The importance of soft skills
Recently, our COO, Steve Sydee, was interviewed about how to become a high valued Dynamics professional for a very insightful article published by MSDynamicsWorld.com. Many of our clients agree that certification, experience, and vertical knowledge are important, but one of the other key areas that they focus during an interview are the soft skills of the consultants they hire.
Here are some key ways to demonstrate your soft skills during an interview:
- Make sure you go prepared – it sounds obvious, but too many consultants don’t do it: research the company, their website, latest blog articles, client case studies, Linked In, exec team, etc.. Even if you are applying for a short-term project, the interviewer will expect the same level of preparation as they might consider extending the engagement if they really like you.
- Write down many questions, listen carefully and take note of the answers. So few consultants do this during an interview that clients like this as it shows professionalism. They would expect you to do the same on the client site when interacting with end-users.
2. Communication skills/ability to interact
- Be very honest. Don’t be afraid of saying “Sorry, no” or “I don’t know” when asked about areas that are not familiar to you or skills you don’t possess. All companies are looking for consultants who are upfront and trustworthy; don’t try to create a false impression just to get the project as it can backfire.
- After the interview, do follow up with the client via email or phone and provide any additional information, if requested. The client will be keen to find out more about your verbal and written communication skills.
- Send/provide some references from previous projects. Make sure they refer to your communication skills, not just technical experience.
3. Ability to challenge/question the scope of the project
- Do ask what the scope of the project is and try to understand the business reasons behind it.
- If there are things that are unclear or don’t make sense, do enquire why the client/partner plan to resolve it in that way, and if they have considered alternatives. The ability to challenge is a key differentiator for a highly skilled contractor.
While technical skills are very important, the soft skills often win you the project. We hope this article will help you prepare for your next interview.
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