Professional, Scientific

5 Soft Skills Hiring Managers are Seeking

February 23, 2023

Attention job seekers – Below are top skills your next employer is looking for in a qualified candidate.

by Morgan Bosse

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are interpersonal skills and traits that help you bring value to any company. These skills can build upon each other throughout your career and allow you to bring your personality traits to your work experiences. Soft skills can be incorporated at any level of your career, regardless of job title, industry, and education. Research from Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center found that 85% of career success comes from having well-developed soft skills and people skills. Hard skills, including technical skills and knowledge, only make up 15% of career success. 

How do you develop soft skills?

Soft skills are not specific to a job, they can be used universally throughout your career. Review your experiences and list what traits you think you excel in as an employee. In an interview ensure you are prepared to share experiences that portray the skills you listed in your resume.  A balance between soft and hard skills can help you stand out in the interview process and show employers who you are and your viability as a potential candidate.


Handling challenging situations is a great way to show employers you are ready to take on new tasks and leave your comfort zone. Jacqueline Brassey, chief scientist at McKinsey & Company’s People & Organizational Performance Practice, explains, “Adaptability is about “bouncing forward.” She also says, “Adaptability means you’ve gone beyond simply enduring a challenge to thrive beyond it.” Workplace changes, whether it is working remotely or going back into the office, can put stress on your environment. Employers like to see candidates who respond well to change.

Common interview questions:

  • Tell me about a time something didn’t go as expected at work. What steps did you take to address the issue?
  • Tell me about a time someone asked you to do something outside of your job description.
  • What are some challenges you experience when starting a new job?


Taking the initiative in a group setting shows employers you can take action. This can be by motivating your team, taking on new tasks to help, or staying organized to meet your overall goal.

Common interview questions:

  • Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills at work.
  • How do you handle conflict in a situation?
  • What strengths would you bring to this job?


Working with people who have different perspectives and skills can be a challenge. Communicating with each other and collaborating on ideas as a team can help effectively solve problems creatively. Team situations are a great way to learn and grow your skills.

Common interview questions:

  • Tell me about a challenging workplace situation you had to deal with.
  • What skills do you bring when working with a team?
  • What role do you play when working in a team?


People who demonstrate how they identify a problem and use a creative strategy to solve them are great ways to show employers how you evaluate different situations.  

Common interview questions:

  • Tell me about a time when you faced an unexpected challenge at work.
  • Describe when you identified a problem and how you fixed it before it became urgent.
  • Explain when you went above and beyond at work to solve a problem.


Strong communication skills, whether it is verbal or written, can set you up for success when working individually and in a team. A candidate’s ability to communicate well in situations creates a solid foundation for how they will interact with your team. According to Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives cite the lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main cause for workplace failures.

Common interview questions:

  • How would you explain a new task or complex problem to someone at work?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How do you prefer to communicate?

Our employees at Joulé recently discussed “Skills You Need to be Competitive in 2023.” Jennifer Novajosky, Recruiting Director at Joulé, explained how you should take your time to figure out what areas you are strong in and be able to explain how those skills can make you successful in your next role. Layesha Bird, Recruiter at Joulé, talk about how soft skills are relevant in any field you work in.



At Joulé, we believe our world is filled with possibilities – where character, integrity, and commitment drive our purpose. Operating at the forefront of the life sciences arena, Joulé’s relentless approach enables our clients to execute critical initiatives and significant projects rapidly and effectively. Joulé is a System One division.

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