Top 15 skills you MUST show in an interview to help bag your dream job | The Sun

EMPLOYERS have revealed the leading skills interviewees need to demonstrate to bag their dream job.

A study of 1,000 adults who are involved with hiring in their workplace revealed 77 per cent are on the lookout for much more than just technical attributes when someone sits down for an interview.

Top 'soft skills include empathy, willingness to learn and a sense of humour.

More than six in 10 (62 per cent) have even hired someone who has demonstrated a raft of these soft skills – like sincerity and respectfulness – even if there are better qualified candidates.

However, 63 per cent believe prospective employees often forget to demonstrate their personable and human sides in interviews and focus too much on their skills and qualifications.

And 68 per cent claim doing this can cost candidates the job.

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It also emerged 78 per cent think interviewees must also demonstrate skills for the future – with the likes of critical thinking, emotional intelligence and a creative mindset giving candidates the edge.

Doug Rode, UK&I managing director at global recruitment specialist Michael Page, which commissioned the research, said: “The pandemic really drove home the importance of soft skills and taught businesses how crucial it is to invest in a workforce that possesses more than just technical ability.

“Now, with a turbulent economic landscape impacting businesses across the country, attributes such as a willingness to learn, flexibility and a sense of humour are all highly desired by hiring managers who know that personal qualities can impact a company’s overall success.

“Too often, candidates talk themselves out of applying for a certain job because they worry they don’t have every single skill, but this research clearly shows that employers are willing to overlook that for the right candidate.

“It’s easy to upskill once someone is in role, but traits like teamwork, empathy and friendliness are crucial attributes that you can’t necessarily teach.”

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Half of those polled said a key factor when deciding between two candidates with similar credentials would be which one demonstrates a willingness to develop their skills for the future.

Meanwhile, 49 per cent would opt for the prospective employee they believe would complement the team, with 40 per cent likely to offer the job to the applicant they deemed was more likely to be in it for the long haul.

However, despite the value to employers, only 15 per cent think most of the candidates they interview consider how they can develop their existing skills for the needs of the business in the future.

And 36 per cent claim they often know as soon as an interview is finished whether they will be offering the job to that person.

It also emerged 51 per cent of those who have conducted interviews since the start of the pandemic prefer meeting face-to-face rather than via video call – with just 28 per cent favouring the digital method.

Of those who relish meeting candidates in person, 74 per cent believe they can get a better feel for the person this way, while 61 per cent feel conversations flow more naturally.

But of those who enjoy interviewing over video, 74 per cent think it helps them speak with more applicants from further afield, opening up the pool of talent.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found digital platforms have been transforming the recruitment process over the years, as six in 10 admit they scan through candidates’ social media profiles either before offering them an interview or the role.

And for 77 per cent of these, what they have uncovered has influenced their final decision.

In fact, with digital platforms having such an influence on the recruitment process, nearly half (48 per cent) even believe the traditional CV is now obsolete.

But despite some traditions changing when it comes to bagging a new job, 73 per cent still think it is important prospective employees are researching the firm.

And 78 per cent still want them to come prepared with a list of questions.

Doug Rode from Michael Page, which has a Skills Centre to help jobseekers understand skills employers look for and offers advice for candidates, added: “Over the past few years, technology has fundamentally changed the traditional recruitment process – particularly through virtual interviewing.

“One of the key benefits of this is that companies are able to widen the net to secure talent from further afield, increasing diversity and creating opportunities for previously untapped talent pools.

“However, whether virtual or in person, interviewers will be keen to get a sense of the soft skills candidates can offer their business.

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“The most successful will be those who are able to showcase a blend of both – pairing expertise and qualification with emotional intelligence too.

“Now, more than ever, demonstrating the desire to develop and futureproof their skills, being willing to learn and able to solve problems will give most candidates an edge over purely technical ability.”


1.            Communication

2.            Willingness to learn

3.            Teamwork

4.            Enthusiasm

5.            Problem solving

6.            Friendliness

7.            Flexibility

8.            Respectfulness

9.            Self-confidence

10.         A sense of humour

11.         Sincerity

12.         Empathy

13.         Growth mindset

14.         The ability to own up to something they don’t know

15.         Selflessness

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