What the heck are ‘People Skills’?

Written by Deanna Hunter

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I hate when people tell me that they have great ‘people skills’ in an interview.  I don’t know what the heck that means and when I ask them what it means, more often than not they can’t really describe it to me.  Drives me crazy!

As a recruiter, and business owner, my goal is to hire the best person for the job every time.  Every job and every team is different so I spend a lot of time defining very clearly what skills, abilities and knowledge the person I want on the team must have….and ‘people skills’ as a ridiculously broad category, is not one of them!

Sometimes I need someone who can show high empathy.  Sometimes I need someone that has strong influence and persuasion skills.  Often it’s a person with diplomacy or tact.  Sometimes I need someone who can be straightforward.   The list goes on and on.  But I NEVER need someone with just plain old  ‘people skills’.

So when you tell me you have great ‘people skills’ in an interview, you better be able to tell me exactly what those people skills are and how they will be an advantage to you in the job you are vying for.

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