101 Soft Skill Interview Questions To Prepare For

Updated July 21, 2022

Soft skills are the abilities related to being an effective employee in any workplace. In an interview, a prospective employer may ask you some questions that assess various soft skills they're looking for in a candidate. Reviewing questions you might be asked to assess your soft skills can build up your confidence before the interview and help you prepare effective answers.

In this article, we list 101 common soft skill interview questions for you to practice answering while you get ready for your interview.

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Soft skill interview questions

Here's a list of multiple soft skill interview questions for each of the main soft skills required in the workplace:

Communication questions

In any workplace, you may be required to read instructions or complex documents, write reports or emails, give a speech, speak with a client or coworker and practice active listening. An interviewer may ask the following questions to understand how well you can communicate in a variety of workplace settings:

  • Tell me about yourself in two sentences.

  • Which is more important: being a good listener or being a good speaker?

  • How would you explain your role to a stranger?

  • How would you explain a complex process or concept to a client or coworker?

  • Have you ever managed a breakdown in communication at work? How did you handle it?

  • Do you prefer to speak one-on-one, in small groups or in front of large groups of people?

  • Talk about a time when you pitched an idea that was met with disagreement.

  • How would you rate your communication abilities from one to 10?

  • How would you rate your listening abilities from one to 10?

  • How do you handle speaking to customers, clients or coworkers whose first language is not the same as your own?

Teamwork questions

Teamwork enables you to share responsibilities, provide information, determine when you need help or can help others and manage many other team-related situations on the job. These questions explore your previous experiences working with others and your cultural fit with the team you're interviewing for:

  • Do you prefer working on a team or working alone? Why?

  • Describe a time when you worked with someone who had a conflicting personality than yours. How did you handle the situation?

  • How would you handle a teammate who wasn't doing their share of work?

  • If you and a team member disagreed over the solution to a problem, how would collaborate to solve it?

  • What are the three most important characteristics in a teammate?

  • Tell me about a time you built a professional relationship with someone you weren't compatible with?

  • How would your teammates describe you in a few words?

  • What would your teammates say is your biggest weakness?

  • Give an example of when you collaborated with your team to complete an important project or meet an impending deadline.

  • Do you prefer to lead or follow?

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

Dependability questions

Dependability includes being consistently available when others need you, always completing tasks when assigned, meeting deadlines and being a trustworthy part of the team. Employers ask questions like these to gauge your dependability:

  • Describe how you manage your time and priorities every day.

  • How do you stay accountable in the workplace?

  • What tools and processes do you use to keep yourself accountable in the workplace?

  • Tell me about a time you struggled to meet a deadline. What did you do?

  • Explain a situation where you were required to work without supervision.

  • A coworker is falling behind in their work, which may impact the team's ability to meet a deadline. You're on track but still have work to do. What would you do?

  • How do you manage multiple tasks at once?

  • What is your biggest weakness?

Adaptability questions

This quality refers to how well you can adjust your workflow, priorities or other factors if an unforeseen circumstance or challenge arises in the workplace or to accommodate team members, your manager or others. You may need adaptability during a change in management, the introduction of a new company policy, a unique client request, among many other situations. Here are some questions you may be asked about your adaptability on the job:

  • What has been the biggest adjustment you've made in your career?

  • How do you manage frequently shifting deadlines?

  • What's your work routine? How do you handle surprise challenges or circumstances?

  • When was the last time you had to manage a last-minute request? What did you do?

  • Have you ever had to manage two important projects that competed for your time and effort? How did you handle the situation?

  • Explain a time when you had to makes changes due to a situation outside of your control. How did you react?

  • Describe a time when you needed to take additional training or guidance to complete a task.

  • Give me an example of when you had to make a decision under pressure or in a short timeframe.

Related: Adaptability Skills: Definition and Examples

Conflict-resolution questions

Being able to effectively resolve conflicts is a valuable soft skill for every level of your career, including in entry-level roles and leadership positions. Employers may ask you questions about your conflict-resolution abilities to better understand how you handle conflicts like team disagreements, client or customer issues, miscommunications and inaccuracies. Review the following questions about conflict-resolution:

  • Describe a time when you had to mediate between two parties.

  • What would you do if you disagreed with your manager?

  • What would you do if you disagreed with your team member?

  • What do you do when a customer disagrees with you?

  • How do you deal with different opinions and perspectives in the workplace?

  • How do you ensure a disagreement doesn't get out of control?

  • What do you do to remain respectful while expressing your opinion?

  • What steps would you take to calm down a colleague who was upset after an altercation?

  • What steps would you take to calm down a customer who was upset after an altercation?

Related: 5 Common Interview Questions About Conflict (With Answers)

Leadership questions

Leadership qualities are important in nearly every role, from entry-level jobs to management roles to top executive positions. Employers often look for a variety of leadership qualities—including motivation, creativity, empathy and active listening—to determine if you can be as effective as possible in the role you're applying for and if you have the potential for advanced positions in the future. Here are some potential questions employers could ask:

  • Tell me about a time when you took initiative on a project.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

  • How would you handle employee turnover?

  • What is your process for delegating tasks to team members?

  • How would you promote respect among your team?

  • How do you motivate your team?

  • What team-building activities do you think could benefit this team?

  • Describe your process for monitoring progress and growth for employees.

  • How do you set productivity and performance goals for a team?

  • Your team is facing budget cuts, and you have to let two employees go. How do you decide who to lay off?

  • Tell me about a time when you managed a large project. What did you need to do to succeed? What was the outcome?

Problem-solving questions

Problem-solving is the ability to identify issues, experiment with solutions and create systems to prevent the same issues from occurring again. You may be asked many of the following questions to determine how thorough, creative, innovative and proactive you are about problems in the workplace:

  • Tell me about a time you were proactive in finding and solving a problem.

  • What steps do you take when you find a mistake or inaccuracy in your own work?

  • How do you weigh the pros and cons of a decision?

  • If there is no set system for how to solve a problem, what would you do to find the solution?

  • What are the steps in the problem-solving process?

  • What resources do you use to solve problems?

  • How would you handle a "this is how it's always done" attitude on the team? Would you comply, or would you try to change how it's done so the team can do better?

  • What was the last problem you had to solve? What was the outcome?

  • What was has been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

  • What would you do if you were asked to perform a task you've never done?

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definition and Examples

Research questions

Research includes being able to comprehend complex ideas, create hypotheses, think critically, find relevant and reputable sources and apply research findings to your work. Interviewers may ask the following questions to assess your research capabilities in general and as they relate to the role:

  • What industry resources do you rely on in your work? Why?

  • What makes a reliable source?

  • What do you do when you can't find a reliable source?

  • How do you use sources in your work? How do you ensure they're properly utilized and cited?

  • Tell me about the last time you used research to help you solve a problem.

  • Explain how you use research to support your opinion to colleagues and clients.

  • How do you handle conflicting resources/information?

Creativity questions

Being creative in the workplace can mean using art- and design-related skills and knowledge, or it can mean experimenting with ideas and processes to innovate and find new solutions. Here are some questions employers might ask you about your creative thinking:

  • Give me an example of a company or organization that used creativity to solve a problem.

  • Explain a time when you used creative thinking to come up with a solution.

  • How would you use creativity and creative thinking in this role?

  • How do you promote creativity in your work?

  • How do you promote creativity on your team?

  • What is your reaction to someone who poses an innovative idea that is unorthodox but compelling?

  • What is the most creative idea or project you've come up with in your role?

  • Do you prefer to experiment to improve processes or keep effective processes the same?

  • What makes you unique?

  • What was the last new idea that you tried at work?

Work ethic questions

An employer is likely to ask about your work ethic to learn about the attitude and values—including respect, discipline and collaboration—you uphold as a professional and to see how your values align with the organization's values. Here are some examples of work ethic questions:

  • Do you work over hours or clock out on time?

  • What are the three most important qualities every person in this role should have?

  • What do you do if you finish your tasks for the day early? Are you more likely to get ahead for the next day or help out a team member?

  • How do you ensure that your work performance stays the same or improves?

  • Who inspires you? Why?

  • Can you describe a time when you went above and beyond at work?

  • How would you describe your work ethic?

  • Explain a situation in which you worked your hardest to achieve a goal.

Related: Work Ethic Skills: Top 8 Skills To Develop

Integrity questions

Having integrity means that you uphold a specific set of upstanding qualities, including honesty, respect, reliability, consistency, patience and helpfulness. Interviewers may ask behavioral questions related to assessing how your integrity guides you in various workplace scenarios. Here are some questions about integrity to review:

  • What does integrity mean to you?

  • Explain an ethical dilemma you've faced on the job.

  • What would you do if you found a team member breaking company rules?

  • What would you do if you found a manager breaking company rules?

  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. What did you do?

  • What do you do when you make a mistake?

  • Tell me about a time when your integrity was tested.

  • What do you do to maintain confidentiality in the workplace?

  • What would you do if your manager or teammate asked you to lie for them?

  • How do you demonstrate respect in the workplace?

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