interview questions for interpersonal questions
Soft skills are just as important as technical skills

Examples of Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions

Interpersonal skills are vital for creating a positive work environment

Qualifications, experience and ability are all vital in a potential employee – but there’s more to it than simply finding out whether a person will be able to deliver on the tasks you require of them.

Interpersonal skills, or soft skills, cannot be overlooked – they’re a key indicator of how someone will fit in with your team, how they will interact with other people, be instrumental in solving problems’ and how they will communicate with managers and/or those they manage in the way you need them to.

Interpersonal skills include active listening, emotional intelligence and communication skills. In most jobs, communication between colleagues, departments and managerial levels is necessary. Someone who is ready and willing to not just communicate but to see the bigger picture, remain engaged and work with others is a true asset.

So, when you’re looking to recruit, what are interpersonal skills interview questions you should be asking? The important thing is to ask for specific examples – any candidate will tell you that they are great at working with others. That’s not enough, try to find out how, when and in what way your interviewee put their interpersonal skills to good use.

Below are some key areas to work on and sample questions for each. But it is important to delve deeper to ensure that you find the right people for your organisation, so there is also some advice on how to guide the discussion from the first question to find out more.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Question – Give an example of a successful team project you’ve been involved in and how you contributed to the team’s success.

Here, you should be looking for the candidate to explain their role in the project and what they did to help make it a success. Ask for examples of how they approach working with colleagues who have different approaches to projects or who work in different areas of the business.

Communication

Question – When you have had to communicate complex information to a team or to those outside your field of expertise, what approach do you take?

Ask about how they ensured what they were communicating was clear and easy to understand. What approach would they take if someone didn’t understand at first? How would they deal with those who didn’t agree with the information you were giving them. How did they handle the issues that arose from disagreements? How would they make sure everyone’s opinions are heard and taken into account?

Leadership

Question – When you have taken leadership of a project or team, what was your approach?

Find out about how they see themselves as a leader and how they would motivate a team. Ask how they would address any challenges that suddenly presented themselves, or if a member of the team was not being cooperative or didn’t seem fully invested in a successful outcome.

Time Management

Question – What, if any, time management methods do you use and how do you organise a project so that everyone knows deadlines and meets them?

This is a good opportunity to find out about how organised the candidate is – have they used project management or time management software, like Monday.com, to ensure a project is delivered on time. If they are part of a team, what approaches do they use for managing their own time so that they deliver when they need to? Ask how flexible they have been in the past when issues occur, and things need to be reorganised.

Problem Solving

Question – Provide an example of a challenging problem you’ve had to face at work and how you approached it.

This could be something that involves leading a team or working with others to solve an issue. When have they identified a problem and set about preventing it becoming an issue? Was that solution collaborative? Have they worked on problems that are not directly their responsibility, but where working together helped the project as a whole?

Enthusiasm and Motivation

Question – What motivates you in your job and how do you stay positive during challenging times?

On a positive note, this is a chance to ask for an example of a project the candidate was passionate about and how the enthusiasm they brought to it helped make it a success. Similarly, not all experiences are positive, so maybe ask about a situation where a difficult team member became an issue and how the candidate handled the situation and resolved any conflict or lack of motivation.

Self-Awareness

Question – What feedback have you received in the past from employers, colleagues or clients about the way you work?

Encourage the interviewee to give examples of areas they have struggled with and to explain how they learned from them and implemented changes. Make it clear that admitting to mistakes in the past is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as they can demonstrate that they learned from the outcomes and took criticism on board to improve.

Soft skills are vital for creating a positive work environment, one where communication is key, and collaboration delivers the best outcomes. Employees with both technical skills and good interpersonal skills are far more likely to achieve success in their roles.

This is a very detailed guide, and an interviewer will need to pick and choose areas to focus on, depending on the role and the candidate. For more guidance on interview questions for interpersonal skills during the recruitment process, speak to the team at ACS Staffing Solutions on 01604 704058 or contact us online.

Chris Wright
March 19, 2024
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