How to master soft skills interviews as a Software Developer
As a Developer, you’re probably frequently swamped with job offers and work opportunities every now and then,
We asked developers in 2021 and they gave it a 7.
There are different reasons for this despite having a lot of open positions out there. Soft skills were rated by hiring managers as the second most challenging aspect when hiring developers.
Traditionally, soft skills weren’t a focus for tech recruiters, but the impact that the developer’s role has in the organization is growing. Soft skills are now critical for developers, and more specifically for professional growth.
Some people have more natural soft skills than others. The good thing is that people can learn and develop them. We consulted the HR Pros in our community and gathered some key points. In this article, we will share a few tricks for mastering soft skills and standing out in future interviews.
7 Soft skills every developer should show during the interview process
Here are the soft skills that our community has considered a must-have.👇
Critical Thinking & Open Mind
Critical thinking is defined as the ability to pause and apply logic to a specific issue. It is a method of learning, proposing solutions to problems, and making decisions.
Being open-minded is a crucial component of critical thinking. Listening to others, influencing team members, and easily reaching agreements with them are all important. Prepare for your interview by identifying situations in which difficult decisions had to be made, and the steps taken to reach them.
It's all about complex problem solving, collaboration, and developing creative solutions.
Developers spend most of their time interacting just with computers. However, what developers build is often linked to the code that others built, and, in some positions, directly with the business and operations themselves. Therefore human interaction is also an important quality in this industry.
It is important for developers to interact with others. Sharing constructive feedback in pool requests, having a session of pair programming when a colleague is stuck, or chatting with the team about what you are working on or the strategy behind it are all excellent examples of how you need to work or collaborate with others.
We recommend team introductory calls in the hiring processes, which allow candidates to meet and interact with their future team. We believe that how the team interacted on a professional and personal level is crucial to understanding the connection and culture.
Communication (verbal and written) has become an even more critical competence for every role with the increase in remote environments. Although development roles often involve working on your own, software development is more than just coding; Communication is vital to managing complex projects. So let us define communication:
It is the ability to express ideas, comments, or opinions clearly on a group level while considering how other coworkers might react or feel about them.
Good communication is key to enabling a clear roadmap and the right solutions to any misalignments or disagreements that may occur, reducing interpersonal friction between coworkers.
When communicating during the hiring process, particularly with non-technical interviewers, it is best to explain technical projects in a simpler and clearer way as they might not be experts in the subject. When speaking with other developers, providing context for projects or situations can help you communicate your experience more effectively.
Nina Bellman, the HR specialist at Alasco, has flagged the importance of this specific skill in our community.
The motivation for a job position starts with the motivation that a candidate shows when doing the interviewing process, and the motivation this person shows about this new position;
Why did they answer me?
What is important to them in a new job?
What did they like about the work culture at their previous employers the most?…etc
All of these things pique my interest. So, what makes the person tick, where do they want to go, and how can I assist them in achieving their goals here at Alasco?
I believe it is important that the candidate is motivated and passionate about what they do because this affects their work, and you see that in the code! "I'd like to see some passion for what the person is doing."
We fully agree with Nina that technical skills will be tested following the interviewing process with the support of the tech team, but the candidate's motivation will be a game-changer, usually in the first contact with the company through the HR team.
Go for new opportunities that you are passionate about since only these new adventures will keep you motivated at all times. Even if you are good at motivating yourself, working for a company and projects that make you thrive will make everything easier.
It is natural to be interested in a company because of some of its conditions, such as salary or remote policy. When asked about your motivation for joining, keep in mind that the company is looking for candidates who have stronger reasons to join; the conditions alone are not enough.
Consider it like a clock: the software team is the mechanism right at the centre of all the clockwork machinery. A lot of pieces in the company are closely connected with development, and if that doesn't work at the right tempo, all the other pieces will simply not work.
Developers should be able to anticipate the amount of time that any specific task will take for them individually and the team to deliver. Helping to prevent the clock from stopping avoids bottlenecks and friction.
Thinking of examples of situations where you did not meet the deadlines with a proper rationale (and what you learned from it) is important for interviews. When speaking about self-organization or timelines, share the tools that help you with time management (e.g., Clockwise, Eesel, Pomodoro).
Making mistakes and failing are natural parts of any process. We generally fail, but in the end, it's all about how we build on it and learn from it.
You should never be afraid of admitting that you have previously failed. If you're asked about mistakes, elaborate on the lesson and explain how you're paying closer attention now.
It is important that you share relevant failure examples; this will demonstrate that the work you are doing is important and has a real impact on the company for which you work. It is also always preferable not to blame other teammates or teams.
So in the end shit happens anyways, and we need to own it.
On the other hand, If you are interviewing for a manager or leader position, make sure you have real examples of how you created an environment in which mistakes were accepted and you encourage your team to speak up.
Aranzazu Botto, People Developer at Prestalo, highlights the importance of the candidates being able to face challenges and adapt to new situations or changes.
... we ask if the candidate is open to learning or trying new things (this is a really good predictor of adaptability to a fast-paced team for us)."
So adaptability means two things in this context:
First, how you react and adapt to the new changes.
Startups and even large tech corporations have ongoing changes, because of the velocity of the industry. It is crucial for every developer to be able to adapt to it.
Second, how you learn new things to keep developing yourself.
It requires staying up to date on new languages, frameworks, techniques, or processes that may be valuable to learn. It requires time to study and master them but understanding the technologies available leads to better decisions and outcomes.
Reflect on recent changes that occurred to you and how you adapted. Identify what you do in your day-to-day to keep up with the new trends, documentation, and practices.