Soft skills in job interviews – Deal maker or deal breaker?

theaccablog —  August 19, 2015 — Leave a comment

Since it is the ACCA Singapore Internship Interviews “season”, we thought we’d get some interview tips going your way!

ACCA_Eunice Chu_horizontal-high res

Today, we have Eunice Chu. Head of Policy from ACCA Hong Kong sharing on soft skills in an interview:

I met one of my old school mates a week ago and she brought me to a quiet coffee shop started by an European young man in Sai Kung. The food was not very special but he had a friendly smile and chatted with every customer like an old friend. It got me thinking, that even when one cannot offer excellent core skills, his/her attitude and soft skills could compensate.

When seeking for jobs that require little prior working experiences, or applying for posts in specialised industries that the employers do not expect candidates to possess specific industry knowledge, the candidates’ prior working experiences would not be a critical factor in winning the job.

Instead, soft skills become the decisive factor, to make or break the deal.Soft skills sound abstract but they are not difficult to master. Before the interview, get a good night’s sleep, be punctual, polite, dress up properly, keep your shirt and hair clean and tidy. These are the pre-requisites for any successful interview.

During job interviews, candidates are sometimes too focused on the content of their discussion and forget about the presentation skills. Keep calm and speak slowly with eye contact. Pause to let the interviewer digest. Being too nervous would arouse doubt of one’s confidence and ability to handle the job. Sit properly, relax your shoulders, be friendly and always wear a smile. This not only would put yourself at ease, but also disarm the interviewer. No one would slap a smiling face. But avoid making jokes or getting carried away by talking casually. Keep the tone professional.

Last but not least, know your CV well. Candidates sometimes would purposely omit in their CV some short term job assignments but during interviews they brought them up. This would create confusion to the interviewer and bring an impression that the CV is not complete. So stick strictly to the CV details.Good presentation skills and right attitude contribute to more than 50% of successful job interviews.

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