Julia Donofrio
Marketing Apprentice

When you prepare for an interview, you know to add all your skills to your resume and practice explaining them to your interviewer. You know to put your college degree, certifications, and any relevant experience. But there’s a large set of skills that you might forget to include in your preparation, and these could be the most impactful on your chance of getting the job.

Soft skills are essential in the workplace. In interviews, employers are asking specific questions to get a sense of how strong your soft skills are and how you can apply them to the position.

Examples of soft skills.

These skills include verbal communication, teamwork, time management, organization, writing, critical thinking, leadership, work ethic, and integrity. According to Forbes, these skills are so important to employers because they are telling of how well you can work with other team members and integrate into the company. Additionally, they cannot be replicated by automation in the future.

Proving you have these skills might seem like a challenge, but we have advice on how to effectively communicate your soft skill proficiency in interviews. One key question often asked by interviewers is, “Can you tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with someone who was difficult to work with?”

Preparing answers. 

This question opens up many opportunities for an interviewee. You should prepare your answer to include a story of a time you displayed teamwork, leadership, empathy, and communication to achieve a favorable result. This could be a time in a past position in which you had to work on a project with a coworker who only wanted to do things their way. Explain how you approached the situation, spoke with the person about it, and eventually solved it. Did you learn to compromise? Did you learn to be confrontational, yet understanding? Detailing this experience can show the interviewer that you have high emotional intelligence and are able to take on challenging situations in the workplace, no matter the field or position you are applying for.

Interviewers might also ask how you handle extremely stressful situations, such as projects and looming deadlines. This is a perfect opportunity to show your organizational and time management skills. In your response, explain your process for tackling a large project. How do you set deadlines? Do you use a planner or some other system to stay organized? How do you prioritize your work?

Overall, the best thing you can do to showcase exemplary soft skills is to enter the interview with positivity, excitement and passion. Showing interest in and care for the interviewer, position, and company can go a long way. Practice active listening when the interviewer is speaking – smile, nod, and give appropriate feedback. Have strong answers prepared ahead of time so you don’t ramble or stumble over your words. Carry yourself with confidence and you will go far.