Having the right mix of technical skills for a new job is important. But equally important is the level of soft skills you bring to the table. Soft skills are the interpersonal abilities you use to get along with others, along with emotional intelligence to handle job stresses and the general attitude that help you stand out.
From communication, creativity and determination, to your ability to listen, soft skills are intrinsic to succeeding at any job. Selling these skills as part of your interview process may help set you apart from the rest of the candidates you’re competing against.
Top Soft Skills That Make You More Marketable
The Balance Careers has a list of the ten most marketable soft skills relevant to technology professionals. We believe these skills are crucially important to any employee, not just a software, hardware or data engineer.
- Communication is key in any job, whether written or verbal.
- Creativity yields innovation, and in most jobs, it’s highly valued.
- Determination to succeed will help the new hire excel or the existing employee get promoted.
- Flexibility and the ability to go with the flow is crucially important in most fields that can change at the speed of the internet.
- Leadership is important in all positions, whether management or not.
- Listening actively to others makes everyone better, whether at work or at home.
- Mentoring exhibits maturity and the willingness to help others, something every employer wants on their team.
- Negotiation skills will be surprisingly handy, especially when working in cross-functional teams.
- Presentation skills are highly sought after in the job market today.
- Teamwork is a necessity today for everyone on the job in any market.
Now that you know the top soft skills, how will you exhibit them during the interview?
Interviewing for Soft Skills
Some of the soft skills you will naturally exhibit during the interview process include communication, active listening and presentation skills. If the interviewer asks behavioral questions that invite you to share concrete examples of on-the-job experiences, try to tailor your responses to show how you worked in a team or led them to success.
One helpful exercise could be to list your soft skills on a sheet of paper. Now take the job description you applied to and try to imagine how you will apply your soft skills to the role. During the interview process, try to illustrate these skills so the hiring manager can start to picture how these characteristics make you the perfect hire.
Consider approaching your colleagues and asking for a short three-sentence testimonial on how you illustrated these skills on the job. For example:
I worked closely with Kathy on a software upgrade. She conducted due diligence and presented her findings concisely to the team. She played a crucial role in leading the team toward a successful deployment.
Another thing to consider is how your existing soft skills fit within the stated values of the organization. What about taking the company values and listing examples of your corresponding soft skills on a sheet of paper to share with the interviewer?
The point here is that soft skills are just as marketable today as technical skills. Talk to the talent team at Blackstone Talent Group to find out how your skills translate into available jobs in the field.