How to Interview for Soft Skills

When you are hiring a candidate, focusing on hard skills is easy. It isn’t difficult to tell whether someone has a certain desired certification or the requisite knowledge of a software program. It is, however, much harder to determine if a candidate you are considering for a job has the soft skills necessary to fit in with your company culture and be a productive member of your team.

The good news is, there are questions you can ask and things you can look for during the interview to assess soft skills. Some of the key things you should do include the following:

  • Ask behavioral questions. Behavioral questions allow a candidate to provide open-ended answers about past behaviors. These typically involve asking a candidate to “Tell me about a time when…”. Pay attention to the way the candidate describes the situation they were in, the task they had to accomplish, the action they took, and the result. This is called the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result), and it reveals a lot about who a candidate is and how they approach problems.
  • Ask situational questions. This involves giving a candidate a hypothetical situation they’d be likely to face if they were hired. Ask them how they’d approach it.  If they’d tackle the problem head-on on their own, they may be an independent and self-motivated worker, whereas if they’d turn to the team, they may have strong collaborative and communication skills.
  • Pay attention to behavior. Does the candidate communicate well? Do they seem able to put themselves in another person’s shoes? Are they polite and professional? Simply by observing how a candidate interacts with you and other people in your office, you’ll get a clearer idea of whether they would be a good fit for company culture.

High Profile can help you find talented staff members whose soft skills make them an ideal fit for your organization. Give us a call at 972-991-7900 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help you to build a strong team that works well together to help your company succeed.