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Soft skills – What do you need to know about it?

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Today, almost all job postings include “excellent communication and problem-solving skills” as an expectation, but what exactly does that mean? How can a candidate determine if they are excellent in these areas and why this is important?

Hard skills and soft skill

When we write a biography or CV, we list our studies, our work experience, all the things we have grown professionally over the years in order. These measurable, verifiable skills are called hard skills. This includes specialist qualifications, technical competencies, everything that can be acquired through an exam, ie what we have on paper, and the professional experience that we will report on during the job interview. However, there are also issues that seem to have nothing to do with the work in question and may seem irrelevant at first hearing. Employers then ask behavior-based interview questions that use soft skillset, i.e. soft skills are monitored. Soft skills, also known as social skills, cannot be described by education, they are subjective, they are not immediately visible. According to a Harvard study, job success can be defined as up to 85%, so these suggest that employers want to map the availability of these skills as widely as possible if they are needed for the position to be filled.

How do I know if I have it?

Soft skill is a collective term, the sum of all the skills that mean interpersonal skills. These include advanced empathy, easy and open communication, a good team player attitude, the ability to pass on the knowledge gained, as well as responsibility, an approach focused on solving the problem that arises. The basic condition for the existence of these is good self-knowledge, so in addition to vocational training, it is recommended that we also learn some self-knowledge in order to see our own abilities more clearly. It is typical that employees often misjudge their own skills, tend to overestimate them, and the less competent they are, the more true this is. This phenomenon is called the Dunning – Kruger effect, which is most often not due to arrogance, but rather to a lack of self-knowledge or self-confidence. Less typical, but also lacking in self-marketing, the general belief in our culture is that whoever boasts, highlights his successes, arouses resentment from others.

Soft skills can be developed

The good news is that interpersonal skills can be developed. There are countless books and soft skill training with which we can refine and expand our skills. If you need to give a lecture in public, you can choose from several types of training, such as focusing on body language or even how to conduct a workshop or presentation. But theory without practice is nothing. Some great ways to exercise your social behavior and non-verbal skills are by playing board games, casino games, or just talking to others. By playing casino games like poker or roulette you can learn how to control your non-verbal skills or know what to say in certain situations.

Learning about time management, conflict management, or motivational leadership techniques can also be very important and helpful. Courses continue to be based on self-knowledge, which is almost a basic expectation of an employee today. It is especially important if you are applying for a management position, or if you want to be in communications, marketing, public relations, sales, or any other area where you need to be in contact with customers, negotiate, negotiate, or constantly collaborate with others.

Communication is important

We may want to talk to our boss, or our colleagues, from time to time, as we can more easily assess our own abilities based on their feedback. The formulation of common goals and the solution of the problems that arise are important if the parties expect long-term cooperation from each other, and it also provides an opportunity for development. Is it worth thinking honestly about whether we have problems meeting deadlines, for example? Can tasks be properly prioritized? How do we react when we are entrusted with a job of great responsibility? To fill a leadership position, it is especially important to be aware of these issues, as they will almost certainly be examined in a job interview. It’s worth being honest so we can protect ourselves and others from disappointment and failure.

Questions in the job interview

There are several ways to map interpersonal skills, so it is recommended to come prepared for the interview so as not to be touched on the spot if you encounter a strange or unexpected question. If the interview is conducted in groups, we can already suspect that it is important for the company to have soft skills, as candidates are tested in a group environment from the outset. In such a case, let us try to remain ourselves, not to force something that was not typical of us before, but at the same time be noticeable, do not hide in the “crowd”, focus on our own strengths.

If we participate in a one-on-one interview, our reaction to the questions is extremely important. Don’t be upset when asked about our negative qualities, but don’t whip yourself. It is important to show how we take advantage of the failures we face, how we cope with the criticisms we face. We should not take questions about our personality as a personality but as an opportunity to introduce ourselves. It is best if the answers are simple and striking, they care about us and not about our former colleagues, our boss. You can read about the most frequently asked questions in the interview in our previous article.