4 Essential Life Skills Every Candidate Must Have

4 Essential Life Skills Every Candidate Must Have

Soft skills and technical skills are very important, but what about life skills?

While a bachelor’s degree and decades of experience will certainly help a candidate, having zero life skills can have serious implications on the business.

For instance, a taxi driver without a driving license is going to put a spanner in the works!

When you hire a candidate with ample life skills, you’ll be getting a well-rounded individual who can offer more than just work-related experience.

They know the value of life and have lived outside of the 9-5 work environment.

As a business, when you’re hiring a candidate, there are certain life skills you should be looking for.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What are life skills?

Life skills are necessary or desirable abilities that enable a person to participate in everyday life.

Without them, a candidate would struggle to complete any normal day-to-day tasks required at work.

Depending on what industry and job you’re advertising for, there are more important types of life skills.

For example, a driving license isn’t always necessary if you’re recruiting for an office job in the city centre. However, for a career in logistics, it’s imperative.

Before you conduct the interview, you should make a list of all of the life skills that are desirable and necessary.

Here are four examples of the latter to give you a good starting point.

Being organised

No matter what industry you’re in, being organised is always necessary.

A candidate who can effectively manage their workload can help them deal with pressured situations involving deadlines, budgets and utilising their time.

To assess their organisational skills, try asking them the following interview questions:

  • Would you say that you’re an organised person?
  • Have you ever dealt with money and budgets in any of your previous roles?
  • How do you manage tight deadlines and big workloads?

Being resilient

At some point in a candidate’s career, they’ll have to tackle a challenging scenario.

Whether it involves an irate customer or facing up to a mistake they’ve made, being resilient is about learning from the situation and embracing any feedback.

When you find a candidate who can handle moments of hardship, you know that you’re dealing with a strong-minded and resilient individual.

The best way to uncover resilience skills is to ask them for any examples of challenging times or low points in their career.

Do they pretend like it never happened or pass the blame? Or do they acknowledge their mistakes and tell you how they learnt from it?  

The key to resilience is to feel more, not less.

Every candidate will have this life skill, but not many know how to use it within the workplace.

Find someone who does and they’ll help your business grow.

Being able to communicate

The next necessary life skill is the art of communication.

If a candidate doesn’t know how to effectively talk, interact or empathise with both colleagues and clients, it can hamper the way your business operates and how it’s perceived as a brand.

For instance, if an employee is rude or unhelpful to a customer, they won’t return.

Or if they’re very egotistical and unable to accept any other opinions from colleagues, they can ruin your company culture.

To test this particular life skill, ask them:

“Have you ever disagreed with your manager, colleague or client? How did you deal with it?”

This interview question will test a candidate’s ability to handle a different opinion and how they dealt with it.

Does their answer showcase empathy and respect? Were they willing to compromise?

If they deflect the blame and refuse to take responsibility for how things turned out, it’s a tell-tale sign that the candidate is going to be hard to work with.

Being inquisitive

The final life skill to look out for is those who are naturally inquisitive.

No longer is “know-how” the be-all and end-all.

Instead, “learn how” is now an essential life skill.

You see, when you hire a candidate who thinks they know everything, they become hard to manage and frustrating to work with.

The best innovators and problem-solvers are those who want to ask questions and continue growing as people.

Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia demonstrated this when they couldn’t afford to pay their rent.

They wondered how they could utilise the extra space in their flat to lodge tourists to fund this issue.

Finding the solution resulted in the founding of Airbnb!

The best way to identify the inquisitive “learn how” candidates is to simply listen to what types of questions they ask during the interview.

Are they interested in finding out more about the job and the challenges they’ll face?

Enjoyed reading this?

If you liked this blog about essential life skills, then you’ll find some value in these other blogs on assessing candidates:  

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