Assessing Soft Skills: Tips and Interview Questions for Tech Hiring Managers

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on May 4th, 2023

Assessing Soft Skills: Tips and Interview Questions for Tech Hiring Managers

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on May 4, 2023

As a tech team hiring manager, you understand the importance of finding top-tier developers to join your team. You’ve likely got a good handle on the technical skills you’re looking for in candidates, but what about soft skills? It’s easy to focus solely on technical expertise, but it’s the soft skills that make a great developer stand out from a merely good one. Soft skills are crucial in any role, and in development, they can make the difference between a project that runs smoothly and one that doesn’t. Here are some tips on how to assess soft skills during the interview process and why they matter.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with others. They include things like communication, collaboration, time management, problem-solving, and adaptability. Soft skills are not easily measurable, but they can be the difference between success and failure on a project. Technical skills are, of course, essential, but they are not enough on their own.

Why are soft skills important for developers?

Developers need to work effectively with other team members, including project managers, designers, and other developers. They need to communicate well to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to avoid misunderstandings that can derail a project. They need to collaborate to develop solutions that work for everyone. They need to be adaptable to changes in project scope or timeline. Soft skills are essential for developers to work well in a team and to deliver high-quality projects on time and on budget.

What soft skills should you look for in developer candidates?

  1. Communication skills Developers need to be able to communicate effectively with others on the team. Look for candidates who can clearly articulate their ideas and explain technical concepts in non-technical terms. Good communication skills can prevent misunderstandings and save time in the long run.
  2. Collaboration skills Developers need to be able to work well with others and contribute to the team’s success. Look for candidates who can work in a team environment, who listen to others’ ideas, and who are willing to compromise to find the best solution.
  3. Problem-solving skills Developers need to be able to identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently. Look for candidates who can think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to difficult problems.
  4. Time management skills Developers need to be able to manage their time effectively to ensure that projects are completed on time. Look for candidates who can prioritise tasks, manage their workload, and meet deadlines.
  5. Adaptability skills Developers need to be able to adapt to changes in project scope or timeline. Look for candidates who can work in a dynamic environment and who are flexible enough to pivot when necessary.

 

Questions to ask to assess soft skills

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with someone you didn’t get along with? This question will help you assess a candidate’s collaboration skills and their ability to work with others effectively. Look for candidates who can demonstrate that they were able to work through the conflict and find a resolution that worked for everyone.
  2. Can you walk me through your problem-solving process? This question will help you assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills and their ability to think creatively. Look for candidates who can clearly explain their thought process and who can come up with innovative solutions to difficult problems.
  3. How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks? This question will help you assess a candidate’s time management skills and their ability to meet deadlines. Look for candidates who can demonstrate that they can manage their workload effectively and prioritise tasks based on their importance.
  4. Can you tell me about a time when a project scope changed mid-way through? This question will help you assess a candidate’s adaptability skills and their ability to pivot when unexpected changes occur. Look for candidates who can show that they were able to adjust their approach and still deliver high-quality work despite the change in scope. 5. How do you handle feedback and criticism? This question will help you assess a candidate’s ability to receive feedback and use it constructively. Look for candidates who can demonstrate that they are receptive to feedback and can use it to improve their work.
  5. Can you give me an example of a time when you had to persuade someone to see your point of view? This question will help you assess a candidate’s communication and persuasion skills. Look for candidates who can clearly articulate their perspective and persuade others through logical and compelling arguments.

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