How important is your personality when you are interviewing for a role? And what on earth are soft skills?!
When you attend an interview for a job, you’re often told to prepare by:
Whilst these things are of course paramount to a strong interview, there are also some very important skills that it is imperative you demonstrate. Known collectively as “soft skills”, these are a group of personal attributes needed to be successful in a particular job. They incorporate your personality traits, natural social cues, and your ability to communicate effectively. They characterize how you interact in your relationships with others and can make the difference between getting or losing a job to someone with the same level of work experience as yourself. A effective display of soft skills during the interview process is becoming more and more of a key factor in the employers decision making process.
Thinking about the travel industry in particular, there are some soft skills that jump out as being really important to able to demonstrate to an employer in an interview. You do however need to be aware of YOUR own soft skills, everyone will have different strengths and don’t claim to be something you aren’t!
Communication: Written, verbal and interpersonal skills all fall under the communication bracket. Think about how you communicate with clients/customers whether it’s via the phone or email, in person or presenting to a group. How do you come across to others? Listen to the interview questions carefully, answer accordingly and ask relevant questions yourself.
Adaptability: The travel industry continually evolves and you need to be able to change with it! Are you a “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” type person or do you embrace the new? Think of times you’ve seen industry change throughout your career and whether it was for the better or worse, show you’ve been able to work with it.
Positivity: Do you come in to work and moan about something every single day? Or are you the one who motivates the team with your positive, infectious attitude? It’s good to show you’re a nice person to be around and a positive attitude is something that cannot be taught!
Empathy: Demonstrating understanding with clients as well as colleagues is really important. This past week alone for example, we’re confident the industry has dealt with some difficult travel situations following on from storm /virus disruptions. Showing empathy towards others is highly desirable for a harmonious working environment.
Conflict Resolution: There will always be work place difficulties between colleagues. Have you helped rectify a tricky situation? How do you deal with conflict from a client? Negotiation skills are a vital part of most roles now and a great negotiator can help rectify even the most awkward situations in a diplomatic way.
Creativity: Have you thought of a new process that could make everyones lives in the office easier? Are you often called upon to write blogs, update social media or think up motivational speeches for the team? Your creativity could inch you forward as the preferred hire.
Collaboration: You’ve finished your work for the day and your colleague has had a difficult afternoon. Is teamwork on your mind or are you thinking about sitting on the internet for the last hour? Are you able to work as part of a team on a project to achieve a shared end goal?
The above should give you some pointers on what to think about to showcase your soft skills. But do remember that you need to thoroughly read the job spec before your interview and make sure you understand the job role. Failure to do that will mean you chose the wrong soft skills to focus on and could cost you the job you really want!
Caroline and Emma at Urbanberry Travel Recruitment are always on hand to offer our candidates interview advice. We know all our of clients well and will aim to prepare you to the best of our ability with ideas of what to expect on the day of your interview. If you’d like to chat about new roles in Business Travel please do get in touch for an informal chat at any time! Caroline@urbanberry.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org
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