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I know soft-skills are interpersonal skills, but is there a contorted definition of the word so that includes technical skills?

Let say you are interviewing for the position of a mechanic and you clear a technical interview round and the next round you are told that it is soft skills.. But they ask you about how to operate a fork lift. As a mechanic you might not require to use a fork lift every day, but it is an auxiliary skill. Soft skills also tend to be in the auxiliary skills domain.

Would soft-skills include lesser used technical skills that are auxiliary to the job?

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  • A hard skill there would be operating the forklift, a soft skill would be knowing how to interact well with fellow workers.
    – Lambie
    Jun 8, 2018 at 15:00

2 Answers 2

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Soft skills generally mean skills in dealing with people, things like customer service and communication, and employers can extend this to mean things like being presentable, polite, hygenic, etc.

Would soft-skills include lesser used technical skills that are auxiliary to the job?

No - anything technical is not a soft skill - though communicating or presenting about technical topics would be.

You might be thinking that something like "basic computer knowledge" is a soft skill - no, that's a "basic skill."

Soft skill is not strictly synonymous with auxilliary skill in the manner you're using it, and it's possible a company, etc. may need soft skills to the point where they do not consider it an auxillary skill - e.g. soft skills will be primary for a technical salesperson.

It's possible you may encounter someone who doesn't value "soft skills" and therefore uses the term to lump low-level or menial things together, including non-personal skills. They're using the term incorrectly.

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On this site we can tell you what people usually mean when they use the term "soft skills". However, we cannot guarantee that a particular interviewer will not include some technical questions during a soft skills interview.

There could be many reasons for this happening.e.g.

  • it may be that the interviewer failed to ask some questions during the earlier technical interview, so they included them in the later soft skills interview,

  • it may be (as @LawrenceC) suggests) that the interviewer does not place a high value on soft skills, particularly for a technical position,

  • it may be that, after the technical interview was finished, it was realised that it would be useful if the new recruit knew how to drive a fork lift.

Anyway, to answer your question:

Would soft-skills include lesser used technical skills that are auxiliary to the job?

No. Technical skills and soft skills are completely different. However, when you are being interviewed for a job, you often have to expect the unexpected.

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