Talk about your soft skills when looking for a job

  •   2 min read
Student Tips

While credentials are an important way for candidates to showcase their industry smarts, most employers feel a credential is only as good as an employee’s ability to apply those skills in real-world scenarios and display the proper soft skills needed to thrive on the job.

Having the certificate of completion is a great way to get your foot in the door somewhere, but so many times, it’s the real-world, people skills that secure the job offer, and FastForward instructors at your local community colleges emphasize both. As you search for your next job, think of these five soft skills and practice answering the sample interview questions that help employers dig deep to find how practiced these skills are.

Willingness to learn

Hard job skills are always helpful and make you a more competitive hire, but not everything can be taught in a classroom, and a willingness to learn goes a long way.

Example interview question: Is there a time you took initiative to learn something new, so you could perform a task better?

Adaptability

Being flexible goes a long way with employers, but adaptability takes that a step further –you are being flexible about a changing situation and adjusting to the new one.

Example interview question: When have you had to adapt to a situation? What is a challenge you have faced and how did you deal with it?

Dependability

Employers want to hire someone they can count on – someone who shows up, every day, on time.

Example interview question: If we were to contact one of your references, how would they describe your dependability?

Teamwork

In many industries, teamwork is crucial, and individuals who work well in groups are valuable assets to a business.

Example interview question: How do you work in team settings? Am you a leader or a listener – and do you think both important?

Organization

Some people organize their life on paper. Some people have it locked in their heads or on an online calendar. There are so many approaches to organization, so find out what works for you and stick with it.

Example interview question: Do you consider yourself an organized person? How do you stay organized and on top of tasks? Is there more you could be doing to improve your organizational skills?

Don’t take it from us, though, take it from a real Virginia employer. We reached out to employers across Virginia to hear about what they are looking for in new hires. One had this to say:

“Workforce credentials need to come with good people skills, attitude and a desire to listen and act upon any issues that are brought to your department by a driver. Experience in trucking such as a driver, dispatcher, HR manager is definitely a plus to be able to relate to what a driver is talking about.”

If you’d like to learn more about FastForward training where you are, contact your local FastForward Career Coach to get started.