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The Essential Skills Job Candidates Need for Employment

Think about your best employee. Sure, they have the education, technical skills, and knowledge to excel at their job. But what are the intangible qualities, those skills that set them apart from other qualified job candidates? Also known as transferable skills or soft skills, can help determine which job candidates may be well-suited for hybrid or remote work, how they will fit into company culture, or how they will handle a fast-paced work environment.

The best job candidates highlight their essential skills on their resume and in their cover letter. Employers can use the interview to assess and explore those skills in depth with job candidates possessing skills like these:

Exhibits grace under pressure. While not every job is a pressure cooker, the ability to adapt to changes is essential in today’s fast-moving working environments. Successful job candidates will be flexible, be able work quickly to address critical issues, and be able to admit mistakes, too.
Skills: adaptability, communication, teamwork, emotional intelligence, honesty, responsibility
Typical interview questions:

  • Describe a situation that did not go as planned and how you adapted to ensure goals were achieved.
  • Describe your biggest failure and how you learned from the experience.
  • Tell me about a time when you were asked to complete a task outside of your job description. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time you felt overwhelmed. How did you handle it?

Effective problem solvers.
The ability to solve problems combines creativity with analysis, being able to identify an issue from data and suggest solutions. Job candidates that excel at problem solving have an intrinsic motivation to improve.
Skills: critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, analysis, collaboration
Typical interview questions:

  • How have you solved a significant problem in your current position?
  • How have you used out-of-the-box thinking to solve a problem?
  • Tell me about a time when you were tasked with doing something completely new.

Works well with others.
Of course, every employer wants a team player. For many, this means being able to pitch in and help where needed to get the job done. But it also means finding job candidates who fit in with company culture and can communicate effectively with peers, management, and clients.
Skills: collaboration, communication, emotional intelligence, flexibility
Typical interview questions:

  • Describe a time when you had to adjust to a colleague’s working style to complete a project.
  • Describe how you would respond to a client who is difficult to deal with.
  • Highlight a situation where you worked as a team to meet a goal.

Highly organized.
Organization and attention to detail are key skills for any position. This is especially true for remote positions where the employee is self-managed and in fast-paced work environments with multiple priorities and tight deadlines.
Skills: attention to detail, critical thinking, organization
Typical interview questions:

  • What strategies have you used successfully to meet deadlines?
  • How do you juggle tasks with multiple deadlines?
  • How do you determine what amount of time is reasonable for a task?

TriStarr can help

Since 1989, TriStarr has been connecting good people with top employers in southcentral Pennsylvania. As part of our screening process, all job candidates are required to complete skills tests and personality assessments. Along with our candidates’ skills and experience, education, and background checks, the results help us find the right fit for the job.

Based in Lancaster, PA, TriStarr is a full-service staffing, recruiting, and HR consulting agency. Our services include temp, temp-to-hire, permanent staffing, and supplemental HR services. Contact our team of hiring experts  online or call 717-560-2111 to learn more.

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