What makes you a good employee?
It would be your ability to put out fires and ensure a positive work environment, along with your skills, of course.
Now, what are interpersonal skills?
Interpersonal skills is an umbrella term for several qualities or soft skills that guarantee effective communication, coordination, and understanding. All of these skills are what individuals, even outside of workplaces, use while talking to others.
Speaking of within a workplace, you could have all the skills in the world suited to your job, but if you are a dud in the interpersonal skills area, you will be unpopular. You must ensure that you develop your list of interpersonal skills through efficient interaction with coworkers.
Contrary to what you may think, 97% of employers think that strong interpersonal skills are either as important or more important than hard skills for a job.
Here are a few questions related to interpersonal skills that you might be interested in:
- How do I utilize interpersonal skills at work?
- What are good examples of interpersonal skills?
- Should I include interpersonal skills in my resume?
To prepare your resumes, cover letters and perfect your job interview answers, you can visit Hiration's career service platform and bring your list of soft skills to the forefront!
Why are Interpersonal Skills Important?
The chances are that you are not getting employed to be an all-encompassing contributor who does not have to mingle with anyone else. The importance of interpersonal skills is greater as coordinating with your coworkers and strategizing is a crucial part of any job.
If you ask us to define interpersonal skills, it could be understanding fellow employees’ predicaments, assisting them with tasks, co-performing projects, brainstorming, and even asking for help. These qualities can be considered part of good interpersonal skills that enhance workplace performance.
Even if you have the hard skills to drive company success, you may not do other tasks that do not involve hard skills. When that happens, the only thing you can do is collaborate with your coworkers.
Employees with good interpersonal skills are often better at troubleshooting, managing conflicts, getting work done at healthy time frames, and ensuring a positive work environment.
Such people are also more trustworthy and deemed dependable by coworkers and employers alike. Such is the importance of interpersonal skills that define your success.
Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace
Unlike hard skills, interpersonal skills are those that you can transfer between employment opportunities. They are crucial to get better opportunities, and you can only build them with time and practice.
Such strong interpersonal skills will help you manage tasks efficiently and contribute to a positive work environment.
Here are some types of interpersonal skills examples and their value in a workplace:
1. Conflict Resolution
In a workplace, it is almost impossible to keep conflicts at bay. An entire team collaborating to do a project, there are bound to be mistakes and misunderstandings.
Your skill in conflict resolutions will facilitate better comprehension of the predicament of all parties. Hence, you will be capable of resolving such conflicts and avoiding future mishaps. In addition to that, this skill will help you make better judgments and manage yourself better when coordinating with others.
2. Decision Making
It can be challenging to land on the right decision when presented with several options of the same magnitude. You would have to weigh the pros and cons while making sure that you are considering different variables.
To take the right one, you would have to understand the ramifications of each option and assess the work environment and the benefits of each option. Doing so takes a lot of skills such as problem analysis, listening, information gathering, conceptual skills, etc.
As it is one of the most revered skills in a workplace, it is crucial to practice it so you make better decisions in shorter periods.
3. Leadership and Teamwork
Being a team player or having interpersonal leadership skills means much more than just being part of a team and doing your bit. It means strategizing with your teammates and building off of each others’ ideas, and being attentive to opinions from them.
Not only is it requisite for employees to be good team players, but unavoidable since most tasks involve teamwork.
When it comes to leading teams, you must be a great listener and be capable of resolving confusion and conflicts. Additionally, you must be a great judge of character and assign tasks according to everyone’s strengths with such interpersonal relationship skills.
4. Active Listening
Yes, there are two kinds of listening.
Active listening is when you are attentive, with both mind and body language, to the speaker. You are receptive to what they are saying and are willing to ask questions and communicate on the matter.
On the other hand, passive listening is when you can hear what the speaker is saying, but you are not receptive, and hence not much registers in your brain, like white noise.
Such a strong interpersonal skills list will be handy in meetings and conferences where active listeners are much more suited to be engaging as attendees as they are quick to understand situations and ask questions.
Find out more: **List Your Active Listening Skills on Resumes **
If you feel like you do not get good opportunities, it could either be that you don't possess the skills yet or that you are not perceived to be responsible enough.
You might want to prove that you have the expertise of undertaking critical tasks. The easiest way to do so is by getting on the ground and helping out coworkers with their problems or requesting your manager that you be assigned a few high-stakes projects.
Make sure that you are attentive to guidelines, ask enough questions, and get them done within stipulated timelines. Only then will you get more opportunities in the future.
One of the most valued skills, interpersonal communication skills means articulating your thoughts and ideas correctly so that others understand you. It is of particular importance in a workplace, where you would have to express your ideas or findings to a group of people who may not have the same perspective as you.
Communication skills in other aspects mean that you are open with your opinions and you avoid misunderstandings and subsequent conflicts by being clear about what you mean.
Also read: What Skills to Put on a Resume
Interpersonal Skills in Job Hunting
Currently, soft skills are in great demand for any job as the number of employees has increased and there is about 50% more collaborative work in jobs.
As with targeting hard skills, you must gauge what kind of interpersonal skills the employers are looking for in their employees. You cannot just assume that the hiring managers will take a guess based on your demeanor, but you will have to lay it out to them.
Evaluate Job Description
The job title itself takes half the guesswork away. If you are applying for junior positions, your list of soft skills would be teamwork, active listening, dependability, etc.
However, if you are targeting senior positions, you would have to highlight skills like leadership, conflict resolution, decision making, and so on.
Aside from that, you can scan the job description and find out what skills they are looking for in an employee. You can add those skills accordingly in your resume, cover letter, and interview answers.
Interpersonal Skills to List on Resume
Resumes are succinct and relevant documentation of your professional history that employers scan to receive context on your candidacy. One thing you need to know is that any job application gets hundreds of resumes with the same skill set.
What you can do to set yourself apart is show that you are a reliable employee with a track record of ensuring harmonious work relationships and boosting productivity. In short, let your list of interpersonal skills rescue you.
You can include your list of soft skills in resume sections like:
- Professional Experience
- Volunteer Experience/ Community Involvement (optional)
If you have considerable experience in the field, you can exclude additional sections for volunteer experience. As a fresher, you can include campus involvement experiences in addition to community involvement if you were wondering about what skills to put on resumes.
Here are some strong interpersonal skills to list on resumes:
- Coordinated with marketing and product development teams to drive demographic-specific product marketing strategies
- Led a team of 10 to ideate business growth opportunities by forecasting financial needs
- Collaborated with ~3 junior designers to develop creatives for ~4 high-profile projects
The key is to use the necessary action words at the beginning of your one-liners to strongly deliver the message and thereby include your interpersonal skills on resumes.
Also read: List of Resume Action Words and Power Verbs
Interpersonal Skills in Cover Letter
Cover letters can be a great way to extrapolate your soft skills. Without bringing too much attention to it, you can easily squeeze in good interpersonal skills while describing your potential or work experience.
Here are some of the ways you can do that:
- At my previous stint as a Software Developer at Blitz Technologies, I trained 5 interns to develop intuitive applications for clients within stipulated timelines.
- I also worked as an Administrative Assistant at Foreo Services, where I coordinated with team members to ensure timely delivery of projects and maximum efficiency.
Improve Interpersonal Skills
Even though interpersonal skills are not hard skills that you can perfect, you can significantly develop them through practice. It might not be as linear as studying a hard skill since interpersonal skills are more like qualities that you must be aware of through your interactions with other people.
Here are some steps you can take to develop your interpersonal skills:
Identify Weak Points
There is no cure without diagnosis, and in many ways it’s the same with improving your interpersonal skills. To properly upgrade your skills, you have to review your behavior while interacting with other people or in general situations, and see where you could contribute better.
Maybe you find it difficult to interact with your seniors, and you have a hard time getting your ideas across. The clear takeaway would be that you have issues with communication, which is a necessary skill in any workplace.
You could either go over your interactions and daily work life, or ask your trusted people to provide their constructive feedback. Either way, the goal is to identify where you might be lacking.
If you want to have a guided journey into perfecting your interpersonal skills, you should definitely rely on workshops and seminars. Other than TED Talks, you should consider investing in figures who are maybe trained or expert in the subject matter.
Joining workshops can be a great way to not only theoretically learn how interactions must be, but practice it right away and receive instant feedback. A workshop is guaranteed to drastically improve your soft skills, and all you would have to do is apply them in your workplace.
Say you feel like you’re the only employee lacking in soft skills, or you feel that you are the awkward coworker that has nothing to offer. In all likeliness, that is false. However, most people do face the trouble of having great revolutionary ideas but lacking the skills to express them.
In which case, the best would be to observe the coworkers that you think are great at the skills you lack. Analyze their interactions, how they respond, the way their replies are received, and many more. Doing so will help you build your skill in a way that’s proven to succeed.
Knowing where you lack but not knowing how to improve it can be testing. If you feel helpless and not know your next step, a thorough practical course from someone you trust, either a coworker or a senior will thoroughly help you.
During the course of your mentorship, you can turn to them any time you feel stuck or review your interactions to get an expert opinion. Doing so can help you improve the dynamics with coworkers and seniors in your workplace.
Join Social Groups
The easiest way to have a stress-free learning experience is to join a social group where everyone is on the same page. Even though you will have a fair outline of how you must interact, it will be easy-going and open to learning curves.
Aside from the learning aspect, you can also foster a community with your class and empower one another to succeed, which is guaranteed to make your learning easier.
Interact with Individuals
The final step of your journey to improve your soft skills is to put it in action. After amassing all the knowledge, it is time to bring your enhanced skills to the table and in turn, enhance the quality of your workplace experiences.
While you practice, you will keep learning about ways to improve, and it will keep going no matter how old you are. The key is to get the ball rolling and be open to improvement.
Interview Questions Related to Interpersonal Skills
Around 97% of employers consider soft skills to be mandatory in a workplace. When we take into consideration how soft skills indirectly improve soft skills, it is of no surprise.
So, recruiters will ask you several questions to try and understand how you function in work environments. It will help them gain a deeper understanding of your work ethic and will decide if you get the job or not.
You must have heard questions that probe your problem-solving skills, similarly questions will arise that probe your communication and interpersonal skills. Recruiters want to know how you work in a team, how good you are with people, and how well you can communicate.
Here are a few ways in which you can integrate your interpersonal skills in interview answers:
- Can you share a situation where you had to overcome a difficult task?
Such a question is usually to probe how you respond in crisis and whether you communicate your requirements. You must have had challenging or defining experiences in your career, elaborate on them!
The key here is to make sure that you portray your soft skills and not just talk about your hard skills, because the intention is to understand your work style.
- Can you elaborate on moments where you had to help other people?
You can talk about situations where you had to offer your hard or soft skills to facilitate others' tasks. Recruiters might evaluate your interpersonal skills by observing the nature of your interactions. You can also talk about teamwork experiences where you had to work alongside other employees.
If you do not have any experience helping your coworkers, it might be an issue. However, if you are an intern, you can elaborate on how you helped other interns or carried out your tasks effectively.
- Do you have any team leading experience?
The main points to cover here is name of the project, nature of the project, and size of the team. You might have such information on your resume, but you can delve in deep and elaborate on all the setbacks.
Doing so will help you express your problem-solving and communication skills that are necessary to handle a team. You can talk about how you interacted with the team members and ways in which you developed their skills.
- Did you ever have to lead or manage a project?
You can talk about how you managed your coworkers and communicated with the management. Along with that, you can include how you manage timelines and submit deliverables. While answering the question, make sure you include soft skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, etc.
If you do not have experience in this arena, you can always just talk about your teamwork experience. However, you can evaluate your work experience and see if you have any moments wherein you had to manage or co-manage a project for even a short bit of time.
Aside from the hard skills that you would need to ace your job, soft skills or interpersonal skills make sure that you perform them efficiently. By focusing on these skills and growing them, you can warrant a meteoric rise in the mutual growth of your profession and personality.
Here is what you can take away from this guide:
- Employers value interpersonal skills and will assess your acquaintance with them by scanning your documents or your interviews.
- Depending on the job title, you can target specific interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution or decision-making to maximize the legitimacy of your candidacy.
- By including power verbs like Liaised, Coordinated, Collaborated, Led, you are making sure that recruiters know you have a firm grip on your soft skills.
For any queries, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get back to you asap! You can also check out Hiration's all-encompassing career service platform with 24/7 chat support to solve all your job hunting needs.
We are as dedicated as you are!