Is it more important to possess hard skills or soft skills in an interview?
Is it worth applying to a job that you might not have the hard skills for, if you possess the soft skills? I've heard that companies are looking more for skills like persuasion and interpersonal than a degree in a particular field.
Hello, it highly depends on position that you apply for. There are three main categories of jobs and set of skills needed, so try to categorize position that you are applying for:
1.) Emphasis on hard skills / little soft skills needed - chemist, scientists, ...2.) Equal hard skills / soft skills needed - lawyer; you need both to be successful (rules of law and how to deal with customers)
3.) Emphasis on soft skill / little hard skills needed - salesman; persuasive, communication, ...Important thing is that hard skills can be learned. Hope it helped little bit.
It's not either/or, you need both, even with highly technical scientific jobs. My wife recently had to fire a medical research scientist with a technical pedigree as long as your arm because he couldn't get along with the staff he managed.
Any interviewer worth anything knows the importance of people skills for every job.
A bit perplexed with the answer from Daniel re sales people not needing hard skills. This undermines the total importance of this role in a business. Many companies rely heavily on the hard skills their sales people have, such as the technical knowledge required from education completed in that particular field.
A good interviewer has mapped out before the interview what will be both the required hard skills for the job to meet the tasks required and the soft skills to meet the expected behaviours for the organisation.
You get hired for what you know.
You (eventually) get fired or promoted for who you are.
This is a good question. I tackle these issues daily in my career management and outplacement capacity.
Clearly both are needed and for the vast majority of roles, one needs to have at least some of each and to demonstrate same in resumes, cover letters and in an interview situation.
I agree with Mikes comment below that no matter how well qualified or experienced a candidate, emotional intelligence is also required !
Bearing in mind that those who progress to the last few candidates for a role, hard skills, experience et al are often hard to split. Sound soft skills may be the one differentiator.
Some believe that up to 80% of the reason for choosing one candidate over another is cultural, ie will they work well with my team etc etc.
I would say that it's always worth applying for a job that you are interested in. Let them be the ones to deceide if your skill balance fits the job.
My experience is that most "traditional" recruiters look for a candidate that knows exactly the job, the industry, and they can easily detect and measure these hard skills.
There are some other recruiters that focus more on potential, on how can that new person add additional value to a team, complement them. and that is much more difficult to find and to detect.
If I were you I would try!!
As a Recruiter and HR Professional, From a resume standpoint hard skills get you in the door, soft skills get you hired. As an HR person I need to know that you have the charisma to mess with my management and team, that start with me being the first line of defense, now I am not saying that the person doesn't need to be proficient but understand everyone bring something different to the table.
Example being "Fresh Out" being a new graduate often times they bring less real world experience but they have something that I don't and that's youthfulness, hunger and enthusiasm, so soft skills are as just important as hard skills. What it really depends on the organization and the direction of the company and where the gaps are. (You can teach Hard skills, but you cannot teach soft skills).
It really depends on the position. I found that when hiring for a help desk position, it was more important a candidate had soft skills and was was able to blend in with the team and handle customers. I could teach them basic technical knowledge if they had the ability to learn and understand. Soft skills are a lot more difficult to teach, if you can teach them at all!
But, when needing a DB, no question, I had to have someone who knew what they were doing. Although a candidate who demonstrated some emotional intelligence aka soft skills, was the candidate more likely to be hired.
If the job requires you to be an individual contributor (not a supervisor or manager), you want to showcase your hard skills yet be personable enough and self-aware enough to work with others and be a team player. If you will be leading a team as a supervisor, manager, or want to move up in the organization you will need the leadership, motivation, communication, and influencing skills that are sometimes called "soft skills", but are not soft at all.
I agree with others on this post. You need both. You certainly need the skills required for the position that you are applying for. And you need to soft-skills to adequately convey your value and skill-set during the interview.
I will only add that -- if you "might not have the exact hard skills" for this particular job - find "similar" jobs or tasks that you have experience. For example, you may not have SSQ database experience, but you have other database language knowledge (list them and how they equate to SSQ). You may not have led a team of 50 people on a project - but you simultaneous and successful led two teams of 20 on two separate projects, with two separate release schedules- on-time and above the quality requirements.
Find projects and skills that are comparable to the one they are asking about - and talk up those.
You are correct, there is more written about Emotional Intelligence today as being a primary factor in professional and personal success...Harvard Business Review, INC, etc and online courses are emphasizing softer skills in the work place. Remember though, if you do not have the hard skills you should apply to a company who is willing to teach them to you or underwrite some of your schooling. Learning curves fluctuate, but if you have good soft skills someone will hire you, I believe...
I would pay close attention to the 'required' and 'preferred' skills shown in the job description. This will almost always be a combination of hard skills and soft skills. You will need to have an overall skills match of 70% or higher to pass the automated applicant review software programs used by most companies to screen applicants. If the combination of your skills is less than that 70%, you will not get the opportunity to sell someone at the company on how your soft skills will offset or overcome gaps in your hard skills. A low overall match between your combination of skills and those in a particular job description may also signal that another opportunity may be a better match for your skills.
Your skill set is based on your parents' skills plus your personal strength bounced off a colleague or contemporary. You are really 4 people in one and when you realise that, you are employable which you already suspect!
I think so there are market fomula is 70% need interpersonal and 30% need interpersonal. ..,
I consult my clients that the most important thing to look for in any new hire is their fit into the business culture. I believe in open, positive, win-win cultures that are focused on generating customer loyalty. If you believe in that ideal, as an example, you want to hire others that will buy into your vision. You need to have the basic skill requirements for the job, but the intangibles are more important in my mind.
A balance of both soft/hard, the candidates emotional intelligence/commitment and the leadership / development structure within the organisation are often the keys to success. Similar to the previous responses, it is also very dependent on the role requirements.
In my experience, often hard skill expertise can be difficult to adjust (I know best mentality). This can often result in secondary issues if change management and leadership is not executed effectively. Soft skills rich and a willingness to develop (proven ability to adapt) is often a very desirable mix. Again, this is not appropriate if the role is complex and has a requirement for niche type skill sets that don't vary much.
Evidence of hard skills on your resume, backed up by a steady work history of increasing responsibility, gets you the interview. Your success in the interview is ALL ABOUT soft skills.