Example Interview Questions to Test Soft Skills

Soft skills are some of the most valuable skills your new hires should have. From innovation and collaboration to flexibility, soft skills will determine how well your new hires will cope with tasks and work alongside their teammates. However, unlike technical skills which are fairly easy to test, soft skills are much more abstract.

Here are some questions you can ask during interviews to assess those soft skills and make sure that you hire the people who will thrive in your business.

Testing Communication Skills

Communication skills are a vital part of any role, no matter how technical. Your new hire’s communication skills will help them to explain concepts to teammates, managers and clients clearly. Good communication skills will also help when they need to clarify elements they don’t understand.

To test communication skills, try asking these questions:

“Pretend I know nothing about tech. Can you explain *tech field* to me?”

“What would you do if you thought the team should be doing a task in a different way?”

“Tell me about a time when you had a difference of opinion with someone. What did you do?”

Testing Flexibility Skills

Flexibility is one of the most important skills for a new hire. Jumping from one task to another to meet demand, making last minute changes and changing direction where necessary are crucial parts of any tech role.

Here’s how you can test flexibility:

“What would you do if you had one hour until your deadline and your strategy wasn’t working?”

“How do you handle having multiple priorities at the same time?”

“What would you do if a deadline changed to a much nearer date?”

Testing Innovation Skills

Innovative employees bring fresh ideas to your business, changing and streamlining the way that everyone works. You can test innovation by asking the following questions:

“Can you describe a time you brought a new idea to your team?”

“Tell me about a time when you came up with a better way of doing something.”

“Would you describe yourself as a creative person?”                         

Testing Attention to Detail Skills

Attention to detail is important in virtually every role, but particularly in technical roles where one small error can set a project back. However, it can be very hard to assess in interview situations. Try asking these questions:

“Do you use any particular tools to check for errors in your work?”

“How do you balance time pressure and quality of work?”

“Tell me about a time when you have discovered a mistake made by somebody else. What did you do?”

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