Whenever I interview candidates I always test soft skills. That is to say, I always try and discover how a candidate communicates with a team member, a customer, and in a superior/subordinate situation. Especially for customer facing roles, its important to test how candidates communicate in customer situations. Soft Skills are those skills you can’t really quantify but rather mature over time. Knowing how to delivery and communicate information in a given situation so as to elicit a positive response is key to any role, regardless if its customer facing or not. Technical skills are a must but in today’s open workplace you can’t hide. Given two equally qualified candidates I go with the one that presented their Soft Skills better than the other.
Here are a few tips to build your soft skills and highlight them in an interview situation.
Be Creative! – Creativity breads passion
Have you ever thought to yourself… “There should be a Salesforce org to track that?” for something in your life? Don’t lie, you know you have. I use my Free Developer orgs for all sorts of things in my life. Its sort of my outlet for creativity and I love talking to people about it. For example, when I was in the Army I used a Free Developer org to track and maintain the location and count of inventory items in my company, roughly $40,000,000 in assets. This was previously tracked through a complex process involving lots of printed packets of paper and an Excel Spreadsheet so large we couldn’t email it. Using a Free Salesforce org eliminated several errors, countless hours of searching for inventory items, and a simple scheduled dashboard eliminated a painful hour-long weekly call with my commanding officer.
Is there something in your life you can track with a Salesforce Org? Check out Geoffrey Flynn’s Blog – http://exploiteddevorgs.com
Be resilient! – Where do you get your Resiliency from?
You may not think of resiliency as a soft skill but you need to. Resiliency is your ability to stand tall in the storm, relying on your skills and experience to get your through any situation. Where do you draw your resiliency from? Tell me! Whenever someone inevitably asks you “What are your three greatest strengths”… tell them you are resilient and follow up with a situation where you were. Resiliency is a reinforcing feedback loop. The more resilient you are the more tough situations you can handle. You should be prepared with a situation to share in your past experience where you were resilient. If its Salesforce related, all the better.
So you failed eh? – Show your human side
You’ve failed. You know you have. I know you have. So does the person interviewing you. What I want to know is how you failed, why, and how you handled it. Did not follow best practices and put a change directly into production that caused some serious errors? Maybe you missed a deployment timeline? Did you not test some code thoroughly before pushing it to production? How did you handle that situation? What were the outcomes? Its important to be prepared to show that you have indeed failed in the past and that you learned from that situation. More importantly is to show how you handled that situation. Did you communicate the situation well to the stake holders? What methods did you use to ensure the lowest possible impact to your customer? Showing how you handle situations when you fail is more important that showing how you resolve the situation. Technical issues nearly always get resolved. In my experience, its not how your failure was resolved that gets remembered but rather how the situation was handled.