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  • How to Sell Your Soft Skills During Job Interviews

    Interview photo from ShutterstockDuring the interview process, many candidates feel pressured to only focus on their hard skills. While it’s important to highlight these skills, it’s even more impressive when you can explain to the interviewer your soft skills and strengths that relate to the position.

    Soft skills are the qualities that can set you apart from other candidates when applying for a job. Although it’s necessary to have the desired knowledge and experience in order to qualify for the position, the manner in which you apply your experience in the workplace is what makes you stand out. Hiring managers want to know if you have the ability to lead, collaborate, and listen to others. Essentially, they want to be positive you are truly the right fit for their company.

    If you’re wondering how you can sell your soft skills during your next interview, check out these helpful tips:

    Select your best skills

    To prove you have the right soft skills for the position, you must carefully select the best ones you possess. Choose three or four skills you believe define your work ethic and focus on them during your interview. It’s also important to relate these skills to the position you’re applying for, the company’s needs, and the culture of the company.

    For example, if you’re applying for a position where the majority of your work will take place in a group setting, you’ll want to emphasize your ability to collaborate with others, communicate effectively, and resolve conflict if necessary. Once you select the soft skills that best describe your work ethic, then you can support them with examples from your experience.

    Back them up

    Now that you’ve selected your best skills for the position, it’s time to support them with real experience. Remember, you want to sell your soft skills in a way that will catch the hiring manager’s attention. Many people overlook the power of soft skills, so if you can use examples from your experience to support them, it will make you a much stronger candidate for the position.

    To illustrate your soft skills, you want to use a situation from your experience to support your abilities. You could also select an accomplishment story to serve as an example, too. First, you want to make sure you describe the situation or event where you had to utilize your soft skills. Explain to the interviewer the specific skills you used and how you had to implement them. After you describe the scenario, explain the positive outcome of the event. This way, the hiring manager will know exactly what you have to offer and how your soft skills and strengths can make a positive impact on their company.

    Explain why

    After highlighting your best skills and illustrating them to the hiring manager, you must explain how they make you the best candidate for the position. Soft skills are transferable abilities many people have to offer. For example, if your strengths happen to be adaptability and teamwork, then you must explain how the employer will benefit from your abilities. It’s important to keep in mind that soft skills are the qualities that will help you land the job.

    Being able to highlight your soft skills during an interview will definitely set you apart from other the candidates applying for the position. Through using anecdotes and success stories from your experience, you will be able to sell your soft skills in a memorable way that will help you land the job.

    What soft skills do you want to highlight in your next interview?


    Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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    3 comments on “How to Sell Your Soft Skills During Job Interviews
    1. avatar
      Chelicia H. says:

      I enjoyed this Blog. I’m one of those technical people who tend to focus on my hard skills. Although I know soft skills are important, I had never considered playing them up in an interview. This is awesome advice ~Chelicia H.

      • avatar
        Heather R. Huhman says:

        Hi Chelicia! So glad my article made you self reflect on the importance of soft skills. I’m happy it helped you — thanks for commenting!

    2. avatar
      SarahW says:

      I like this blog about soft skills. I noticed that in the last few years, EQ (soft skills) has gotten more and more attention. I have done some soft skills training and noticed a difference, not only in my work environment. In my opinion, companies should engage in EQ training for their employees.

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