Excellent communication skills are essential for workplace success. If you've landed an interview, expect to be asked interview questions about how you communicate, and to have your ability to communicate in the workplace tested and evaluated. Regardless of the role, employers seek employees who can get along with others and who can communicate well both verbally and non-verbally.
When you interview for a job, the hiring manager will ask about communication skills, including how you address issues, how you handle challenging situations, what you expect as far as communication from management, and other questions related to your ability to communicate.
What the interviewer will be looking for ...
In addition to the responses you give, your ability to communicate will be evaluated. What are your verbal and nonverbal communication skills like ? How well do you explain your answers ? How articulate are you ? Do you listen carefully to what the interviewers are saying, or do you interrupt and try to dominate the conversation ? Do you look your interviewers in the eye when you speak to them ? What does your body language say about you ?
When interviewers ask their questions, they do so not only to gain information from you but to see how exactly you communicate through verbal tone and nonverbal expression.
Here are some of the top communication skills the hiring manager will be evaluating:
Friendliness (are you easy to talk to ?)
Nonverbal communication (do you appear to be stressed or uncomfortable ?)
How clear and concise your responses are
How to Prepare to Respond to Questions
Interviewing can be challenging even for the best communicator. Responding effectively means achieving a balance between listening to what the interviewer is asking, and providing a well thought out response to questions.
If you need to brush up on your interviewing skills, take the time to practice. The more comfortable you are in the role of an interviewee, the easier it will be showcase how well you can communicate. Practice interviewing with a friend or family member, or even by yourself in front of a mirror. Even though it's not a "real" interview, you'll be able to consider, in advance, how you will respond and how you will connect with your interviewer.
Communication Interview Questions
Preparing in advance by reviewing these interview questions and examples of the best answers about communication will help you get ready to respond to these common communications-related job interview questions.
- How would you describe yourself ?
- What major challenge and problem have you faced ? How did you handle / overcome them ?
- What have you learned from your mistakes ?
- How do you handle stress and pressure ?
- What do people most often criticize about you ?
- Do you prefer to work independently or on a team ?
- Give some examples of your teamwork in completing a critical project ?
- Why do you want to work here ?
- What can you contribute to this company ?
Tips to assess candidates’ communication skills
During interview, watch closely how candidates express themselves, whether, they can maintain a pleasant discussion and if they are good listeners.
Avoid vague questions, like "How good are your communication skills" or "Do you like to communicate with people ?" Instead, ask candidates to give you specific examples that highlight their communication abilities in a professional setting. For example, prompt them to name a time they successfully handled a conflict at work to contributed to a team project.
To evaluate written communication skills, use assignments that are similar to the position's responsibilities. For example, ask candidates to craft emails to address two or three hypothetical scenarios. Or, ask them to prepare specific pieces of text (e.g a short article)