Technical skills and experience are no longer the end-all-be-all in landing a job. Today’s job market requires a look into inter-personal skills and personal qualities, or soft skills, to express a candidate’s merit. Yes, experience and technical skills are still great, and necessary for some positions, but hiring managers are now looking past that to see who an employee really is before they hire them. Here’s a list of qualities that many human resource departments value above technical skills, especially in an interview setting:
- Honesty & Integrity: If you can’t be honest about your skills and abilities (or anything else for that matter), why would employers want you to be a part of their organization? During an interview, if you are lacking a skill or prior experience, be honest about it. Training can fix that. Talk about what you are good at, and what makes you a good fit for the job. Don’t embellish, odds are they’ll know that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
- Good Communication Skills: If you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em. Being an effective communicator will take you far in any industry. Whether working in teams, engaging with superiors, or interacting with clients, communication is key.
- Being Informed: Knowing about the company you are applying for is a must. Employers see the value in someone who has taken the time to educate themselves on the organization for which they want to work. Putting in that time shows employers you’re serious, and that you care (and will continue to care) about what’s happening in your (potential) new work place.
- Uniqueness: You were called in for an interview because the hiring manager saw something in your resume that made you stand out. That needs to translate, and be amplified, in an interview. Don’t be afraid to show who you are, and give them a reason to remember you over other candidates. That’s the whole point of the interview. Talk about volunteer experience or some other recent personal accomplishment (as long as it’s appropriate) to bolster your personality; you are unique, so show them.
Interviews are a place to let your soft skills shine, but if you’d like to leave a first impression before ever setting foot in an office building, consider using a video resume. Video resumes highlight your soft skills from the get-go, and allow hiring professionals to see if you’d be a good fit right away. And talk about giving them something to remember you by! Be unique, be authentic, and get hired.