Job interviews are stressful, so it can be hard to act naturally and show your true colours. However, demonstrating your soft skills can help you differentiate yourself from other job applicants with similar work or school experiences.
Perform active listening
Communication skills are typically viewed as the most important soft skills an employee can have. This is because clear and open communication is necessary for workplace success, whether that be working with clients, collaborating with co-workers, giving presentations, and more.
So, by demonstrating your communication abilities during the interview, you can assure the interviewer that you would be able to perform well in an office environment (or at-home office for remote work). Active listening involves focusing your full attention on what your interviewer is saying and demonstrating your interest by nodding, making eye contact, asking clarifying questions, and so on.
Not everyone is a naturally gifted communicator, so training soft skills in your free time can be a great way to strengthen your abilities. Active listening is a great place to start because it can help you build rapport with your interviewer and demonstrate your listening skills, which is crucial for any job position.
Highlight your unique soft skills
Good communication is obviously important for any job interview or position, so you can distinguish yourself further by also mentioning or showing your more unique qualities. These could include creativity, emotional intelligence, leadership skills, flexibility, conflict resolution, and more.
It is ideal if these unique skills relate to the job position you are interviewing for, but it can also be effective to share your hobbies and interests to try to find connections with your interviewer. These connections could come in handy when collaborating with co-workers in the future.
Prepare short stories demonstrating your abilities
Ideally, you should demonstrate your soft skills throughout the interview by actively listening to your interviewer and showcasing your creativity or emotional intelligence through your answers to their questions. However, telling short anecdotes about past situations where you had to utilise your soft skills can be very effective at validating your claims and showing how these abstract ideas can apply to your field of work.
Although stories about past jobs are often easiest to adapt, if you lack relevant work experience you can also tell related stories from your personal life where you had to solve a problem creatively or lead a team.
Overall, assessing your soft skills prior to the interview can help make answering questions much easier when the time comes. Remember to think of some relevant examples of your abilities in order to reinforce your claims. Above all else, focus on actively listening to your interviewer and remember to stay calm and confident. You can do this!