8 Soft Skills Interview Questions And Answers To Prepare

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Soft skills are incredibly valuable in all industries, roles and workplaces and these skills enable you to be a productive and communicative team member. Understanding how to highlight your soft skills during an interview can help you impress hiring managers and get hired for a desirable job role. Interview questions on your soft skills help you show your personality traits that are useful in the workplace. In this article, we share eight soft skills interview questions and answers and provide sample answers to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.

Why Do Employers Ask Soft Skills Interview Questions?

Employers might ask questions about soft skills during an interview because they prefer hiring candidates who can adapt to multiple situations. Questions that focus on your soft skills help employers understand the type of person you are, how well you can work with colleagues to accomplish goals and your ability to manage your workflow. It also gives employers ideas on how teammates overcome challenges and prioritise essential tasks within tight deadlines.

To provide responses that highlight your skills and portray you as a suitable candidate for the job role, use the components of the STAR interview technique. According to this technique:

  • Situation: Explain a situation you encountered in the workplace and what factors contributed to the situation.

  • Task: Talk about your involvement and role in the situation. Describe the goals or tasks created for you.

  • Action: Describe what actions you took to handle and address the situation. Also, explain how your action affected your mindset towards accomplishing your workplace goals.

  • Result: Outline the outcome you reached through your actions. Quantify your success to show the effects of your actions.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Soft Skills Interview Questions And Answers

Review these eight soft skills interview questions and answers to improve the quality of your responses:

1. How do you feel about working in a team environment?

Employers might ask teamwork and collaboration skills-related questions to know about your comfort level working in a team environment. When answering this question, it is essential to provide examples of your experience of collaborating with others. It helps them understand your preference for team collaboration.

Example: "In my last job role, I worked as a social media strategist. I enjoy working as a team because I find it more engaging and thriving at work. When I know I have a team that supports me, I become confident in completing my work and job duties. Often, I also like to take out some time during my workday to work independently. To ensure I achieved organisational goals, my team and I met to collaborate in the morning. We then worked independently in the afternoon to complete our team's goal."

Related: Importance Of Soft Skills In The Workplace

2. What is the most significant problem you solved in the workplace?

The ability to solve your problems is a desirable soft skill. Interviewers ask this question to understand your approach to problem-solving. When answering this question, discuss a situation where you helped solve a problem that had a positive outcome.

Example: "In my previous job role, I faced a major problem when three of my top clients refused to re-subscribe to the SaaS software. The situation put a lot of pressure on the team because the company could not reach its yearly targets without them. To ensure the organisation does not incur a loss, I hired two experienced sales representatives and ensured they had access to the full sales pipeline. I also incorporated new customer acquisition strategies and because of these efforts, the team could sign up five big clients."

Related: Problem Solving Questions For Interview (With Examples And Tips)

3. How do you react to criticism?

Accepting criticism and learning from these mistakes is a valuable soft skill. This question helps them assess how well you can use your feedback to improve the workplace. Reacting well to criticism makes you a suitable candidate for a job role.

Example: "I feel that receiving feedback from supervisors and other colleagues is a great way to improve your skill set. In my last job, my manager criticised me for keeping my workspace untidy and disorganised. They felt my disorganised workplace resulted in lower productivity and decreased my efficiency in achieving workplace goals. I asked for their recommendations to keep my workplace organised. I purchased a few files and folders to maintain the paperwork and used a calendar to organise my work. Maintaining an organised workplace increased my productivity and I could meet all project deadlines."

4. How to teach new concepts to team members unfamiliar with them?

Teaching new concepts to someone requires you to have excellent communication skills. Employers want to understand how well you interact with team members through these questions. When answering these questions, give a situation where you explained a new topic and describe how you use your communication skills to complete your job duties.

Example: "In my previous role, I worked as a marketing specialist, and I had to teach new members white-hat search engine optimisation techniques to attract new leads. Despite the technical jargon associated, I used examples to make the learning process easy. I tried to explain to them the concept by optimising the current website. Due to this, the employees asked attentive questions about SEO techniques so that they could implement them in their upcoming projects. I use my ability to empathise with others to help them understand complex concepts."

Related: IT Soft Skills: What Are They And How To Develop Them

5. Describe a time when you made a difficult decision?

This question aims to understand your decision-making and problem-resolution skills. It helps evaluate a situation to help you make the best possible choice. When answering this question, provide a specific example and highlight your business decision process.

Example: "In my previous role as a software development lead, I worked on a team project that was in the last week of the project deadline. A team member suddenly fell ill and did not show up the entire last week. We still had the last phase of the software incomplete. Rather than a single person working on the project, I assigned parts of the work to each team member, ensuring we completed the last phase sooner than expected. This way, we delivered the project per expectation and successfully fulfilled the client's request."

6. What do you do if team members disagree with your decisions?

Working well with others who disagree with you shows your excellent collaboration and conflict management skills. When answering such questions, tell a time when your team members disagreed with your decisions and how you effectively handled the conflict.

Example: "In my previous role as a human resource manager, there were many instances where team members disagreed with me in developing a comprehensive solution. I set a production goal for the team for the upcoming year. I told my team to set goals on the training development goals. Most of the employees were not in favour of the decision and cited statistics from the previous year.

I asked the team members to work on brainstorming development goals while keeping in mind the production goals. I ensured the team of being transparent in analysing the performance of the employees and remained proactive in setting the company's goals."

Related: 18 Leadership Soft Skills And Their Benefits in the Workplace

7. Have you ever performed a task without relevant experience?

The hiring manager wants to know whether you can work on tasks outside of your job duties through this question. It showcases your creativity skills and diligence. When answering this question, explain situations where you worked without relevant experience.

Example: "I joined my previous organisation as an entry-level marketing specialist. During the project completion phase, the team's manager went on an unexpected medical leave, due to which the project deadline suffered. I took charge of his work and reassigned duties to the team members. After equally splitting the work among everyone, I regularly monitored their progress. When the manager came back, he was impressed with my ability to handle the strenuous situation. As a result, we delivered the project on time."

8. Tell me about when you gave negative feedback to a colleague.

This question enables the hiring manager to find out your ability to communicate clearly, directly and in an empathic manner.

Example: "In my previous job, one of my team members was constantly underperforming. Before calling them for a face-to-face meeting, I ensured my emotions were under control. This helped me provide constructive feedback on their workplace behaviour, not on their personality. While talking to him, I ensured I stayed calm and specific and allowed the team member to respond. We collectively developed an action plan to help him meet his performance goals."

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