Over the past few days, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of soft skills. In part one, we explained what soft skills entailed and why your employees need them. And in part two, we gave you a few tips on how to screen candidates so you can find those great employees with exceptional soft skills.
To round off our series, we thought it would only be fair to talk about soft skills from the employee’s perspective. So without further adieu, here are a few ways to improve your soft skills, as well as how to properly showcase them during the interview process:
How to improve your soft skills
Keep your attitude in check. People who possess exceptional soft skills do very well under pressure, so you always need to maintain your composure. Taking a few minutes each day to sit back and reflect on the day, your actions, and others’ responses to your actions help you become more self-aware, making it much easier for you to prevent any unwanted breakdowns.
Network. Networking is also another a great way to hone in on your communication skills. Take the time to branch out and talk with others; having that kind of exposure can help broaden your thinking skills and sense of perspective–an important asset to have when working/leading with a diverse group of peers.
Put yourself out there. Putting yourself out there can help give you a significant confidence boost that is necessary for great decision-making, innovation, and leadership skills. We’re not saying you should take unnecessary risks, but when coupled with a sense self-awareness that allows you to know your limits, you can really push your career in the right direction.
How to showcase your soft skills in an interview
Communicate. Interviews are all about effectively communicating why you’re qualified for the position, so it should come as no surprise that you need to show that you can communicate well.
As such, you need to make sure you come to the interview prepared to answer any questions thrown at you. The best approach is to use concrete examples, and when you do, to make sure they’re concise and to the point. Just because you can ramble on about a subject doesn’t make you an effective communicator, so keep it short and sweet.
Focus on values/work ethic. Though it might not seem obvious, employers do take cultural fit into consideration. Make sure you take the time to emphasize how your values match that of the company you are interviewing for. Showing them how well your work ethic meshes with their own is a great way to stand out amongst your competitors.
Be confident, positive and focused. Provide specific examples of how you’ve proved yourself to be a leader and decision-maker in your jobs past. Showing that you’re confident can go a long way when it comes to making an impression on employers.