Everyone can say they have various soft skills in a resume, but are these true? And how do you measure these skills?
When evaluating a candidate’s soft skills, you must rely on questions that give real-world descriptions illustrating how the candidate uses these skills at work. To help you, we organised and put together the top 90 soft skills interview questions you can use to evaluate your candidate’s abilities!
- Definition: What are soft skills interview questions?
- Why are soft skills interview questions important?
- Top 90 soft skills interview questions and answers
Definition: What are soft skills interview questions?
Soft skills interview questions are a type of interview question that employers use to assess a candidate’s qualifications for a job. These questions are designed to assess a candidate’s personal characteristics and behaviours that are not easily quantifiable, such as communication skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and leadership potential.
These questions are intended to give employers insight into how a candidate operates in the workplace, how they handle different situations, and how they work with others. But why should you care about soft skills? Aren’t hard skills more important?
Why are soft skills interview questions important?
Soft skills interview questions are essential because they provide employers insight into a candidate’s characteristics and behaviours. These skills are necessary for success in the workplace. They are critical for employees to work well with others, adapt to changing situations, and be productive in their roles.
Some reasons why soft skills interview questions are essential include:
- They help assess a candidate’s fit with the company culture: Soft skills questions can help employers determine whether a candidate will be a good fit for the company culture and work well with other employees.
- Insight into a candidate’s work style: Soft skills interview questions can give employers insight into how candidates approach problem-solving, handle stress, and manage their workload.
- Recognise potential leaders: Employers can use soft skills questions to find leaders who will drive the company forward and inspire others.
- Identify candidates who can adapt to change: Employers can use soft skills questions to determine whether candidates are flexible and capable of adapting to new situations, which is vital as the business world continues to evolve.
- Spot good communicators: Soft skills questions gives a chance to candidates to showcase their practical communication skills, which is critical for success in most roles.
Overall, soft skills interview questions are essential because they provide employers with a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s qualifications, work style, and potential for success in the role and company.
Top 90 soft skills interview questions and answers
- Which one do you prefer and why: Teamwork or working alone?
Answer tip: With this question, you can understand how essential teamwork is for your candidate. Are they going to be a good match with your team, or is it not a good cultural fit? This question should help you answer these critical questions.
- Are team events vital for you?
Answer tip: Is your company keen on team events, or will your candidate be disappointed by the lack of team bonding? You need to analyse your candidate’s answer and see whether they are keen on teamwork and how well they will fit with your team.
- How would you handle a situation where team members are not getting along in a project?
- Your teammates all agree on how to approach a task, but you disagree with them. What do you do?
Answer tip: Your candidate should possess strong teamwork skills and be able to resolve or think of ways to improve conflict within their team. They should act proactively and seek the best result to help the team and enhance the project. Teamwork is about caring for each other and achieving a goal using everyone’s skills.
- What do you think makes a good team?
Answer tip: Everyone has ideal teamwork and uniqueness they bring to the team. But is your candidate’s ideal team your current team? This question will help you understand how your candidate fits in the team and how close their exemplary teamwork aligns with your existing team.
- If your teammate wasn’t doing their share of the work, how would you deal with them?
Answer tip: A good team player thinks about working together to achieve a shared goal. So everyone needs to ensure their accountability and advise each other. In this case, your candidate should try to communicate with the other team member and how their lack of contribution affects everyone’s work. They can offer to help find the solution but shouldn’t offer to do their job.
- Tell me about yourself in three sentences.
Answer tip: This is a fun question to get to know your candidate. An ideal answer would be structured, brief, and related to essential skills the open position needs.
- What makes you the best candidate for this job?
Answer tip: Your candidate can boast about their accomplishments and show their most significant success. Still, a good answer from your candidate should emphasise their unique skills and personal traits that make them the best fit for the job.
- Do you prefer verbal or written communication?
Answer tip: Depending on the role you’re hiring for, your candidate should have good communication skills, both verbal and written. With verbal communication, they should read a person’s tone, body language, and expressions easily.
- Which one is more essential: Being a good listener or a good communicator?
Answer tip: Both are essential aspects of communication, but being a good listener will mean they can take criticism better. You can become a good communicator if you are a good listener. Your candidate should be able to explain their reasoning and showcase their communication abilities.
- Use up to [a number] sentences to sell me [an object you have].
Answer tip: This question will be very beneficial for sales-related jobs. You can analyse your candidate’s sales skills and techniques under pressure. Your candidate should be able to gather and deliver information in persuasive statements. Their answer should have a structure and be confident.
Leadership and motivation
- Your manager needs to be corrected about something. What do you do? What would you tell them
Answer tip: Your candidate should be able to take leadership and say things confidently when they are sure they are right. Look for an answer where your candidate explains and uses their communication abilities to convey their opinions to their boss. Furthermore, they should take action and persuade their boss with their results instead of words.
- In the case you are in a management position and some of your team members start quitting. What do you do?
Answer tip: Communication and leadership skills are essential for this scenario. Your candidate should be able to communicate the departure, come up with a future plan, check in with their remaining employees, and build team trust.
- How would you delegate responsibilities to a team?
Answer tip: Your candidate should know their team’s abilities and strong points and delegate accordingly to those. They should be able to provide the proper instructions and delegate responsibilities and authority correctly.
- What are your expectations from your manager?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing the qualities and characteristics they value in a manager, such as strong leadership, clear communication, and a willingness to provide guidance and support. They should also mention specific things they hope to achieve or learn from their manager, such as opportunities for growth and development or a positive and collaborative work environment.
- Your company is going through times of uncertainty/financial difficulties, and you must cut down on salaries. How would you decide who to fire?
Answer tip: Your ideal candidate should show that they understand the gravity of the situation and would approach the decision with empathy, objectivity, and transparency. They should mention that they would begin by looking at factors such as job performance, skills, and contributions to the company, rather than personal characteristics.
- How do you stay motivated when working on a project by yourself?
Answer tip: It is essential to have strategies to keep motivated when working individually. Your candidate should mention that they set clear and measurable goals for themselves and break down large tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. They should also note that they create a schedule and stick to it to help keep themselves on track.
- How would you keep yourself motivated if you get a project you are not interested in?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing their ability to approach any task with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. They should mention that they would focus on the benefits that the project could bring to the company or their own professional development. They should also note that they would look for ways to make the project more attractive to them, such as finding a new angle or approach or seeking out additional responsibilities or challenges.
- How do you keep your enthusiasm on days you don’t feel like going to work?
Answer tip: It is tricky to remain positive and motivated, even when you may not feel the best. Your ideal candidate should mention that they focus on their work’s importance and its impact on their colleagues, the company, and the customers. They should also remind themselves of the long-term goals and opportunities that their job provides.
- Can you rate the importance of these aspects for you: Career development, perks and benefits, salary, or excellent work?
Answer tip: Your ideal candidate should answer this question by discussing their priorities and how they weigh the importance of different aspects of a job. They should mention that they understand the importance of all the factors listed and how they can contribute to overall job satisfaction.
- What would you like to achieve during your first six months here?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing specific, measurable goals they hope to achieve during their first six months on the job. They should mention that they want to fully understand the company’s mission, values, and processes and how their role fits into the larger picture.
- If your life were a book, what would it be called?
Answer tip: This is the moment for your candidate to showcase their creativity by coming up with a title that reflects their life story and personality. They could mention a title that reflects a significant life event, a pivotal moment, or a personal motto. They could also say a title that reflects their unique personality, sense of humour, or outlook on life.
- Do you think creativity is essential in all jobs?
Answer tip: The ideal candidate should answer this question by discussing the role of creativity in different types of jobs and how it can be applied in various ways. They should mention that while creativity may not be essential in all positions, it is a critical skill in many roles and industries.
- How do you try to implement creativity into meetings and tasks?
- How do you encourage creativity in your team?
Answer tip: Creativity is helpful in different tasks and team projects. You want an employee who can use different strategies to encourage and implement creativity in meetings and functions. Your candidate should mention that they create a positive and open-minded atmosphere in meetings by encouraging participation from all members and valuing diverse perspectives. They should also note that they try to approach problems and tasks with a “beginner’s mind” and look for new and innovative solutions rather than relying on traditional or established ways of thinking.
- How do you balance creativity with competing deadlines?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing strategies to balance the need for creativity with competing deadlines. They should mention that they prioritise and plan their tasks, setting clear goals and deadlines for each. They should also note that they communicate effectively with their team members and stakeholders to ensure that everyone knows the project timelines and milestones.
- What business do you know has used creativity to improve and become successful?
Answer tip: Knowing different companies in your industry and their strategy is always helpful. Your candidate should know some companies and provide some examples of creative methods these companies have used. They should mention the company name and describe how they used creativity in their strategy, operations, products, or services. They should also explain its impact on the company’s success and how it sets them apart from their competitors.
- What is essential to building a good relationship with your team?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing the key elements they believe are essential to building good relationships with their team members. Clear and open communication is crucial, as well as actively listening to and valuing the opinions and ideas of team members. They should also mention that building trust, showing respect, and treating team members as equals are essential factors.
- How would you deal with a conflict/tension between you and your colleague?
- If you didn’t like someone in your team, what would you do to handle it?
Answer tip: Knowing how to deal with tension or conflict with colleagues is very important. It requires a lot of maturity and conflict management skills. Your candidate should believe in addressing the issue as soon as possible and directly and respectfully speaking with the colleague one-on-one. They should also mention that they would try to understand the colleague’s perspective and focus on finding common ground and a solution that works for both parties.
- How would you communicate difficult information/bad news to someone?
Answer tip: In this scenario, your candidate should communicate complex information or bad news in a transparent, empathetic and discreet manner. They should mention that they believe in being honest and transparent, while also being sensitive to the recipient’s feelings and concerns.
- Are you able to multitask?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing their ability to multitask and manage multiple tasks and responsibilities simultaneously. They should mention specific examples of when they have successfully managed various tasks, such as handling multiple projects at once or juggling competing deadlines.
- Which resonates with you: “Everything has to be perfect” or “Done is better than perfect.”
Answer tip: Your ideal candidate balances the need for high-quality work with meeting deadlines and delivering results. They should mention that they understand the importance of producing high-quality work and strive for excellence in everything they do.
- What is your progress when organising your day?
- How do you prioritise your work if you have a lot of deadlines?
Answer tip: Prioritising work and managing multiple deadlines is essential in this time and age. Your candidate should use tools such as to-do lists, calendars and project management software to organise and keep track of their tasks and deadlines. They should also mention that they prioritise tasks based on their level of importance and urgency, and that they can adjust their priorities as necessary.
- You get assigned a big task just before the end of the day. How would you reply?
Answer tip: A good candidate would reply by acknowledging the importance of the task and the tight deadline. They would then ask for clarification on the job’s specific requirements and expected outcome. Next, they would outline a plan of action, including breaking the task into smaller manageable parts and prioritising the most critical steps.
- If you were to miss a deadline, how would you manage it?
Answer tip: Your ideal candidate would take responsibility for missing the deadline and explain any relevant context or extenuating circumstances. They would then outline the steps to address the situation, such as communicating the issue to stakeholders, re-prioritising tasks, and implementing a new plan to ensure the missed deadline is made up as soon as possible.
- Do you like surprises?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question honestly and provide some context to their answer. They should emphasise that they can handle surprises and acknowledge that it depends on the situation. They should also show that they understand the potential positive and negative effects of shocks and that they can adapt accordingly.
- Do you like routine work?
Answer tip: A good candidate should answer this question by highlighting the benefits of routine work, such as the ability to develop efficient processes, predict outcomes, and establish a sense of stability in their work. They can also mention that they enjoy clearly understanding their responsibilities and goals, which routine work can provide.
- How do you rearrange your schedule when you get a new unplanned task?
- How would you react if you were asked to do something completely new?
Answer tip: A good candidate would first acknowledge the importance of adapting to new and unplanned tasks. They would explain that they prioritise the new job by assessing its urgency and significance concerning their current duties and responsibilities. They would then explain how they would rearrange their schedule, possibly by reassessing their priorities and timelines for everyday tasks.
Professionalism and work ethics
- Do you work over-hours?
Answer tip: A healthy work-life balance is essential, especially to avoid burnout. Of course, your candidate should be willing to put in extra effort when necessary, such as to meet a critical deadline. Still, they should also prioritise their personal and professional well-being. They can also mention the importance of effective time management and the ability to plan and prioritise tasks to avoid the need to work excessive overtime.
- How do you minimise distractions during workdays?
Answer tip: Minimising distractions is essential to increase productivity and efficiency. Your candidate should have tools or strategies to stay focused on their tasks and minimise distractions or interruptions.
- Remind me why you are leaving your current employer.
Answer tip: A good candidate should answer this question honestly while being respectful and professional. They should mention any specific reasons that led them to look for a new opportunity, such as a lack of growth or development opportunities, a lack of a clear career progression path, or a lack of alignment with their values or interests. They should avoid criticising their current employer and instead focus on what they hope to gain from a new opportunity.
- What would you do if you were asked to share confidential or sensitive information?
Answer tip: This question will tell you whether your candidate can maintain confidentiality and their commitment to upholding the company’s policies and procedures. They would explain that they would only share confidential or sensitive information if necessary for their job duties and only with authorised individuals who have a legitimate need to know.
- What aspects of professionalism are the most important?
- For you, what are the most critical ethics in the workplace?
Answer tip: A good candidate should address this question by highlighting the core ethical principles they believe are essential in the workplace. They should be able to explain how committed they are to upholding these principles and demonstrate them using examples from their past experiences.
- How would you deal with an ethical dilemma at work?
Answer tip: Your candidate should highlight their understanding of ethical decision-making’s importance and commitment to finding the right solution in difficult situations. Furthermore, they should also show that they can take a rational and objective approach to decision-making, are aware of the potential consequences, and can communicate and justify their choices.
- What would you do if you found out a manager was breaking company rules?
- What would you do if a colleague confessed to breaking company rules or committing severe misdemeanours against you?
Answer tip: Your candidate needs to show that they understand the importance of maintaining compliance and upholding the company’s rules and regulations, and that they have a process to approach and solve these situations. They should also show that they’re aware of the importance of confidentiality, know who to communicate with, and that they’re able to handle the situation with empathy and professionalism.
- If you get your work done early, do you allow yourself a free afternoon or do you ask for more tasks?
Answer tip: Your ideal candidate should have time management, prioritisation skills, and a willingness to be productive. Your candidate should mention that they would check with their supervisor or team leader to see if any additional tasks need to be completed. If so, they would focus on those. If there are no other tasks, they will use the extra time to review their work, check for any errors or improvements, and ensure that their deliverables are high quality.
- What steps do you take to gain the trust of a customer?
Answer tip: A good candidate should answer this question by highlighting their understanding of the importance of building trust with customers and their commitment to providing excellent service and customer satisfaction. They should showcase their strategies and demonstrate through examples from their past experiences how they have put them into practice.
- How would you deal with an unsatisfied customer?
- If a customer starts acting unreasonably, what would you do?
Answer tip: Maintaining a professional and calm demeanour is essential, even in difficult situations. Your ideal candidate They should also show that they can understand the customer’s perspective and that they’re able to find common ground and offer solutions, showing empathy and understanding. Additionally, they should be able to demonstrate that they’re aware of when to seek guidance and that they’re able to handle escalations.
- What is your first step when you have a new task with little or almost no direction?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by explaining their problem-solving process and how they approach a new task with little or no direction. They should demonstrate their ability to gather information, prioritise tasks, and ask for clarification when needed.
- How do you organise yourself with various projects simultaneously?
Answer tip: Your future employee might have various tasks and projects. So, organisation and prioritisation are essential skills your candidate should have. Your candidate should explain how they keep track of deadlines, progress, and tasks associated with each project. They should also discuss their approach to balancing competing demands and how they communicate with stakeholders to ensure they are on the same page.
- How do you keep track of your progress when working on a project?
Answer tip: You can use various methods and tools to monitor a project’s progress. The ideal approach to this question is to explain how to set clear, measurable goals to track the progress towards achieving the goal. The candidate should discuss how they keep stakeholders informed of progress and adjust their approach if things are going differently than planned. They should also mention how they keep themselves accountable and motivated during the project.
- You have over 500 unread messages in your inbox but have only one hour to deal with them. What do you do?
Answer tip: If the position you are trying to fill receives a lot of emails, then a strategy for triaging and prioritising emails is essential. Your candidate should explain how they quickly identify which emails are most important and need immediate attention and how they deal with less urgent messages.
- For you, what is strategic planning? What is the difference from everyday planning?
Answer tip: The candidate should answer this question by first providing a definition of strategic planning. Strategic planning is defining an organisation’s long-term vision and goals and creating a plan to achieve them.
- How do you set long-term goals for your team? How would you evaluate their performance?
Answer tip: Your candidate should guide you through the steps they take to set clear, measurable, and achievable goals for the team and how they involve team members in the process. They should also discuss how they align team goals with the organisation’s overall objectives.
- How would you try to change the “we do it this way” attitude on your team if you felt there was a better approach?
- How would you negotiate something with a manager or supervisor?
Answer tip: Negotiation skills are essential for bringing new ideas and improving processes in a company. You want a candidate who can discuss and negotiate with managers and supervisors, to open new perspectives and ideas. Your candidate should be able to gather information, understand the other party’s perspective, and identify their own goals and priorities. They should also communicate effectively and present their case clearly, concisely, and persuasively.
- What is the most effective negotiating technique to win someone over?
Answer tip: In this case, your candidate should present examples of times when they have negotiated with others and the techniques they have used in the past. They should explain how this technique helped them to win over the other party and achieve a successful outcome.
- It would be best if you convinced your manager it is impossible to reach your targets. How can you prove it?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing their approach to communicating with their manager about an inability to reach targets. They should explain how they gather and present evidence to support their claim that the marks are impossible to achieve.
- Do you like the responsibility of decision-making, or would you leave it to someone else?
Answer tip: Your candidate should explain their level of comfort with taking responsibility for decisions and whether they prefer to make decisions independently or as part of a team. They should also discuss any past experience with decision-making and how they handle the pressure and accountability that comes with it.
- What would you do if you realised you had made a wrong decision?
Answer tip: Your candidate should be able to identify and acknowledge their mistakes, take responsibility for them, and take steps to correct them. They should also discuss how they communicate the situation to the relevant parties and how they involve them in finding a solution.
- What is the most challenging part of making a decision?
- How do you weigh the pros and cons before making a decision?
Answer tip: Good decision-making is essential! Your ideal candidate should be able to gather information, evaluate options, and consider the potential risks and benefits of each option. They should also discuss how they involve relevant parties in decision-making and use a systematic approach, such as decision-making frameworks or tools.
- How would you continue if you had an objective but needed the tools or means to reach it?
Answer tip: Your candidate’s problem-solving and resourcefulness skills are tested here. They should be able to assess the situation, evaluate options, and devise a plan of action. This plan should include identifying alternative resources, developing new strategies, and seeking support from others to achieve their objectives.
Handling conflicts, feedback, and stress
- What does constructive criticism mean to you?
Answer tip: Your candidate here has the chance to explain what constructive criticism means to them and how they respond to it. They should explain that constructive criticism is a way to provide feedback intended to help improve performance or behaviour. It focuses on specific actions or behaviours and offers specific suggestions for improvement.
- Your manager needs to give you a better review of your work. How do you respond?
Answer tip: Here, you will see how your candidate reacts to negative feedback from a manager. They should take a professional and objective approach to receiving feedback, even if it is negative. Look for answers with a willingness to listen actively, ask clarifying questions, and understand the manager’s perspective.
- How do you prefer to give feedback: Through formal performance reviews or weekly meetings? Why?
Answer tip: Your candidate might have a preferred method of giving feedback and the reasoning behind their choice. You will understand how your candidate evaluates and adapt their approach accordingly. When giving feedback, look for critical points, such as clear communication, consistency, and timeliness.
- How do you deal with different opinions in the workplace?
Answer tip: A good candidate should explain how they value and respect different perspectives and use active listening and open communication to understand the reasoning behind different opinions. Furthermore, they should mention how they use critical thinking and reasoning to evaluate different viewpoints and how they seek to find common ground and a solution that is in the organisation’s best interest.
- What steps would you take to resolve a conflict that broke up between two of your team members?
- How would you try to calm down an angry colleague?
Answer tip: Conflict resolution is a valuable skill, especially in a team with different opinions and viewpoints. A candidate with good conflict resolution skills would first try to understand the cause of the colleague’s anger and address the underlying issues rather than just the surface-level emotions. They should also mention how they would use active listening and empathetic communication to acknowledge the colleague’s feelings.
- How would you deal with stress?
- What work situations stress you the most?
- How do you prevent things from getting too stressful? What tricks do you know?
Answer tip: Handling stress is crucial, especially when your open position will have a lot of essential tasks and different dynamics with teams. So, finding a candidate who can deal with stress is a gold mine! Your candidate explains how they recognise the signs of stress, how they identify the sources of stress, and how they use various techniques and strategies to manage it. Furthermore, they can give you a brief on how they work on their tasks and goals to avoid burnout.
- How do you maintain a positive attitude facing challenges or setbacks?
Answer tip: A great candidate should have a growth mindset, focusing on learning from experiences and seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and development. They should also use positive self-talk, visualisation and reframing of negative thoughts to maintain a positive attitude.
- At what time do you abandon a project or idea?
Answer tip: Your candidate should answer this question by discussing their approach to evaluating the feasibility and potential success of a project or idea and the criteria they use to determine when to abandon it. They should explain how they consider resources, timelines, budget, and alignment with company goals and objectives when evaluating a project or idea.
- What do you do to further your career?
Answer tip: You want a motivated candidate who will focus on developing their career and take active steps to achieve their goals. Your candidate should set clear career goals and how to create and implement a plan to achieve them. This can include ongoing education and training, networking, and taking on new responsibilities and projects.
- Are you motivated by winning or the fear of failure? Tell me why.
- How would you deal with a failed project?
Answer tip: Dealing with failure and accepting it is challenging for people. Instead of crumbling under pressure and dwelling on losses, you want a candidate who will take a proactive and analytical approach to understand the reasons for the failure. They should also mention how they communicate the failure to stakeholders and take steps to mitigate any negative impact.
- How do you increase your confidence when it’s lacking?
- What do you do to prevent becoming over-confident?
Answer tip: Discussing confidence level is essential, not only for oneself but also for your career. You want a candidate who can recognise when their confidence is lacking and take steps to increase it; by setting small, achievable goals, seeking feedback, and practising self-care. On the other hand, when discussing how your candidate prevents becoming over-confident, they should mention how they constantly evaluate and assess their performance, seek feedback from others, maintain a humble attitude and stay informed of industry trends and developments.
- In what work environment do you feel most productive?
Answer tip: Everyone becomes productive in a different environment. In this case, you will learn the specific conditions and factors that make your candidate effective and efficient. Additionally, they should be able to communicate their ability to adapt and be productive in different work environments if the situation arises.
- What would make you quit in the first month?
Answer tip: Here, you will learn the kryptonite of your candidate and the specific conditions or factors that would make your candidate consider quitting within the first month of starting a new job! They should be honest and transparent while being professional and diplomatic in their response. The candidate must communicate that they take their job responsibilities seriously and value a positive work environment and alignment with the company’s values and mission.
- How do you prepare yourself for giving a presentation?
Answer tip: Your candidate should be able to organise themselves and prepare their presentation. Your candidate should be detail-oriented and guide you through designing the presentation. They should mention essential aspects such as practising the presentation ahead of time, revising it, and thinking about what kind of audience they will present to.
- What would you do if your audience appeared bored during a meeting?
- When is it appropriate for the speaker to use humour?
Answer tip: If you see some people in the audience bored, then it’s time to move around for a bit! Ask them to stand up, do some mild exercises, or do something similar. This is the perfect time to crack a joke and grab their attention.
Preparation is key for successful job interviews
We hope our top 90 soft skills interview questions helped prepare you for your following interview! Remember, soft skills interview questions are all about non-technical skills related to how your candidate works. It can include how they interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage their time and work.
By asking these types of questions, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of a candidate’s interpersonal skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, problem-solving skills, and leadership, among other skills.
For more specific interview questions, go to our top 99 behavioural interview questions or Interview Questions Template and get the particular soft skills interview questions for your open position! You can even get examples of hard skills, soft skills, and situational questions specific to the role.