Soft skills comprise an individual’s social talents, personal attributes, and communication abilities. Interview questions on soft skills explain character traits you can showcase in a working environment. While these interview questions differ and depend on the unique circumstances, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked soft skills questions that employers rely on to gauge a candidate’s eligibility. And tips to assist a job applicant when crafting responses.
Exploiting soft skills can facilitate you to express your competence in collaborating with others to accomplish set goals. Below is a sample of top soft skill questions with tips on crafting impactful responses.
1. How Would You Describe Soft Skills?
Soft skills are characteristics and personality traits that help individuals interact with others to succeed in the workplace. These skills help in displaying productive personality traits and behavior.
2. What’s The Importance Of Soft Skills?
Employers look forward to hiring well-rounded applicants who can adapt to multiple situations. The ability to showcase soft skills highlights an employee’s disposition when faced with problems in the workplace. Hirers assess candidates’ behavior and determine if they have appropriate soft skills to succeed in those job vacancies.
3. Which Soft Skills Do You Have That Can Help You Thrive In This Role?
I keep nurturing my communication, problem-solving, leadership, and time-management skills because I believe they are the fundamental attributes that can support me to thrive in this role. Though I am not faultless, I keep perfecting these skills at every opportunity.
4. Share With Us An Experience Where You Had To Manage A Team In Challenging Circumstances
Being able to address challenges promptly is an integral part of being a team leader. In one of my roles, I worked for a digital marketing company. Our department was tasked with the responsibility of developing a marketing campaign for an eCommerce client by the end of the week. The graphics designer and SEO strategist could not agree on the final changes to the company’s social media business page. Their disagreements badly affected the project, and our team fell three days behind schedule.
I organized a meeting with both sides to try and resolve the stalemate. After much persuasion and compromise between both parties, we settled, and the project was back on track. Although we were a few days late with our submissions, the quality of work was of the highest standard, which the client acknowledged. He was very impressed with the outcome as the changes hugely impacted sales that year.
5. Which Approach Would You Utilize In Explaining New Workflows To Colleagues Who Are Unfamiliar With The Process?
Some years back, while working for a manufacturing firm as an IT expert, I had to introduce new software to help automate repetitive tasks. I had to demonstrate the process to the admin department to realize that change. I tried to simplify technical terms and encouraged the teams to ask questions about the app’s usability, pros, and cons. I also found conducting training sessions effective as I availed myself to address any arising challenges with that software’s functionality.
6. What Major Challenge Have You Had To Deal With That Helped Shape Your Problem-Solving Skills?
One of the biggest challenges recently occurred when a client with the most prominent accounts opted not to renew it. The new development put a lot of pressure on me and the entire sales department to increase our productivity.
I had to recruit three temporary sales reps to send cold emails and make cold calls to local prospects while I spent time updating our lead generation software. I committed the next three months to working late, ensuring everyone on the team had a jam-packed schedule. After four months, our efforts paid off as we acquired six new clients who made up for revenue losses after the departure of our previous customers.
7. What Are Your Most Important Considerations When Working For An Employer?
My most important considerations are the organization’s culture, employer type, and career advancement opportunities. I put a lot of value on teamwork and collaboration because these qualities express the company’s concern for its staff’s performance and development. The opportunity to advance in my career motivates me to exceed my manager’s expectations. The company’s strong culture will inspire me to excel in this position if given an opportunity.
8. How Do You Prioritize Your Roles When You Have Multiple Deadlines?
I’ve learned that using a project management application and scheduling with a digital calendar helps streamline tasks. With my project management system, I can segment functions which makes it easier for me to delegate.
Automating processes helps me to set reminders so as not to miss any milestones. I can also prioritize tasks to start working on the most urgent first. I use my Google calendar to compartmentalize my time between client engagements and work on administrative roles. I integrate my calendar with my project management system to effectively juggle these tasks.
9. Share An Experience Where The Expected Results Went Against Expectations. What Was Your Approach, And How Did You Adapt To This Change?
As a wedding planner, I ensure everything runs according to plan. I don’t leave anything to chance and follow the couple’s wishes to the letter. So for this particular wedding, I was handling, I booked the venue in good time, paid a deposit for fresh white roses as per the bride’s wishes, and ensured the décor matched the day’s theme. Despite all the preparations, there was a heavy downpour on the eve of the wedding, making it impossible to set up the venue.
After consultations with the couple, we moved the event to one of the nearby hotels and quickly set up the décor in the hotel’s ballroom. Though there was much to be done, we managed to set everything up on time. Networking and building relationships can make a significant difference when faced with a crisis. I believe that my ability to solve problems in real-time makes me an asset that your company needs for this role.
10. How Do You Deal With Disagreements At The Workplace?
Working harmoniously with colleagues who disagree with you is a job-related requirement because not everyone will support your ideas. As a senior manager in the ministry of education, I’ve developed and presented a new curriculum for primary school kids desiring to learn to code. Public participation was one of the initial steps that helped shape this syllabus. Despite the wide range of views and participation from different stakeholders, some quarters presented some resistance.
My team and I organized a stakeholder’s meeting to streamline the process, which led to an all-inclusive final script. We made the necessary improvements for six months but finally, the program attracted nationwide approval.
11. Share An Instance Where You Made A Decision With Minimal Supervision. What Approach Did You Integrate?
I believe that being able to make sound decisions without supervision is a sign of maturity and growth. In a previous role, my manager was away on business for a few days and left me in charge of the marketing department. One day, a customer called complaining about an error in their ad campaign design. As we talked, I took short notes on the edits they wanted to reflect on the branded merchandise.
Before hanging up, I promised to work on the changes and deliver the results the following day. Since the project’s turnaround, time was short, and the manager wasn’t around, I had to act fast. I mobilized my team and shared the client’s concerns. We devised a way to make the needed adjustments and had to work late that day. The client was highly impressed with receiving the final product and gave us a colossal bonus for the work well done. I later briefed my manager on the new development and he expressed his gratitude for how I took charge in resolving the issue.
12. Have You Ever Delivered On A Project Without Prior Experience? What Was Your Experience And What Did You Learn?
I organized a job-related Christmas event hosted by my previous employer. While I had no prior experience, I coordinated activities and ensured everything was moving as planned. Being a member of the IT department, event coordination was a significant challenge that stretched me to my limits. I had volunteered to participate but didn’t know my boss would select me to organize the event on the organization’s behalf. The opportunity allowed me to cultivate my communication, collaboration, and leadership skills. If given a chance, I’d be happy to replicate my problem-solving skills if hired for this role.
13. What Has Been Your Greatest Failure? What Realities Did You Deduce From That Experience?
One time, I fell short of reaching my sales target for three consecutive months. My supervisor shared his concerns which led me to develop a strategy to improve my performance. With my mentor’s assistance, I set a target of sending out ten cold emails daily and two cold calls before leaving the office. Furthermore, I had two meetings with prospective clients each week.
With patience and persistence, I acquired four new accounts with multiple clients who signed up with our company. That experience taught me that commitment and hard work are beneficial ingredients for success.
14. Please Share With Us A Time When Your Leadership Skills Helped You In Leading A Team Amidst Challenging Circumstances.
Our IT department received cruel negative feedback from a long-term client, and everyone was feeling pretty downcast about the amount of effort the team had already put in.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I organized a brainstorming session where we could, review the client’s revisions and ensure we were all on the same page about the requested edits.
Before the meeting, I had formed a more palatable breakdown of the client’s requests and gathered relevant resources to ensure we had everything needed to begin working on those changes. Everyone left that meeting encouraged and ready to tackle the task ahead.
15. How Do You Handle Situations Where You Have Too Much Work And Too Little Time To Accomplish It?
As a team leader, I’ve always had to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, and I must admit, it can be pretty overwhelming at times. However, I’ve learned to utilize my peak productivity working hours to focus and take the initiative to re-evaluate priorities. Once I highlight my tasks on a checklist, I can start working on urgent matters without leaving out any critical assignments. I also prefer working on the more complex duties first as they tend to consume more time, and I feel more energized in the morning. I also collaborate with my boss to focus our efforts on the most impactful assignments first.
16. Have You Ever Had To Collaborate With A Colleague You Weren’t Compatible With? What Coping Mechanisms Did You Integrate?
I generally get along with my colleagues and have a good working relationship with them. However, there are isolated instances where a teammate and I have exhibited incompatibility with our working approaches. In one of my previous roles, I had to collaborate with a colleague, and from the onset of the project, we could hardly agree on anything. While we both wanted the same outcome, we could not agree on the strategy to execute the task.
I suspected our differences would interfere with our work, causing us to miss our target, so I suggested a sit-in to chart the way forward. We had to set achievable milestones and outline some ground rules for how we could work together effectively. I found that having those tough conversations from the onset helped mitigate any arising issues. We learned to compromise and use our diverse skills to our advantage.
17. Collaborating With Teams Is Beneficial But Can Also Pose Many Challenges. What Approach Would You Use To Overcome Setbacks?
I was part of a digital marketing department tasked with rebranding a company website and launching it by the end of the month. Challenges started even before the project kicked off. The web developer and graphic designer could not agree on the components to integrate, and their bickering started slowing things down. A whole week lapsed with nothing to show for it.
At that point, I gathered everyone in a meeting to iron out differences and reach a consensus. With a lot of compromises, we created a strategy, and the project was back on track.
18. How Would You Explain A Complex Process To Someone Who Is Unfamiliar With It?
As a finance department member, I needed to illustrate to the sales team the importance of submitting accurate sales data within the specified period. Rather than confuse them with the nitty-gritty of my workflows and spreadsheets, I discovered that the best way to do this would be to recount the challenge and relate it to something they could understand. In that case, I urged them to recall how frustrated they felt when clients delayed payments. Similarly, I made it clear that I thought the same way when there were postponements in submitting financial reports.
19. Planning Is A Sure Way To Guarantee Success. What Do You Do When Things Don’t Turn Out As You Had Hoped?
It took me months to plan the company’s sporting event, our most excellent brand awareness campaign strategy for the year. Unfortunately, the last-minute thunderstorm forced everyone indoors. It was tempting to get discouraged.
Thankfully, I pride myself on my ability to think on my feet. I quickly booked with a nearby facility and organized indoor games like chess, table tennis, and other team-building activities. I prearranged for a live viewership on our social media business pages and gave the audience opportunities to predict outcomes and win prizes. A day that started with uncertainty turned out to be a fun-filled event with great memories. Our live stream attracted so much attention and reached a diverse range of prospective clients, a number that exceeded our target. We would never have penetrated these new markets if we had stuck to our original plan. That year, we had the most successful marketing campaign ever.
20. What Impact Has Constructive Criticism Had On Your Career?
I always welcome constructive criticism as it has helped me polish my skills. Constructive feedback has pushed me to acquire new skills aligned with my career. I have grown so much thanks to the input from all stakeholders, including colleagues, bosses, and clients.
21. How Do Colleagues Describe You?
My workmates consistently tell me that I am a born leader. While working on projects, my teammates often unanimously volunteer me to take charge of the group. I love working with people and supporting them to thrive in their respective fields. I believe I have a gift of bringing out the best in people. Last year, I won the yearly leadership award for human resource managers.
22. Apart From Work, Which Other Interests Do You Have
Cooking is one of my favorite pass times. Though I may not be a gourmet chef, I love experimenting with recipes from different cultures. I am fascinated by Mexican dishes, so I spend my free time researching simple recipes I hope to try out next week.
23. Why Should We Hire You?
I have a wealth of experience in this role as I have long-term exposure working in a similar environment. I believe that the three years I spent developing software applications for different organizations make me an ideal candidate for this IT managerial position. Additionally, I have good coding and design skills that can help me thrive in this position.
24. What Do You Hope To Achieve In The Next Five Years?
In five years, I’d like to have a clearer vision of my aspirations as an engineer. Joining a reputable company like yours will help me contribute my skills to growing your brand. Working for a company with a culture that supports team member development will help me develop existing skills while acquiring new ones. I hope my developmental growth will challenge me to rise to a managerial position, where I hope to impart my technical skills to mentor interns. I believe that successful person achieves more when they guide others to greatness.
25. As A Departmental Leader, How Do You Motivate Your Team?
From experience, I’ve learned that employees thrive when given opportunities to express their creativity. I hope to generate avenues for staff to showcase their skills and flourish in their areas of specialization. Employees give their best at work in companies that facilitate avenues for growth.
26. What’s The Best Approach For Effective Communication At The Workplace
I’ve learned that integrating a software application that enhances interaction is the best way to improve communication at work. Many project management software come with features that enhance collaboration and one-on-one interaction. These features help organize meetings, schedule emails and improve inter-departmental communication.
27. What’s Your Approach When Delegating Responsibilities To Your Team?
Being in leadership for over three years has made me appreciate the importance of pinpointing an employee’s strengths and skill set. With this knowledge, I effectively allocate them duties they can excel in. My easygoing relationship with my team makes me approachable as they can freely share their sentiments about any concern.
28. Between Being A Good Communicator And A Good Listener, Which One Is More Important?
In my view, both of these aspects complement each other. A good listener is, at all times, a better communicator. Developing the art of listening is more important than communicating because you can only speak when you listen and accommodate other people’s views.
29. What Benefits Are You Bringing To This Role?
I can make anyone in a new environment feel at ease, which makes me an excellent fit for the human resource assistant role. I take it upon myself to give orientations to recruits showing them everything they need to know about the company. Due to the personalized approach, employee turnover has declined as compared to how it was in the past.
30. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
I’ve always been creative in designing things but haven’t had much experience with content development. Putting my thoughts to paper does not come naturally to me. But, I am a fast learner, and I’m convinced I can improve my writing skills if I ever need to.
You are gravely mistaken if you thought that soft skills don’t matter. Soft skills carry a lot of weight with employers and are considered a critical priority during recruitment exercises. Though they’re not as tangible or quantifiable as technical qualifications, recruiting teams will still attempt to gauge your soft skill capabilities throughout the hiring process.
Usually, it isn’t easy to know what questions your interviewer is likely to ask. But, it helps to prepare some polished and professional responses to commonly asked interview questions that are expected to be tossed at you. Impress your recruiter by polishing your public speaking, body language, and leadership skills by adequately preparing for your upcoming interview.