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How Can I Showcase My Soft Skills During an Interview?

Author Frederik van Lierde • 8/31/2023

Soft skills are as crucial as technical abilities. But how can you effectively convey these intangible qualities during an interview? This article delves into strategies to help you shine.
How Can I Showcase My Soft Skills During an Interview?

Understand the Value of Soft Skills

Why Soft Skills Matter
Soft skills, often referred to as interpersonal or people skills, encompass a range of abilities such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Unlike hard skills, which are specific and teachable, soft skills are more about behavior and thinking. They play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration, driving productivity, and maintaining a positive work environment.

The Demand in Today's Market
Employers today are increasingly valuing soft skills. A LinkedIn survey found that 92% of hiring managers believe soft skills are more important than hard skills. This is because while technical skills can be taught, soft skills are often innate and harder to develop. They are the foundation of a harmonious workplace and can significantly impact a company's success.

Identifying Your Soft Skills
Before showcasing them, it's essential to identify your soft skills. Reflect on past experiences, both personal and professional. Think about times when you've worked in a team, faced challenges, or had to adapt to changes. These instances often highlight your soft skills like adaptability, collaboration, and resilience.

Tailor Your Responses with the STAR Technique

What is the STAR Technique?
The STAR technique stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It's a structured method to answer behavioral interview questions, which are often used by interviewers to gauge soft skills. By framing your answers using this method, you can provide concrete examples of how you've demonstrated your soft skills in the past.

Crafting Your Response
Start by describing a Situation where you faced a challenge. Then, detail the Task you were responsible for. Dive into the Action you took, emphasizing the soft skills you employed. Finally, explain the Result
of your actions, highlighting any positive outcomes.

Practice Makes Perfect
Before the interview, list down common behavioral questions like "Tell me about a time you led a team" or "Describe a situation where you had to handle conflict." Practice answering these using the STAR technique, ensuring you highlight different soft skills in each response.

Non-verbal Communication Speaks Volumes

The Power of Body Language
While your words convey your experiences and skills, your body language communicates your confidence, enthusiasm, and attentiveness. Maintaining eye contact, offering a firm handshake, and sitting upright can make a positive impression. Conversely, fidgeting or avoiding eye contact can be perceived as a lack of confidence or interest.

Active Listening
Active listening is a crucial soft skill. It involves fully concentrating, understanding, and responding to what the other person is saying. During the interview, show that you're engaged by nodding occasionally, paraphrasing what the interviewer said, and asking relevant questions. This not only showcases your listening skills but also your ability to understand and process information.

Mirror the Interviewer
Mirroring is a subtle technique where you slightly mimic the interviewer's body language. It can create a sense of rapport and understanding. However, it's essential to be genuine and not overdo it, as it can come off as insincere.

Conclusion

Soft skills are invaluable in today's job market, and showcasing them effectively during an interview can set you apart from other candidates. By understanding their importance, tailoring your responses with the STAR technique, and harnessing the power of non-verbal communication, you can leave a lasting impression on your potential employers. Remember, it's not just about what you say, but how you say it and how you present yourself.