While you can train an employee in hard skills, soft skills are more an inherent part of the person's character and are difficult to acquire on the job. If you are looking to hire a new employee, there are some key qualities you can look for when you are interviewing candidates. By carefully wording your questions and by listening for certain types of attitudes and responses, you find out who will fit the position and your company culture on all levels.
Interviewers look for things they want to hear in your answers, or ways you handle yourself during the interview, or simply some sign that shows them what you might be like if you worked for them. Here is a list below of some of the soft skills they are looking for in the ideal candidate.
1) Body Language – What’s your body language telling me? What kind of eye contact are you making with me?
2) Positive attitude - A positive attitude is a quality closely linked with business professionalism. Even if you are hiring for an entry-level job or a volunteer position, you want someone who is upbeat and excited about working with your organization. When a candidate is enthusiastic about the job, it carries over into the workplace and into job performance.
3) Goal-Oriented - A strong employee is someone who sees this new position as a challenge. You will get the best job performance from an individual who sees the new job as a fulfillment of a goal rather than as just as the means to a paycheque or as another listing on a resume.
4) Cooperation/Teamwork/Civility - How a candidate will fit in with the rest of your team is a huge consideration when making a hiring decision. Of course, there will be times when the candidate will work independently, but you will want to make sure that they can work well with your team on projects when necessary as well. Finding out their coping mechanisms for handling conflict will show how they could resolve issues that may arise in a group dynamic.
5) Flexibility - Flexibility is the valuable ability to adapt to different circumstances and different people and to handle unforeseen events with a sense of calm and grace. Companies that have been able to survive and even thrive during the last economic downturn have done so because of flexibility.
6) Dependability - Hiring a reliable employee is the goal of every interviewer. You want to find a candidate who will show up on time and give their all to every project. You want to find someone who complies with your company rules and procedures and is trustworthy with company resources.
7) Creativity - The phrases "thinking out of the box" or "drawing outside the lines" have been used to the point of being meaningless clichés, but being able to think creatively is indeed a highly-valued soft skill in today's job market.
8) Kindness – The interview starts when the candidate shows up to the work environment. How well the candidate treats the other staff that have no bearing on the hiring decision can be a determining factor. Although the interviewer doesn’t ask the candidate directly, they do ask other staff their opinions regarding the interaction with the candidates.
Candidates who make a good first impression will set the right tone for the interview. Their actions can create lasting impressions during those all-important first encounters. Common sense is key: dress appropriately for the interview and be on time. Similar rules apply for the interviewer. Are you setting a tone that accurately reflects the true nature of the organization? Making a positive first impression is crucial for all concerned!At the end of the day, recruitment consultants have to weigh up whether you would genuinely make a valuable asset to their client’s team.
Are you looking for a new employee to join your team?
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