Beyond job knowledge and technical skills, top candidates in today’s talent market must possess soft skills such as communication and presentation skills to succeed. Research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that over half of the job tasks that exist today will not be necessary by 2055, and that the result will be an estimated 24% increase in the demand for soft skills by U.S. and European companies.

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 45% of talent professionals say that the reason new-hires typically do not work out is a lack of soft skills while only 11% say it is due to a lack of hard skills. Unfortunately, identifying candidates with critical soft skills is difficult for many talent acquisition professionals. So, with demand for soft skills increasing, what can recruiters do to better evaluate these personal attributes?

Structured Video Interviews Objectively Measure Soft Skills

Although interviews have always been a popular method for screening candidates, one-way video interviews—where candidates record responses to pre-recorded questions—are increasing in popularity due to their speed and effectiveness. And audio video response interviews are making it easier for employers to conduct unbiased structured interviews that help them evaluate soft skills reliability and objectively.

Structured interviews consistently use the same situation- and behavior-based questions in the same order to assess each candidate’s soft skills. According to recent research, structured interviews are viable measures of soft skills and typically exhibit respectable psychometric characteristics, which indicates they could be used on a large scale to evaluate these constructs.

Structured audio video response interviews are reliable hiring tools because they decrease bias and allow for more objective scoring. They can be scored by multiple interviewers who can aggregate their assessments of candidates, which further reduces the possibility of bias.

Evaluating Presentation Skills

Excellent presentation skills are required in many positions. And some people have better presentation skills than others and simply enjoy it more. Whether you are hiring for salespeople or senior-level employees, it can be beneficial to assess whether someone is capable of successfully presenting information in their initial video interview.

Use these presentation skills questions to hire candidates who will successfully present your company, products, and goals to customers and employees.

Examples of Structured Interview Questions for Presentation Skills: 

  1. Describe a time when you had to persuade a person or a group to accept a proposal of your idea. Provide specific details regarding the background of the situation. How did you go about doing this? What was the outcome?
  2. Describe a time when you had to explain a complex or technical idea to an unfamiliar audience. Provide specific details regarding the background of the situation. How did you go about doing this? What was the outcome?

Assessing Communication Skills

Whether you are hiring a sales representative or a software developer, communication is critical to succeeding in any company culture. This should not be surprising, as communication is routinely identified as a key 21st‐century skill for employees across a variety of occupations and sectors. Many technology employees, such as software developers, do most of their work alone. However, they must still be able to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers.

Use these communication skills questions to evaluate candidates’ ability to communicate professionally and effectively on-the-job with audio video response interviews.

Examples of Structured Interview Questions for Communication: 

  1. Describe a time when you had to use your listening skills to overcome a communication issue at work. Provide specific details regarding the background of the situation. What actions did you take in response to that situation? What was the outcome?
  2. Describe a time when you had to communicate difficult information or critical feedback to your supervisor. Provide specific details regarding the background of the situation. How did you give the information/feedback? What was the outcome?

Create Your Own Soft Skills Interview Questions

When developing questions to evaluate soft skills, follow these general guidelines.

Soft skills interview questions should elicit three critical pieces of information from the job-seeker:

  • Task or Situation: Describes the background or context for the situation or task.
  • Action: Describes specific details regarding what was done or what would be done.
  • Result: Describes the effect of the applicant’s actions.

Example shell for soft skills interview questions:

Please describe a time when you [Insert a specific event or task that illustrates a job-relevant competency]. Provide specific details regarding the background of the situation. What actions did you take? What was the result, reaction, or outcome?

When it comes to evaluating soft skills, inconsistent, unstructured interviews are decidedly susceptible to unconscious bias. Taking time to assess soft skills with predictive hiring tools such as structured one-way video interviews is critical to identifying top talent.

Interested in Using Video Interviews to Evaluate Soft Skills?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s audio video response interviews to find qualified candidates quickly.

Request a demo today.

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