3 Essential Soft Skills to Mention in An Interview

Interviews are probably not anyone’s favorite activity. And while we’ve already covered how to answer classic interview questions, we’re going to help boost your interview prep game by covering three absolutely essential soft skills in your next job interview.

Quickly, let’s touch on what soft skills are. In career terms, skills are typically broken down into two groups—soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills are technical skills—skills that are teachable, like computer programming or video editing. Soft skills are skills that are more inherent to each of us. Soft skills include things related to your personality—things like how well you communicate, how you work with others, or your emotional intelligence. Successfully showcasing a combination of your hard and soft skills will help you stand out as a candidate in your job search, whether you’re looking for a job opportunity in Santa Rosa, CA, or one of our other locations in Northern California.

Three of the soft skills that are essential to cover in any interview are empathy, active listening, and problem-solving. Here’s why they’re important, and why you should mention your soft skill strengths in your next job interview.

#1 Essential Soft Skill: Empathy

Empathy ties into collaboration. Empathy is the ability to sense and understand others’ emotions. When you’re at work, this ties directly into your collaborative abilities. And because every person will have to work with colleagues at some point in their career, this skill is imperative across all industries.

If you can relate to others, you’re a better team player, bottom line. Being able to understand when your coworkers are stressed, excited, or exhausted, and adjusting your communication style or work expectations and deadlines accordingly, will make for a more productive, more supportive workplace—for everyone. And that’s something every employer wants.

#2 Essential Soft Skill: Active Listening

Active listening is key to communicating effectively. Your ability to listen—and listen well—directly impacts your ability to communicate. We all know how it feels to not be heard by a colleague, manager, or client. Being talked over, having to repeat yourself—it’s frustrating. And it’s not efficient.

When you’re an active listener, you’re not assuming anything about what the other person is saying (or doing.) You’re fully engaged in the conversation. You’re asking clarifying questions. And you’re able to communicate in a clear, open manner. Mistakes happen less. Misunderstandings happen less. And in return, better, more efficient work gets done.

#3 Essential Soft Skill: Problem Solving

Problem-solving shows your independence, but also can show your ability to persevere and ultimately get the job done. This is a great skill to show off by using a story (or example) to iterate your abilities. It’s important to be able to explain that you are able to work through issues and solve problems on your own.

When you’re mentioning your problem-solving skills in your next job interview, take note that it’s important to show a balance here, between taking initiative to problem solve, and knowing when to ask for help. Sometimes, independent problem solving can be detrimental to the success of the team, if you made a mistake, or didn’t ask for help when needed. Show the hiring manager that you know how to do both.

If you’re looking for job opportunities in Santa Rosa, CA, be sure to mention these essential soft skills in your next job interview. You’ll stand out as a candidate and be more confident in yourself and what you offer, too. A candidate with a strong combination of hard skills and soft skills is a competitive candidate. A candidate that gets hired.


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With over 20 years in the staffing industry, Star Staffing has thrived as a top temporary staffing agency recognized multiple years by Forbes for our excellent service. Star Staffing supports multiple industries including food and wine, events and hospitality, warehouse and distribution, and more. As the economy heals, we look forward to maintaining our promise: We are here when you need us.

Star Staffing is a full-service workforce solutions firm. We focus on making the best match between employee and employer. With offices throughout Northern California including Sacramento, Fairfield, Napa, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa, Star Staffing is just a phone call or click away.