When looking for a new role, many candidates focus all their energy on promoting their skills and experience. Of course demonstrating relevant experience and industry-specific knowledge is vital, but it isn’t always enough to secure the role. With many candidates of a similar calibre often chasing the one job, many employers carefully evaluate soft skills in order to select the most suitable person for the position.
Here are five areas to focus on during the interview process:
1. Show your enthusiasm
It sounds obvious, but don’t suppress your enthusiasm and excitement about a role (within reason of course!) Employers want a candidate who is genuinely interested in the organisation and passionate about what they do. Put all your energy into your interviews and don’t give the impression you’re lacklustre or ambivalent about the position.
2. First-rate communication
An interview is a good opportunity for employers to assess your verbal communication style, and ability to express your ideas. Before an interview, practise talking about your experience out loud. Try to keep answers clear, concise and to the point. Good communication also requires you to be an excellent listener, so always pay close attention to exactly what’s being asked of you.
3. Prove you're a problem solver
Potential employers look for lateral thinking and an innovative approach to tackling tricky situations. A natural problem solver who takes a creative approach to solving business issues is highly desirable to any employer. Make sure you think of tangible examples to highlight your skill at overcoming obstacles and generating successful outcomes.
4. Powers of persuasion
Your ability to positively influence those around you is a critically important attribute. Do you negotiate effectively with different teams and individuals? Can you confidently build solid business relationships at all levels of an organisation? Gather examples of how you have achieved this in the past.
5. Management material
If you’re looking to progress up the ranks, you’ll need to inspire confidence that you have managerial aptitude. You need to prove that you have an inclusive approach, the ability to engage with employees at all levels, and are looking forward to taking on responsibility for the success and wellbeing of others. Most of all, you’ll need to prove your ability to forge effective, lasting business relationships.
Remember, technical ability and relevant experience should always go hand-in-hand with great communication and interpersonal skills. Make sure you have relevant examples of your soft skills ready for your next interview.