As advanced materials recruiters, we often see that when hiring managers are asked why they selected one candidate over another, the reason tends to be based on the candidate’s ability to demonstrate skills that are not shown in the job description. The ability to showcase your soft skills can place you ahead of other candidates; since these skills cannot be taught but are learned, it is not something you can just speak about. Soft skills are actionable talents that live between the words you express and the decisions you make. Meaning that sometimes it’s the in-between or the gray area where a candidate stands out ahead of the pack.

We all have skills that bring value to our roles but being able to display those skills is vitally important to do, in order to set yourself apart from the competition.

There are many different soft skills that bring value to different roles in different industries. The most common abilities are:

  • Creative Thinking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Time Management
  • Networking
  • Teamwork

Instead of creating a list of common soft skills, we would like to share how to best exhibit these skills during an interview for a leadership opportunity.

Use the S.T.A.R response method

To best display your soft skills, the premier way to respond to behavioral questions is to describe “how” you accomplished a task versus sharing “what” you did.

The S.T.A.R method stands for situation, task, action, and result. It allows you to walk the interviewer through the task from the vantage point of your thinking. This is a great way to highlight your ability to be a creative thinker and that you are capable of thinking outside the box to find solid solutions. It also can highlight your ability to resolve conflict.

The S.T.A.R method is a great way to display how you are with time management as well. When speaking of a critical situation where time was a factor, you can talk about your ability to adhere to a timeline that is tied to a particular outcome. Or how you created a timeline to keep a project and team on schedule to ensure a specific result.

Non-verbal communication and research

Being aware of your body language and asking thoughtful open-ended questions are useful tips to put your networking skills on display.

It is best to base your questions to show you researched the company and the interviewer. For example, browse the company’s website and learn of the direction the company is looking to expand and form your questions around that. Whether it includes planned company acquisitions or expanding to new industries, this will show that you are able to network and take information to form intelligent inquiries.

You should do the same for the interviewer: browse the company website and the interviewer’s LinkedIn to form inquisitive and targeted questions for them. This is a great opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.

The shared experience

To showcase your ability to collaborate with people, avoid making “I” statements and replace them with “us”.

When speaking of the success and achievements you have achieved, be sure to mention how the collaboration with your team or your being a part of a team to attain these feats played a key role in the accomplishment of said success.

To elaborate, you want to emphasize how the group worked together as a whole. You want to demonstrate your ability to work with others and that includes sharing your success with the team. Utilizing your non-verbal communication skills to express confidence and positivity will convey that you do well working with others and that you enjoy it.

Are you looking for top talent in the Specialty Chemical, Advanced Materials, or Animal Health industry?

Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your team. Boaz Partners is a premier executive search firm focused on the direct recruitment of executives and professionals for the specialty chemicals and animal health space. We are your partner, and our focus is on custom recruiting solutions.