Ever wondered what an interviewer is asking when they say ‘tell me a bit about yourself?’. It is a question which causes more cold sweats in mock interviews than any other. Do you talk about your dog, your hometown and siblings? What they are looking for is hard and soft skills.
Briefly, hard skills are all of those skills which are quantifiable such as degrees, certificates and mathematical skills. Soft skills are all the other skills which make you great for the role. Here are the hard and soft skills every pro has under their belt:
Relevant qualifications, hard skill:
A lot of job roles will usually ask for relevant qualifications which suggest you have some insight into the industry you are applying for. Most companies will look for a more general level of certification rather than something specific. As a rule of thumb, most places will look for relevant qualifications or a certain level of education from GCSE’s through to a BA. It is always best to look at a job role before applying to see what qualifications they are after.
Being a team player, soft skill:
While having the relevant qualifications will help, you will struggle in most industries if you cannot work well with others. A major soft skill every pro needs to have under their belt is the art of teamwork, working in a group to achieve a common goal is vital for businesses in any industry. In an interview, be polite, find common ground with your interviewer and avoid confrontation to demonstrate how you work well with others.
Solid foundations, hard skill:
Having a good understanding of basic Maths and English is always desirable for an employer. While it is unlikely you will be tested to prove these skills (however some financial and accountancy firms might well ask you to take a written exam), triple checking your spelling in your CV is always a strong start. A hard skill – fundamentally – is a skill which is transferable across industries. For example, a Web Designer will be able to use code in the same manner whether they work for a building contractor or for a supermarket chain. However, make sure you have mastered the basics.
Patience and politeness, soft skill:
In any field of work, you will butt heads now and again. We can’t all get on with everybody, however to smash it as a pro you need to learn the soft skill of patience and politeness. Throwing your weight around in both the interview and the workplace is never a good idea. Wait for your turn to speak, be friendly and helpful and chances are you will tick all the right boxes by simply being you.
We know you have what it takes, so take a look at our job page here to find the next role for you!