By Allie Kelly 

Traditional interview questions often focus too much on experience. Interviewers ask candidates if they possess certain skills or how they’ve used those skills in the past. Those are helpful and necessary questions, but they don’t provide a complete picture of candidates –  especially of their soft skills.

In fact, the focus on soft skills has been pushed to the forefront lately. Even investment giant, Mark Cuban, has recently expressed their importance when determining whether or not a candidate can create a lasting career. A thorough interview should assess the candidate’s hard skills (such as computer coding or writing proficiency), as well as his or her soft skills (like emotional intelligence, adaptability, and ability to communicate effectively). Assessing both sets of skills will help interviewers gain the most insight from their future interviews.

Use the power of three

Sometimes, it takes more than one person to completely assess a candidate. That’s why Monster recommends taking a team approach to the hiring process. Essentially, there should be three main stakeholders in the interview: an advocate for the company; a technical expert; and a peer.

The technical expert, who is often a manager, can assess the candidate for hard skills, while the peer (someone in the same or similar position) can assess for soft skills. Meanwhile, the company advocate is there to answer questions posed by the candidate and talk about the benefits of working for the organization.

This three-pronged approach ensures that the hiring team covers all bases, increasing the chances that the final hire will be a well-rounded professional who can bring real value to the team and to the company.

Ask candidates to self-assess

Asking candidates to self-assess can be a challenge for them because they tend to try to impress the interviewer. No one wants to kill their own chances of securing a job by downplaying their soft skills.

To circumvent this issue, LinkedIn Talent Blog contributor, John Sullivan, recommendsasking candidates to rank their soft skills. Ranking forces candidates to reveal which soft skill they believe is their strongest. Then, the interviewer can evaluate that skill, along with the hard skills, to determine which candidate will make the best hire.

Try personality tests

Personality tests are not an exact science, but they can be a helpful tool for interviewers. Personality tests allow hiring managers to get a closer look at how candidates might react in certain job-specific situations. HR should always be in charge of administering these kinds of tests to ensure full compliance with all hiring laws.

Align candidates with company culture

Your employees shape your company culture, but the opposite is also true. There is a give-and-take between individual influence and collective appeal. A managed culture promotes good habits, teamwork, and accountability. Hiring managers should consider giving candidates an office tour to see how they interact with the culture.

To summarize, hiring managers should consider:

  • involving more stakeholders in the interview process.

  • asking candidates to assess their own skills.

  • implementing personality tests.

  • using company culture as a hiring tool.

Sourcing candidates in a tight job market can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. Recruitment software such as JazzHR streamlines processes, automates time-consuming tasks, and frees up HR personnel to spend more time building relationships with candidates.


Allie Kelly is the vice president of marketing at JazzHR (, where they’re on a mission to make recruiting and hiring easy, effective, and scalable no matter what growth looks like at your company. The Jazz Performer Platform doesn’t just help your company grow, it can help your recruiting process grow up, putting you on the path to hiring “Performers Only.”

About The Protocall Group

Established in 1965, The Protocall Group is a full service recruitment and staffing firm. As a full-service, family-owned and operated business, it has led regional industry in the Greater Philadelphia area and southern New Jersey to much acclaim. Recognized by NJ Biz, South Jersey Biz, and the Best Companies Groups as among the Best Places to Work, Protocall’s expert professionals connect exceptional associates with their client companies across Light Industrial, Healthcare and Professional industries.