Soft skills as it sounds are all about your soft side, or the level of emotional quotient you have, or to put it across in simple terms, your communication skills. Some of the soft skills examples are integrity, dependability, and creativity. The best employer is the one who gets the maximum boxes ticked in the Hard Skill vs Soft Skill comparison. Interview questions that bring out your soft skills, allow you to showcase the strength in your personality that is not mentioned in your resume and how you can apply it to your workplace. Knowing more about the possible interview questions beforehand and preparing your answers for the same can convince your employers about your ability to get along with your coworkers to get the job done.
This article is put together with the sole intent to put you in the driving seat when it comes to all your future interviews. So, get ready, be warm, and turn on your charm.
As we have understood what are soft skills, and before we get you all well-groomed and going for a job interview, let’s understand what is the importance of soft skills.
Importance Of Soft Skills
Employers are very interested in learning about your skills as they want to assess your ability to demonstrate tenacity when adapting to various situations. Bringing out your soft skills gives a glimpse into the ways you have tackled previous roles or situations to achieve your goals. Employers usually rely on STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) to evaluate your behavior and do a soft skill assessment to ensure that you triumph in any environment.
Let’s deep-dive into each component of the STAR so that you can effectively showcase your soft skills during the interview.
- Situation: Set up the context of a situation that you had to face at the workplace and what was the reason for the situation unfolding
- Task: Discuss the role that you had in the situation
- Action: Describe how you handled the situation and how it affected your approach towards accomplishing the goal
- Result: Describe the outcome of your actions and the way your actions laid the foundation for achieving the outcome. Use calculable statistics to highlight how your actions benefitted the previous employer
Interview Questions & Answers
Now as we have laid the foundation, let’s look at some of the sample interview questions and answers that will help you with your interview preparation.
Tell us about a time when you had to navigate your team through a challenging situation.
Instance: Once I was a part of this app development company, and our team was chasing a tight deadline and we had to deliver the app by the end of the month. The UI designer and the computer programmer had differences regarding the homepage of the app. As most conversations were happening through the phone, a lot of communication was getting lost. So I scheduled a meeting for the next day and asked both of them to appear in person and resolve their differences and issues. I told them to look at the bigger picture which is client satisfaction and come together to deliver the best job before the deadline. This way, I removed the ambiguity in communication and used my best judgment to resolve the issue.
How do you decide which task requires your immediate attention when you have multiple deadlines to meet?
Instance: When I was working as a freelancer, I used to handle multiple projects which used to have multiple deadlines. To work with utmost efficiency, I had to improve my time management skills. I used to keep alerts and work reminders to ensure that I was tackling one assignment at a time. I used to weekly check-in to catch up with the completed work in the past week before deciding to prioritize the work for the coming week just so that I am sure that I can enter the new week with a fresh approach and mindset.
Explain a time in your work life when you presented yourself as the problem solver
Instance: One of the most pressing challenges that I experienced was when I was told that two of my previous clients were ending their retainers with us. This immediately put a big financial strain on me and the rest of the departments. Seeing the current situation and to prepare for the future, I ended up hiring two interns who were interested in Business Development. I asked them to make phone calls to local prospects and some clients of mine in the past for whom I had done pro bono work. I spent the next three months putting in extra hours and ensuring that each employee of mine had a full sales funnel. My problem-solving skills paid off as we ended up signing 5 more clients and made up for the losses from losing the retainer.
How do you explain to new joiners who are unfamiliar to them?
Instance: When I was a part of the software firm, I had to give a demonstration of the software’s abilities to three new employees and explain to them why it Is useful for the customer. The first thing I decided to stay away from was technical jargon as that became a part of the dictionary eventually. So I decided to break down each feature and explain how the customer’s life would be affected if these features didn’t work properly. This made the demonstration conversational, and thus the new joiners could ask useful questions about the product features and how they can best communicate it with their customers. I used empathy as a tool to explain the features of the product.
Walk us through an experience when things didn’t go according to plan. How did you cope with it?
Instance: I have been in the events industry for the last 10 years, and plans changing at the end moment is usually a part and parcel of the job. One clear example of a plan going totally haywire was when I was organizing a birthday party for a client, and the host was excited about having a life performance. I had organized a singer who ended up falling ill on the day of the party. So, I used my experience and my good relationship with singers that I have worked with in the past. I got in touch with some of the singers I know, and luckily one of them agreed to fit into my time slot, and the client ended up having a gala time.
How do you deal with a colleague who has a difference of opinion from you?
Instance: There was a time when I was a part of a project with a large team. Once during a brainstorming session, one of my ideas was shot down by another team member. They thought my idea was not practical and would put a big burden on the company. Obviously, I was disheartened. However, after the meeting, I decided to take advantage of my communication skills and had a discussion with my team where I explained my passion behind the idea further. After further discussion, we reached a common ground and made my idea work by inculcating some suggestions from my teammates.
What are the three things that you prioritize the most when working for an employer?
Instance: The three non-negotiable aspects are a great manager, a healthy work culture, and a good work-life balance. These three markers ensure that a company cares about the employees’ performance and development. When a company strives to bring the best out of employees, it motivates me further to shine, excel, and exceed my expectations. In my search for UK jobs, I have realized that jobsbuster has excellent job opportunities and they have the choicest of employers.
Run us through an instance when you had to take a call without managerial oversight. How did you tackle this situation and whom did you speak with?
Instance: Once my reporting manager had to leave office on an urgent basis and left me in charge of the marketing team for that certain day. To my good luck, I got a call from my client with a pressing request to speak to my manager. I gave them confidence that I was capable of taking the call on my manager’s behalf. The issue at hand was related to a department in that I lacked expertise and experience, which luckily the client understood. However, I took down their feedback with utmost detail left a note on my manager’s desk, and spoke to him at length the next day I met him. I was appreciated for my effort and the issue was resolved.
Tell us about a time you finished a task without having any prior experience related to the task.
Instance: There was once a time when I was working with a pharma agency where we wanted doctors to participate in an event we were organizing. And we had to call them and give them details about the event and check for their availability. As a copywriter, I was not well-versed in the deep medical jargon that was going to be discussed at the event. So, I had the medical team write down a script for me, and I made calls to the doctors and gathered all the details with them. This boosted my confidence when it comes to talking to doctors.
Explain the time you made a big mistake at work, and what you learned from such a humbling experience.
Instance: I had failed to crack new campaign ideas for two months in a row and my abilities as a creative person were being questioned by my immediate manager. So, I had to look back at the time and understand what had changed during the course of becoming unproductive. I realized the fact that I had stopped looking for niche industry insights which was previously giving me a competitive edge while creating campaigns. So, I picked up that old habit again and worked on a new campaign which was widely appreciated by clients and my teammates alike. I learned that sometimes in the course of working you tend to let go off habits that made you special and that should never happen.