Interview Blog Series: The importance of interpersonal skills.

Many employers are still hiring during the pandemic. It’s important to know the characteristics hiring managers are looking for. While there are always job-specific requirements for each opening, employers also have general characteristics that they are in search of.

Good interpersonal skills remain at the top of those required skill sets. Employers want to know how you will get along with co-workers and management. An article from CNBC stated the following: “Alongside skills and experience, personality emerged as a top consideration in 70% of employers’ decision-making processes, well ahead of education (18%) and appearance (7%).” It’s imperative to articulate in the interview how well you “play in the sandbox.” Come prepared with specific examples of how you communicate and interact with your peers.

In addition to having good interpersonal skills the following traits were listed as the most desirable in the CNBC article:

  • Confidence
  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Reliability
  • Self-discipline

These more specific traits complement the earlier point about having good people skills. Research shows that people with higher emotional IQ’s generally are more successful in the workplace than those with less developed emotional intelligence.

Most initial interviews contain behavioral based questions. These questions are designed to get at how developed your people skills are. Be sure and prepare a few examples of your people skills prior to the interview. Here are some generic interview examples to spur your thinking:

  • Talk about a time at work where you mediated a conflict.
  • Convinced someone with an opposing viewpoint to come around to your side.
  • Disagreed with your boss and still found a way to work through the problem.
  • Took the lead on a project that was failing.

The next blog post will dive more into behavioral based questions.

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