Ask Executive Job Candidates These Soft Skill Interview Questions

When hiring a new executive, you have a lot of ground to cover in an interview. Along with learning about the candidate’s experience and job history, you’ll want to feel out whether they seem like a “people person,” have strong leadership capabilities, can listen attentively, and more.

These talents are called soft skills because they are not easily qualifiable. According to The Balance, soft skills are “the personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace.” They can include things like:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Storytelling
  • Critical thinking
  • Resourcefulness
  • Willingness to learn
  • Decision-making
  • Management and leadership
  • Conflict resolution
  • Enthusiasm
  • Motivation
  • Organization

The soft skills that matter most differ from one organization to another. There are so many qualities to look out for, but by being strategic in your questions, you can make it easier to identify the ideal candidate for your open position.


The ten questions below each correlate to a certain soft skill. You can tailor each question to tell you about the soft skills you’re looking for. (Keep in mind that how a candidate answers each question can give you insight to one soft skill: storytelling.)

  1. When was the last time you disagreed with a coworker, and how did you handle it? (Conflict resolution)
  2. Give an example of a time you had to think outside of the box to solve a problem. (Creativity)
  3. What kinds of management responsibilities did you have in your last role, and what did you do to perform well? (Leadership)
  4. Describe how you manage your workload during extremely busy times. (Organization)
  5. What types of ongoing projects were you responsible for in your last role? (Multitasking)
  6. How would you approach a project you’ve never done before? (Planning)
  7. What’s important to you outside of the office? (Work-life balance)
  8. How do you know if you’ve done a good job on a project? (Results-oriented)
  9. What’s something you’re not great at? (Self-awareness)
  10. When was the last time you learned something new? (Trainable)


Great interview questions aren’t going to get you very far if you’re not interviewing outstanding candidates. An executive recruiter can help you identify and speak with the top executives in the available talent pool. To discuss your hiring goals, contact us today.

Posted in

Relate Topics


Speak to an Expert