Communication Skills
Interview Questions

List of communication skills interview questions. Most jobs demand communication with other people - customers, clients, colleagues - and the ability to communicate will be closely evaluated in the job interview.

This is done in two ways - asking competency-based or behavioral interview questions that explore the candidate's communication skills and noting the candidate's ability to communicate during the interview.

List of Communication Skills
Interview Questions

You will be asked behavioral interview questions that ask for specific examples that demonstrate your communication abilities in a work environment.

  • How have you simplified a complex issue in order to gain understanding from a customer or colleague?
  • Tell me about a tough conversation you had to have with a team member.
  • Give me an example of when you had to use your persuasiveness at work.
  • Tell me about a time there was a miscommunication at work. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a time you had to ask questions and listen carefully to clarify the exact nature of a customer's/colleague's concern.
  • Tell me about a time you had to adjust your communication style to adapt to a person from a different background or culture.
  • Describe a time when you had to express your ideas in a meeting.
  • How have you responded to negative feedback?
  • Tell me about a time you received unclear instructions from your supervisor. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you had to talk to an angry customer. What steps did you take?
  • Tell me about a time that other members of the team disagreed with your idea. How did you respond?
  • What challenges have you faced in communicating with your manager. How have you handled these?

In answers to communication skills interview questions give consideration to the following key criteria for good communication.

Good Communication - Key Criteria

  • Listening actively by being fully present and not allowing distractions.

  • Asking questions to gain clarity and ensure the right message is received.
  • Never assuming, always clarifying.
  • Understanding other viewpoints and displaying empathy.
  • Building relationships by showing a sincere interest in what others have to say.
  • Adjusting your communication style to meet the needs of the audience and the specific situation.
  • Giving sufficient thought to what you want to achieve with your communication.
  • Spending some time preparing what you want to say.
  • Selecting and organizing the right information for the right person in the right situation before communicating.
  • Presenting facts and being specific, clear and concise.
  • Using the right verbal and non-verbal signals to influence and persuade others to take action.
  • Being able to simplify and help others understand complex information
  • Encouraging questions and feedback from others.
  • Being aware of non-verbal cues.
  • Taking responsibility for your own reactions by using "I" messages
  • Managing your emotions when you communicate, consciously choosing your reaction rather than responding without thinking.

You can find good examples of behavioral interview answers here.

Written communication skills can be evaluated using the following interview questions.

Written Communication Skills
Interview Questions

  • What kinds of writing have you done in your job? Can you give me an example?
  • Have you ever written instructions for other people? How did you go about this.
  • Tell me about a response you wrote to a customer complaint.
  • Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point across.

Remember your resume is the first indication the employer gets of your written communication skills. Find out how to write an excellent resume.

A well written cover letter reinforces your strong written communication skills.

Demonstrating Good Communication Skills During the Interview

  • Make sure the interviewer has finished the question before answering. Take a pause to think about the question before answering which helps you organize your thoughts and ensures the interviewer is finished talking.
  • Ensure you receive the right message by asking appropriate questions and clarifying what is wanted. Use a feedback loop to check your understanding - "So what you would like me to tell you about is ..."
  • Adapt your approach to the style of the interviewer. Find out more about how to develop rapport in your interview
  • Express yourself clearly, concisely and confidently by selecting the relevant details and putting them forward in an organized and considered manner.
  • Use appropriate language - be aware of your grammar and vocabulary, avoid sloppy words like "kind of" and "sort of"
  • Avoid meaningless conversation fillers like "um" and "you know"
  • Be conscious of your delivery -  the rate at which you speak and the volume. Job candidates tend to talk fast because they are nervous so be aware of this and take a breath between sentences. Find out how to control interview nerves.
  • Be aware of your body language - maintain good eye contact, insert smiles where appropriate, check your posture and avoid fidgeting. Find out more about the right interview body language.
  • Engage the interviewer throughout by asking smart questions.

Confidence is critical to good interview communication. Preparation is key to confidence. Use this interview checklist to make sure you are ready to shine in your interview.

Interview Questions and Answers

Top Ten Interview Questions

Behavioral Interview Questions

Select the communication skills interview questions that apply to the job description of the position.

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