. In addition to a candidate’s verbal communication pattern, it’s critical to assess nonverbal communication skills such as posture, eye contact, and facial expressions. Because communication is a huge part of success on the job, it’s important to ensure you’re hiring employees who can work with others respectfully and effectively.

Ask about leadership experience.

While not every candidate will have served in a specified leadership role, prior experience supervising, managing, or training others – even if it’s minimal capacity – is a strong soft skill that will translate well in the workplace. Asking candidates to provide background about any form of leadership experience will shed light on how well they take the initiative, help others overcome challenges, and provide support to other members of their team regularly. Leadership experience can be as complex as managing a department or as simple as training a new worker. Taking the time to learn about a candidate’s background in this area can significantly help you determine if they’d be an asset to your organization.

Gauge adaptability.

With situations in the workplace constantly changing, your employees must have an adaptable mindset when it comes to their job performance and responsibilities. One way to assess this soft skill is by asking candidates how they’ve solved previous problems in the workplace. Were they able to shift their focus in the midst of a major problem? How did they approach a difficult situation? Were they able to multitask and meet deadlines? Candidates who exhibit an ability to navigate a fast-paced work environment will be best suited to adapt to your organization’s evolving needs.

Putting the three factors above at the forefront of your interviewing process will allow you to hire candidates who have the hard skills and soft skills to excel at your company for the long haul. Most importantly, you’ll develop a team with a high degree of emotional intelligence to handle all your company’s moving parts.

Are you in search of top talent? Get in touch with The Liberty Group, an executive search and staffing firm serving 24 cities and their surrounding markets nationwide.