Talking About your Skills and Qualities

To make a good impression at interview, you need to describe situations that showcase your:

  • Work-specific / technical skills
  • Employability / transferable skills

So as part of your job search strategy you need to analyse your skills and how they relate to skills employers seek for, evaluate:

  • personal qualities
  • skills developed through study
  • skills developed at work
  • skills developed outside work.

Personal qualities

Attributes such as patience, initiative and empathy are relevant to the type of work that are likely to suit you. The better your level of self-awareness, the more likely you are to find a role that suits you. Your personality affects your way of working and the way you respond to situations.

Think about your behaviour, emotions and reactions. Check with people close to you; they may be able to help you identify strengths and qualities that you haven’t considered.

Skills developed through study

These have a positive influence on your family, work and social roles and on your potential to do a job. There’s a lot to be gained from reflecting on your skills and qualities and considering how these can be used to enhance your career and personal development.

At college you develop a wide range of skills, such as commitment, self-motivation and confidence, all of which are highly valued by employers and are relevant if you’re seeking work, or in work and want to develop or change your career.

Skills developed at work

Think about the skills that are essential for work, such as communication skills and effective time management. Your capabilities in these areas can help you make the most of opportunities at work.

Skills developed outside work

You have valuable knowledge, understanding and skills from all your varied experiences, and this includes through extracurricular learning, training courses, hobbies, interests and voluntary work. If you haven't been in formal employment for a while, think about the other skills you've developed.

Identify and practise describing work-specific and employability skills so you are well prepared to answer interview questions about your ability to do the job. Plan and prepare interview responses that are robust, concise and positive to tell potential employers why you will be a good fit, and why your experience makes you the best candidate for the role.

Posted: Thursday 6 September 2018

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