You’ve gone through the job requirements line by line and put a big green check mark next to them. You’ve got all the right skills but can’t figure out why you didn’t land the job.
Chances are it may have something to do with a lack of interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are soft skills such as active listening, teamwork, patience, and empathy. With computers and automation doing many of our job-related tasks, we tend to interact with people less and rely on technology more. Through this shift, we have lost our interpersonal finesse.
As employers offer more remote work options, turn to agile workspaces, and incorporate more collaborative project tools, they want employees who can work well with others and be good communicators.
Fortunately, just like any technical task, you can brush up on these skills and learn how to become an interpersonal pro. The easiest way to improve actually starts outside of work.
Engage more, call instead of text, make eye contact, be a better listener, and practice patience with your family and friends. Once you have practiced these skills, consider going a step further:
- Attend a workshop or virtual class to help with your public speaking and interpersonal engagement. Consider these classes a no judgement zone and remember that others are there to improve their skills as well. No one is expected to be perfect!
- Build relationships. Look for networking opportunities or even social groups where you can mix it up with others.
- Think about ways you interact with others and how you could improve. Consider asking for some feedback as to how you handled an interaction. You can even seek a mentor and engage in role playing situations and interview scenarios.
- Learn by example – watch others and see how they approach a task or think about what they did during an interaction that you appreciated.
Just like your resume and interviews are filled with the things you’re proficient in, be sure to include your soft skills too.
On your resume, highlight that you’re an effective team player, a great communicator, and an innovative project manager.
Be prepared to give examples of how you contributed to the team with these skills in your interview.
Being great at what you do from a technical and interpersonal perspective makes you a much more valued employee and will likely give you greater job satisfaction.