When interviewing job candidates, it is important to get an idea of the person’s soft skills as well as their technical knowledge. Soft skills generally apply to a person’s personality and character – their honesty and integrity, how well he or she works with other people, his attitude and motivation, and his persistence and resilience.
Soft skills matter. People with good soft skills are generally more productive and more engaged. Here are some questions that may help you to gauge a person’s soft skills.
1. Ask the person how he or she goes about learning new things, whether it’s new processes or procedures or some other type of information. The purpose of this question is to determine how open the person is to new ideas and to developing themselves and their skills.
2. Ask the person how he felt after being criticized by a superior or a colleague. This purpose of this question is to gauge how open minded the person is, how open to opposing views and criticism.
3. Ask the person how often he works late. The point of this question is to find out about the person’s work ethic and how he manages his time.
4. Ask the person how he keeps organized, what type of system he uses and what tools he uses to assist him in keeping organized. Staying organized is essential to being efficient and productive, so this will help to get an idea how efficient the person is.
5. Ask the person about his most challenging project and how he tackled the challenge. The purpose of this question is to find out about his leadership qualities, his creativity, and persistence.
6. Ask the person how he tackled a project where a lot was riding on the outcome. This question also aims to get at the candidate’s leadership and planning skills, as well as how he works under pressure.
7. Ask the person what he regards as his biggest failure and what he learned from it. The idea behind this question is determining how the person handles failure, his persistence and resilience, and his ability to learn from his mistakes.
8. Ask the person if he was ever asked to do anything he believed to be unethical and how he handled the situation. The purpose of this question is to get an idea of the person’s moral character and values.
9. Ask the person if he ever had to let someone go and how he handled the situation. The aim here is to get some sense of how the person deals with stressful situations and how he works with other people.
10. Ask the person how he stays up to date with the latest trends in his field. This addresses the person’s curiosity, dedication and commitment to his career.