The people skills we look for in candidates

What qualities will help you thrive in our collaborative culture? It’s all explained here.

With emerging technologies affecting every area of our industry, it’s easy to think that investment banking isn’t about people. But it is – and it always will be.

On any given day at Barclays, you might be introducing yourself to a client over the phone, pitching in to help colleagues meet a tight deadline or working closely with an external regulator to make sure we comply with new laws. And no matter what you’re doing, people skills will help.

What do we mean by people skills? According to the Macmillan Dictionary, they’re ‘the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business.’ The better you can communicate, the more effectively you can promote understanding, collaborate to solve problems and resolve differences, foster mutual trust and respect, encourage creative ideas and get the job done. Communicating effectively, though, involves more than expressing yourself clearly when speaking and writing. It’s vital to be an active listener too, to use the right body language, adapt your tone appropriately – and more.

But people skills aren’t just limited to communication; they also include the ability to build understanding, consensus and relationships using:

  • Empathy
    Able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand things from their point of view? Great. You’re more likely to handle situations positively and get along with those who think differently than you.
  • Team spirit
    When we achieve together, we achieve more. You’re someone who’s always ready to lend a hand, enjoys the camaraderie of cooperation and knows how to encourage others to get involved and play their part too.
  • Assertiveness
    You’re not passive or aggressive. You just know how to make your voice heard in a way others can understand and respect.
  • Critical thinking
    We solve all sorts of complex, often unique, problems for our clients. So the better you are at working things out using reason and experience, rather than just learning information by heart, the more you’ll be able to contribute.
  • Leadership
    You know giving orders doesn’t win hearts and minds. You get others behind you by earning their trust, respect and support.

People skills pay off. The better your relationships, the greater your chances are of convincing people to buy into your point of view. And if people can see you’re loyal, flexible and hardworking, they’re more likely to want you on their team. That means more opportunities to learn, build your network, enjoy new experiences and progress.

There are immediate benefits too. Having the skills to work through issues with others reduces stress and gives you confidence. You’ll know your teammates have your back – just as you’ll have theirs. Strong communication skills will help you make your points clearly. Tolerance will help you understand different personality types. And being open-minded and interested in others will ensure you learn from all the diverse backgrounds you’ll come across here.

Ready to polish up your people skills? Then these tips on how to get your opinions across effectively are a great place to start.