When an interviewer asks about your skills and experience, it can be confusing exactly how to answer.
Beyond making sure your professional presentation is air-tight, what exactly is your interviewer looking for? Surely, they're not looking for you to repeat the information listed on your resume. So,what skills are they trying to see if you have?
Hard skills are typically what people think of when they think of “ professional skills”. Hard skills are quickly and easily measured. People usually learn hard skills in school, or during an apprenticeship.
As a result, these are often thought of as technical skills. Some examples might be word processing, HTML coding, electrical circuitry, etc.
Well-rounded candidates will be proficient in both hard and soft skills
Soft skills, on the other hand, are better thought of as “life skills”. These skills are not easily (if ever) mastered; you are continually learning and building upon your soft skills as you go through life.
Soft skills include things like, empathy, communication, time management, ethics, etc.
A Well-Rounded Skill Set
If you're still not sure if something is a hard skill or a soft skill, try to think of it this way: Hard skills are the tools we use to apply our soft skills. For example, we use PowerPoint to help us effectively communicate our message with large groups of people.
Because of the intertwined nature between hard and soft skills, well-rounded candidates will possess proficiency in both areas. As such, employers will look for candidates who can provide detail on how they have used their hard and soft skills together throughout their careers.