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6 most important Soft Skills

The technical skills of a candidate can be easily spotted and confirmed. Yet, in order to choose the ideal candidate, it is essential to assess his personality, upon which will depend his development and productivity within your company. According to a study carried out by World Economic Forum in 15 countries, it is the soft skills of a candidate what defines his problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity skills. Therefore, which skills should you bet on, as to assess the emotional intelligence of your candidates?

#1 Communication skills 

When talking about communication skills, it is obvious that the point is not trying to find the next George Orwell nor the Charles Dickens of modern times! When you meet your candidates, try to analyse their ability of expressing themselves and writing eloquently. Although not all jobs require excellent writing or speaking skills, it is essential to make oneself understood and be able to read between the lines. It does not matter which type of candidate you are looking for.

Thus, in order to measure a candidate’s skills, you should present him with a business case or a role-play.

#2 Teamwork and joint effort

Assessing your candidate’s ability to work as a team is essential in figuring out whether he will fit into your company’s structure and its array of tasks. Moreover, that also allows to assess the potential of the candidate and whether he respects hierarchy and authority in the workplace. “That means sometimes being a leader, a good follower, or somebody in charge of monitoring the progress, meeting deadlines and working alongside others to achieve a common goal,” explains Lynne Sarikas, head of MBA’s Careers Centre at Northeastern University.

#3 Adaptability

Companies are often forced to make changes in their strategy or their structure, to which one must quickly adapt. It is therefore essential to surround oneself by nimble co-workers, who are able to quickly adapt to change. In order to evaluate this skill, you can ask your candidate to explain a change that he had to undergo in his previous job. Thus, you will be able to see how he handles stress and tackles change.

#4 Problem-solving

In order to assess this skill, ask THE question: “How have you ever solved a problem?” This way, you will be able to assess his ability to:

  • Identify the problem: Did he understand the situation and pinpoint the source of the problem?
  • Analyse the situation: Did he look for all the possible causes, as to get to the root cause or the main causes?
  • Find solutions: How did he succeed in finding and choosing a solution or set of solutions to adopt?
  • Implement a course of action: How did he apply these solutions and then assess the outcome?

#5 Open-mindedness

There is nothing more toxic than a stubborn co-worker, who is unyielding and cannot get rid of his habits and out of his comfort zone. In order to identify the candidates who are keen on learning, make sure that they do not have fixed ideas and are open to their know-how being challenged. It is a good thing to have your convictions and defend them, but trying to impose them on others is a whole different affair. Thus, it is essential to assess your candidate’s ability to challenge his ideas and be open-minded.

#6 Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is a catching quality that creates an inclusive atmosphere, which immediately draws everybody into it. In order to assess it in your candidate, evaluate his capacity to climb his job’s and the company’s ladder, with a “conquering” spirit that does not fall into excess. If your candidate gets ahead of your questions without flaunting, you can be sure that he is the one!

Discover our complete guide of questions to ask to spot the soft skills of your candidates!

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