A recruiter interviewing an applicant

11 Soft Skill Interview Questions Recruiters Should Ask

5 min read | May 20, 2024
 Marta Gongos- Ad Culture By Marta Gongos

Asking job seekers the right questions gives hiring managers insight into their soft skills—traits that tell you how their behaviour, thought process, and actions fit the position and company. These are your best indicators of excellence, which is why assessing soft skills is key to the hiring process.

In this article, we cover the soft skills interview questions that’ll help you spot and hire the perfect talent. Find them categorized into skills you’d want in a well-rounded candidate along with the answers to look for. Let’s get started! 

Questions Related to Adaptability 

This must-have soft skill shows a candidate’s ability to handle a challenging situation. Do they handle it with grace or break under pressure? Employers need to look for chameleon-like applicants with a short learning curve who can adapt to change quickly. 

Ask these common behavioural interview questions to assess an applicant’s adaptability:

1. “What’s the biggest change you’ve faced in your career so far? How did you handle this challenge?”

Use this opportunity to identify if a candidate accepts change willingly. They should also clearly state the actions they took to overcome hardships and if they bore positive results. 

2. “Can you tell me about a time when you handled a task that was outside the scope of your role?”

Ask this question to see if a candidate is excited about leaving their comfort zone and growing their skill set. Let them elaborate on their difficulties and expound on the resolutions. 

3. “How have you navigated multiple projects with succeeding deadlines?”

This is one of the soft skill interview questions that will reveal a candidate’s time management, multitasking, and stress regulation skills. 

A person arranging task notes on a to-do list board

Image Source: Canva

Questions Related to Collaboration

Whether you interview a potential team member or leader, they must be a team player with excellent communication skills—two essential soft skills you can’t miss. These attributes promote harmony in the workplace, team growth, and improved work performance. Don’t hesitate to ask these behavioural questions for the interview: 

4. “Have you worked with someone difficult to work with? How did you interact with this person?

Employees should know when to separate pride from professionalism. Look for instances where a candidate showed empathy and open-mindedness to improve the relationship. Their answer here would also show their preferred management style.

5. “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work.”

Accountability is a soft skill not many possess, and it’s vital in prospering teamwork, especially from a leadership role. Ask this question to see how an applicant owes up to their mistakes and how they recover.

6. “How would you explain a difficult task to someone unfamiliar with it?”

Ask this question to gauge the candidate’s soft skills in communication and leadership. Their answers will reveal their leadership skills and how well they lay out instructions that a co-worker or subordinate will understand.

A group of employees collaborating and solving a problem

Image Source: Canva

Questions Related to Critical Thinking 

Critical thinkers make informed and sound decisions, provide cost-effective solutions to problems, and improve employee productivity—a true asset to the workplace. Below are the common behavioural questions you can ask to identify candidates with this trait:

7. “Have you ever been left with an urgent issue but your manager was unavailable?”

Let the applicant tell their experience and cite specific examples. They should be resourceful, proactive in avoiding overstepping work boundaries, and open-minded before making a decision that works best and covers various aspects. 

8. “Was there a time when you thought of a better solution than the current one provided by the manager?”

This question will reveal if the candidate is a considerate person. They should be confident that they have a better solution for the project and present it to their manager professionally. 

Related: 6 Red Flags To Look Out For When Conducting a Job Interview

Questions Related to Growth Mindset 

A hiring manager must be keen on selecting individuals with a growth mindset. These candidates are eager to learn, leave room for mistakes, and allow themselves to excel. Asking these soft skill interview questions in the interview process will help you spot these applicants:

9. “What’s your five-year plan?”

This is one of the common behavioural interview questions that gauges a candidate’s hunger for growth. It also reveals their life goals and methods of achieving them.

10. “Can you give me an example of how you receive feedback?”

Listen for their openness in receiving constructive criticism and gauge their emotional intelligence. Employees should understand these comments are for their growth.

11. “What do you look for in an employer?”

A candidate’s answer to this question uncovers their needs to support their goals. This is an opportunity for the employer to assess if the candidate is a perfect fit for the work environment.

A panel of interviewers and an applicant finishing the recruitment process

Image Source: Canva

Recruit New Employees Through Ad Culture 

Now that you know what soft skills interview questions to ask applicants, it’s time to put them to the test. Find and recruit enthusiastic job seekers through Ad Culture! We’re a Toronto-based recruitment agency specializing in matching aspirants and employers from the advertising agency. 

Contact us today, and we’ll help you find the right candidate with exceptional hard and soft skills.

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