In this article, I will explain the value of skills as a remote software developer, student, or candidate for an interview. As a Computer Science student, you are working hard every day to learn the skills you will use as a software developer. But coding skills—the hard skills of software development—are not enough for succeeding in your career. You will also need to be able to show you are reliable, collaborate well on teams, and more. These “soft skills” are essential for success—so essential, that some people like to say that hard skills can get you the job, but it’s soft skills that allow you to keep it and thrive.
Recruiters look for these skills when they are hiring to see whether the candidate will be a good cultural fit for the company on top of having the technical skills. Thus, it is essential to develop your soft skills.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are the more transferable skills of a candidate, such as communication, decision-making, collaboration, teamwork, time management, creativity, etc. They are all very necessary for a good cultural fit and can be very good predictors of future job performance.
93 percent of employees see soft skills as either equally important to technical skills or more important than them.
For instance, when hiring a remote employee, good communication is a very important soft skill. If a regular contact on Slack or Skype is important to you, it is wise to have a chat with candidates early on in the hiring process. If they show reluctance or are evasive, it’s a good sign that they may not be a good fit for the remote role.
TOP 100 SOFT SKILLS ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS THAT THE INTERVIEWER MAY ASK
- Tell me about yourself in 2 sentences.
- Explain to your 95-year-old grandmother what you do for a living.
- Use up to 5 sentences to sell me a pencil.
- Your colleague is publicly belittling your work achievements. What do you do?
- Do you prefer written or verbal communication?
- Which one is more important to you and why: to be a good listener or a good communicator?
7. Which one do you prefer and why: teamwork or working alone?
8. How important are team events for you?
9. Tell me how you would overcome a situation where a team is doing badly because members aren’t getting along.
10. Your teammates are all in agreement on how to approach a task but you disagree. How do you react?
11. What does team spirit mean to you and how would you go about building it?
12. How would you deal with a teammate who wasn’t doing their share of work?
13. You know your manager is 100% wrong about something. What do you do?
14. Your team members are quitting one after another. What do you do?
15. How do you go about delegating responsibilities to a team?
16. What do you expect from a manager?
17. Your company is in financial difficulties and you have to cut down salary costs. How would you decide who to fire?
18. What is the most difficult change you’ve encountered in your career?
19. Do you like surprises?
20. How do you go about rearranging your schedule if something unplanned occurs?
21. Give me an example of when you’ve had to deal with a short notice request.
22. Do you like routine work?
23. Give me an example of when you’ve successfully solved a problem.
24. Give me an example of a time when you’ve had to be creative or unconventional in solving a problem.
25. Tell me about a time when you had to analyze information to successfully solve a problem.
26. Tell me about a time you identified a problem and solved it in its early stages.
27. Describe a time when you had to solve a problem in a crisis.
28. If your life was a book, what would it be called?
29. How would you spice up meetings to boost creativity?
30. Give me an example of a business being creative to be successful.
31. In what ways have you encouraged your work team to be more creative and innovative?
32. What are the key ingredients to building good relationships with others?
33. How do you deal with situations where there is tension between you and a colleague?
34. Describe how you would communicate difficult or unpopular information to someone?
35. Tell me about a time when you built a good relationship with someone you didn’t particularly like.
36. Do you multitask?
37. Which one better describes you: ‘done is better than perfect or ‘everything has to look perfect?
38. How do you prioritize your work if you have many looming deadlines?
39. Tell me about a time when you’ve struggled to meet deadlines. What did you do?
40. Your manager assigns you a big task right before the end of the day. How would you reply?
41. Do you tend to work over hours?
42. What are the most important ethics in the workplace?
43. Give me an example of when you faced an ethical dilemma at work.
44. What would you do if you discovered a manager was breaking company rules?
45. You get your work done sooner than expected. Do you allow yourself a free afternoon or are you going to ask for more tasks?
46. Give an example of how you have dealt with an unsatisfied customer.
47. What steps do you take to gain a customer’s trust?
48. Give an example of a time when you went the extra mile to give good customer service.
49. How would you deal with a customer who you felt was becoming unreasonable?
Motivation and enthusiasm
50. How do you stay motivated when working alone on a project?
51. How do you stay motivated when working on a project that doesn’t interest you?
52. How do you generate enthusiasm on days when you’d prefer not to be at work?
53. How do you deal with colleagues who are lacking in enthusiasm?
54. Which one of these is the most important aspect for you at work? Career development, perks, benefits, salary, or nice coworkers?
55. What do you hope to achieve during your first six months here?
56. Give an example of when your planning led to effective results.
57. How do you stay organized when you are working on multiple projects?
58. How do you keep track of your progress when working on projects?
59. How often do you go to your desk, files, and electronic files to clear out what you no longer need?
60. Describe a difficult negotiating situation you’ve been in. What was the outcome?
61. How would you change an institutional “this is how we always do it” attitude if you felt there was a better approach?
62. How would you negotiate something with a manager or supervisor?
63. What is the most effective technique for winning someone over when negotiating?
64. What is your understanding of strategic planning? How does it differ from everyday planning?
65. Tell me about a time when you planned and executed a large project. What were the outcomes?
66. How do you set long-term goals for your team? How do you evaluate performances?
67. Explain what constructive criticism means to you.
68. Your team lead tells you you’ve done a poor job. How do you respond?
69. Give an example of a time when you used feedback to improve your performance.
70. How do you prefer to get feedback from your manager: through formal performance reviews or daily/weekly meetings? Why?
71. Give me an example of when you have successfully resolved a conflict in a professional situation.
72. How do you deal with differences of opinion in the workplace?
73. What steps would you take to resolve a heated conflict that broke out between two members of your team?
74. How would you go about calming a colleague down if you could see that their anger was likely to cause trouble?
75. What are your techniques for handling stress?
76. Tell me about your most stressful work situation. How did you deal with it?
77. What are good ways of preventing things from getting too stressful in the first place?
78. What work situations get you most stressed?
79. Give an example of when you’ve had to decide under pressure. How did you deal with it?
80. Do you like the responsibility of decision-making or would you prefer to leave it to someone else?
81. What’s the toughest decision you’ve had to make at work? How did you decide?
82. What do you do if you realize you’ve made a bad or wrong decision?
83. What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
84. Your project fails miserably. How do you deal with it?
85. Have you ever done something at work through believing in yourself, although your co-workers or bosses told you not to do it?
86. What do you do to increase your confidence in situations where it is lacking?
87. How do you prevent yourself from becoming over-confident?
88. Describe the type of work environment in which you are most productive.
89. What would make you quit a job in the first month?
90. Have you ever found a company policy unfair or inefficient? If so, what was the policy, and why? What did you do or what would you do, in this case?
91. Have you ever felt like you are not qualified for a job assigned to you?
92. What would you do if a colleague confessed a serious misdemeanor to you?
93. Give an example of a work situation where you felt that it was best not to be honest.
94. Have you ever been honest even though it’s caused problems for you? What happened?
95. Describe a time when you had to solve a problem, but didn’t have all the necessary information about it in hand. What did you do?
96. How do you weigh the pros and cons before making a decision?
97. How do you prepare for delivering a presentation?
98. What would you do if you noticed that your audience looked bored during a meeting?
99. Describe a time when you had to announce bad news to your team.
100. When is it appropriate for speakers to use humor?
Identifying and building my soft skills – the TESTCOLOR personality test
In the exercise below, you will be doing a personality test with colors. This test was developed by Thierry Leroy, a clinical psychologist using the idea that classic personality tests based on a series of questions suffer from the social desirability bias and that the person answering the questions will often try to answer in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others or by themselves unconsciously. The TESTCOLOR test uses emotion as a base indicator rather than logic which reduces the feeling of giving a right or wrong answer and thus increases accuracy. Click on this link here to take your TESTCOLOR personality test.