The interviewer would like to know that you lead by example when it comes to communication in the workplace. Breakdown of communication in a business setting can have dire effects on the profitability of an organization. This effect is why it is essential, as a leader, to understand that 'telling' and 'showing' are two very different things when it comes to proper communication. Give examples of how you put dialogue into action in the workplace.
"I show my co-workers the importance of communication through my willingness to ask questions if I do not understand the first time. I do not pretend to know something just to save face. By creating an environment where questions are encouraged, we have increased communication greatly, and have seen a healthier safety record as a result."
"I show my co-workers the importance of communication in the workplace simply from leading by example. I set the tone and expectations for how we should communicate by utilizing all forms of written, verbal and interpersonal communications to a tee."
"I show the importance of communication through a team building exercise that I like to use, whenever possible. Some of my favorite team building exercises include taking my team out for lunches, holding office trivia, and creating physical goal-setting roadmaps."
"In marketing, we have to communicate every small detail of our projects. I encourage this with my team by asking everyone to use Trello, a project management app that tracks our progress and needs, every step of the way. It's like web-based sticky notes!"
"Many customer service issues stem from poor communication. When we have a customer dispute, I work with my team to explore other alternatives. We often role play and discuss ways that we could have reacted better. This practice has greatly improved our customer reviews."
"As a sales professional, our inter-office communication means more sales and happier clients. The analytics don't lie! I encourage my team to communicate even the details that seem minute. These details can help us to upsell or gain further insight into our clients' current pain points."
"When we communicate the needs and struggles of our students, between teachers, it helps everyone to be more successful. I am sure to always fill my faculty in on students who may be struggling with a particular subject. We can then gather to make a game plan that benefits the student."
Public speaking can be intimidating! Did you know that the fear of public speaking is the #1 phobia? It comes ahead of the fear of death and the fear of spiders! It is okay to find public speaking a bit intimidating but do assure the interviewer that you are capable of communicating well in front of large groups. Have you taken any courses or training in public speaking? Perhaps you have so much experience that it comes second nature. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of giving presentations. If you have given performances, you can also mention the topic of your presentation, what the setting was, and how many people you presented to.
"In my last two roles I have been responsible for regularly presenting to my team of 43 staff as well as to our entire warehouse team of over 200. I have taken a couple of Toastmasters sessions which helped a great deal. I am a confident public speaker."
"I do not have a lot of experience in presenting to large groups. Perhaps, 4-6 people at most. I am a confident public speaker and am sure that I could present in front of many people."
"Presenting to large groups is a big part of successfully rolling out important communications to teams organization-wide. I have experience preparing the deck to be presented to ensure it is simple and thorough. I utilize different communication techniques to make a presentation fun, interesting, and engaging."
"As a marketing professional, I present to clients large and small on a weekly basis. The groups to which I present range from 5-20 depending on the client."
"Although I do not have experience presenting to large groups, I do have a great deal of commissioned sales experience which requires me to be 'on' and a subject matter expert when I am on the floor. Every potential client is an opportunity to shine!"
"I love having a microphone and a captive audience. Perhaps its the sales person blood running through me. I am very comfortable creating and giving presentations."
"As a teacher, I present to groups every day! My classes range from 14-26 students, depending on the class. I am more than comfortable in a presentation setting."
Being a bright communicator, in written form, is an essential skill to master. Discuss any courses you have taken in communication, journalism, or writing. If you have a sample of your written communication in the form of a report of a work-related article, you can certainly bring that example with you. Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a case or story. Here are some words to describe your communication skills: - Articulate - Crisp - Eloquent - Formal - Informal - Punchy - Succinct
"I would describe my written communication skills as succinct and would rate myself as a 9/10. I have always had a penchant for writing and have taken university courses related to communication, writing, and journalism."
"As an administrative assistant, my written communication has to be perfect, as it often comes on behalf of the executive whom I support. I would describe my written skills as concise and cordial."
"I have strong written communication skills. I spend a lot of time working on teams from around the world and have to be able to communicate clearly."
"I communicate diligently with my clients who often request every decision in writing. In addition to my marketing education, I have also taken technical writing courses."
"I describe my written communication skills as brief yet informative. I like to use bullet points so that the important reading points are obvious to the recipient."
"I have above average written communication skills. I am an experienced writer and have also written many successful quotes and RFP's in my career. I would describe my written communication skills as clear, concise, and thorough."
"My written communication skills are powerful. I often utilize written communications as a follow up to verbal communications. They provide a great resource for my students and their parents to go back to, and reference, plus they might answer any questions that come up along the way."
There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the apps you know and assure them that you can learn their internal system, should it be new to you. This question is an excellent opportunity to ask what programs you will be using in this new role. When the hiring authority divulges this information, ask if there are resources available for you to get a head start. This initiative will impress the interviewer and show them that you are not afraid to put a bit of hard work in before you even know if the job is yours!
"I have used a variety of team-based messaging applications. I am best versed in Brosix, AOL Instant Messenger, and Freedcamp. No matter which system you use I am sure that I can pick it up very quickly."
"Currently, I used Google Hangout Chat for most team-based communications. I have also used Trello for helping our sales team to keep track of projects. I know that you use Google Hangout as well, from our first video interview, but I would love to learn more about the applications you use here."
"I love team-based messaging applications! I have utilized many of them with direct teams and remote teams. They are effective for updating communications and keeping on track with the progress of team-based work projects."
"I have worked for two marketing agencies who have both used Microsoft Teams and Cisco Spark. I would consider myself an advanced user in each. Could you share with me which team based apps you use in your company?"
"I lack experience with team-based messaging applications besides MSN Messenger years ago. I do pick up on technology quickly and have no concerns when it comes to my ability to learn. What team-based messaging applications do you use?"
"Our current company uses Slack for most projects. Slack stands for 'Searchable Log of Al Conversation and Knowledge,' which helps describe why it's so useful for a sales team. All knowledge of clients, products, and projects are at our fingertips. Which team-based applications do you use here?"
"I have limited experience with team messaging apps in the workplace. However, I have used them for extracurricular activity planning and enjoy them. It would be great to have a simple and quick messaging system at work."
The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start relationships with your new co-workers. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start? Here are some ideas for getting started on the right foot: - Be willing to accept feedback and help - Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way - Do not have an air of entitlement or act as though you know the ins and outs immediately - Avoid all company gossip, at all cost - Be thankful for the equipment that you have. Don't complain about your used computer or your slow dial out line! - Be early on your first day (and every day after that!) - Come dressed appropriately
"I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself."
"I show up on time and dressed appropriately. I spend as much time as I can getting to know my new coworkers and telling them about myself and my family, and asking them about theirs. It is important to understand people on a bit of a personal level to know how to approach them."
"When I have a new team, I will hold a team-wide meeting and allow my new staff to ask me any questions they want. I let them voice their biggest concerns and present ideas to me on what we can do to fix them. This introduction builds a form of trust that most managers do not bother forming."
"I like to ask my new colleagues for their best marketing tip, and also what they are currently working on. Creative types like to bounce ideas off of others which makes these two questions a very effective way to get to know others in the industry."
"I understand that people like to talk about themselves. The best way that I can create new relationships with others is by asking them about themselves. Hopefully, we find common ground and make a quick connection!"
"Salespeople love to talk so, when I first start a new job, I ask them about themselves and what makes them successful. This method nearly always opens up the floodgates, and I can make a fast connection."
"First impressions are everything, and I make a strong attempt to build relationships with all of my faculty and student parents, right up front at starting a new job. I schedule meetings to make an introduction and ask discovery questions to learn how I can best support them when working together. It is also important to gain insight into their preferred methods of communications."
The interviewer would like to know how you handle poor communication between yourself and a superior. You cannot force others to communicate with you in a way that you would always prefer, so how do you deal with this situation professionally? Talk to the interviewer about a specific time that you have handled a supervisor who does not interact with you in a way that you like. Be sure to include the resolution.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you simply have to relate to others in their style to be understood. I implemented this method with my most recent supervisor and now have a great working relationship with her."
"There are times in business when communication hiccups happen. I make sure I regroup with the supervisor to explain the strain a gap in communication causes on the team. I then go into mending mode, ensuring the information that needs communicating gets disseminated out to the team."
"I worked in a busy production environment where facts missed cause major problems. I recommended to my supervisor that we have a team huddle every morning and at the end of each shift, just for 5 minutes, so that I could ensure we were all on the same page. This solution helped us a great deal."
"In marketing, any communication lost ends up causing the client to suffer. I had a director who was a very brief communication, and it was causing a delay in our projects. I asked them if there was a reason why they communicated in such a brief manner. This particular supervisor did not realize the team felt this way. He did a 180 immediately."
"I have worked for a previous supervisor who was incredibly brief in his communication. Many times, I would have to put the pieces together for myself. I managed through it, and it taught me independent thought."
"My current supervisor was of the opinion that I was much more familiar with the product line than I was when I first started. I met with her to let her know that I did not come from software sales and that my learning curve may not be what she was expecting. After this, she slowed down her communication for me and took me under her wing. It was mutually beneficial because I soon became the top sales rep in her district."
"If my Principal were not communicating effectively, I would approach them discreetly and ask to talk about the issue. Hopefully, we can find common ground to improve communication. He/she may not realize that not everyone understands and interprets messages the same way. So far, I have worked with great teachers and leaders who are very conscious of the way they communicate."
The interviewer would like to know how your communication skills have benefited your team in the past. Strong communication skills are required to be an effective leader. How have your communication skills helped your team in the past? If you are struggling to come up with an answer to this question, here are a few examples that should turn the gears and help you think of a time when you communicated a message that benefited your co-workers. - Maybe you were the first to hear of new corporate policy, and you alerted your co-workers to the new changes. - Perhaps you created an efficient way to streamline a process, and you informed your team about this. - Maybe you found a new product or service that had a benefit to your organization. - Perhaps you realized an error in a project, and you alerted everyone of this before it became a significant problem.
"My team is made up of great communicators whom I have trained to take every piece of information and break it down to the simplest factor. This approach has greatly reduced in-house issues related to communication."
"As an administrative assistant, I am expected to pave the way for clear communication in the office. My ability to make timely and clear announcements positively helped our merger go more smoothly."
"We recently rolled out a large organizational change. I took a very transparent approach to communication throughout the process. I asked the team for feedback and buy-in, early in the process. We discussed some scenarios on what to expect. When the time came to roll out the change, there was minimal surprise with the new process. It was a success!"
"I felt that some of the information our client was giving us was forced and repetitive. I asked my team to re-send the client intake form and to book a call with the director so that we could do a deeper dive into their needs before beginning their project. The discovery meeting was incredibly helpful and saved my team a great amount of potentially wasted hours."
"Our store recently went through a major renovation, and our sales team were split into other locations during the reno project. I kept my team in the loop through group messaging, and we also met once per week for a drink and to discuss work. Keeping this level of camaraderie helped me to retain my team until we could be back to our location again."
"My communication skills make me very successful in sales. My clear communication style has greatly benefited my team and employer because it helps me to exceed performance targets consistently. When one person succeeds, the whole team benefits."
"Last year a fellow teacher and I were asked to share a Grade 3/4 split class. To make this change seamless, we created a communication plan that included meeting once per week to review any hiccups. The entire faculty and our students benefitted from our ability to communicate well."
The interviewer would like to know how you rate your communication skills. First, on a scale of 1-10, discuss how skilled are you in communication. Try to avoid giving yourself a 10, and nobody is perfect, and you do not want to come across as overly confident or someone who has no room for feedback and improvement. Alternately, avoid giving yourself too little credit. You do not want to paint the picture that you are a communication dud! Try to remain in the 7.5-9.5 range while staying honest and accurate. Use an example of your excellent communication to back your answer.
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
"I will rate myself an eight because I value communication but, just like most people, I have things to learn. Some ways that I ensure clear communication are by utilizing multiple methods of delivering messages, and I give ample time for questions before implementing changes."
"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator, especially when relaying important policy changes to my team. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."
"Communication is at the heart of what we do in marketing. We have to communicate messages, brand stories, and more. I am an exceptional communicator and will rate myself as a 9/10 and always improving."
"I will rate my communication skills a 7.5/10. I am newer to my career, but I have gone through a great deal of training in customer service. I plan only to become better! If you have recommendations on books or training, I would love to hear them."
"I should not rate myself as a 10/10 because I do not believe everyone is perfect in communication. I would describe myself as an advanced communicator since the majority of my job requires the exchange of important information."
"Teachers need to be excellent communicators! In addition to my formal training in education, I have also taken workshops focused on dispute resolution, communication styles, and body language. I would rate myself 9/10 and continually improving!"
The interviewer would like to know about a time that your communication skills improved a work-based situation. Possessing the skills to enhance communication in the workplace is a precious asset. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you used your excellent communication skills to improve a potentially harmful situation with a co-worker or client. Perhaps you saved a sale, were able to reiterate the intention of an email before feelings were hurt, or you helped a cross-departmental effort to go smoothly.
"In my current position I have one particular client who was an exceptionally brief communicator. If I asked two questions, he would answer just one. I learned that he would not acknowledge anything for which he did not have an answer. I began to ask him questions in a different way. For example, I would say 'Do you have an answer for me on question X?' and he would say yes or no. We would then go from there. This method was a valid form of communication for that particular client."
"I am often the main point of contact for clients which means that my communication style needs to be crystal clear. Before onboarding a new client I have a set of questions that I ask. They are discovery questions, and I then pass onto my executive. The answers come directly from the client, so no assumptions are made. It's always first-hand information that I am providing."
"I recently worked on a project with team members from multiple sites. At first, we were just emailing back and forth, but that wasn't working. I implemented a regular conference call to iron out issues and communicate updates."
"Recently, we were working with a client who continued to change the direction of our work. Our team was heading down one path and before we knew it, the client expected us to go another direction. We resolved to hold a weekly status touch base call to ensure two-way communication between our team and the client."
"Many of our customers misread our return policy and assume that they can return an item to any one of our locations. Being a franchise, this is something we cannot accommodate. I recently requested to head office that we include this caveat in our return policy more clearly. Corporate agreed, and the change was implemented."
"I had a client who often missed email updates. It caused us to cross our wires a few times. I suggested that we book a quick call every week to review any outstanding areas that need addressing. This process worked well for us."
"I work continuously on improving communication between myself and the parents of my students. I recently polled the parents asking them if they prefer that letters are sent home, or emailed. A whopping 87% of the parents said they preferred email communication, so I implemented a regular e-newsletter containing news from our classroom and any files that needed to be signed and sent back."
The interviewer would like to know more about your ability to communicate third-party information to your team. A huge part of proper communication is the ability to listen to the original set of data and relay it accordingly. Miscommunication can be costly, so it is an immensely vital skill to be able to convey information in the workplace carefully and accurately. Discuss with the interviewer how you go about doing so.
"When I receive new information from my supervisor I will run my understanding of it by the supervisor to ensure that my interpretation is correct. After that, I will relay the information formally, in writing, to my team. This method eliminates word of mouth and misinterpretation surrounding the issue."
"I ensure proper communication by delivering the direction in multiple ways, usually in-person and electronically through email. There are multiple communication preferences in my office, and it best to cater the delivery of the communication to everyone's individual needs."
"I hold daily morning meetings with my team so that I can accurately communicate any new policies or procedural changes to my team. This process allows me to address their questions immediately which avoids miscommunication in most cases."
"I ensure I have the correct directives from my marketing director and there is clarity over the required direction. Once that happens, I cascade the communications out to my team - typically in a huddle/face-to-face communication. I follow this up with a written form of communication."
"When I receive instructions from our corporate head office, I will hold a quick team huddle to review. If the information came in written form, I will print it, have everyone initial that they read the correspondence, and then add the page into our communications binder."
"When receiving information that needs to be passed along, I prefer to include it in an email. This way my team of reps can look back on the information whenever they need. This method eliminates a lot of opportunity for miscommunication."
"I prefer to communicate in person so that any questions other teachers may have, will not be misinterpreted. When relaying communication to parents, I prefer to use email or our group app called Class Dojo. This way there is a continuous record of the conversations."
The interviewer would like a specific example that identifies your communication style when you are expressing a matter close to your heart. When you become passionate about one particular point, in the workplace, do you get excited but challenging to understand? Do you bully others into seeing things your way? Once you have your mind set on an idea, are you capable of accepting feedback on the cause or belief? These examples are all red flags to the interviewer. Display that you are a level-headed communicator and that you remain respectful in your communication style, no matter how important the point of discussion is to you.
"When I was initially training for my current role there were a few things that I did not understand. The person training me kept breezing by the topics when I would ask for further clarification. I decided that perhaps she did not understand why it was important to me. So, I approached her with the problem at hand, in a clearer way. I said 'I am afraid that if I do not fully understand this particular process, that I will unintentionally skip corners elsewhere. Can we please take the next 30 minutes to review this area of my training further?' This approach was more specific than my previous ask, and it worked. I am glad that I expressed my concern more directly."
"Much of my work is completed over the phone as our primary customer is elderly. For this reason, it is important to me that I explain directions to our office very clearly on the phone, rather than email directions to them. I ask them to get a pen and paper, I use specific street numbers and landmarks and even include where to park. This thorough approach has saved me many conversations with lost patients who are late for their appointment. The patients appreciate my help up front as well."
"Employee tenure is important to me. I want to train people who are excited about their jobs, understand the company's goals, and buy into them. I want to groom future leaders that wish to stay with our company and climb the corporate ladder. Recently one of my team members came across a problem on the production line. Rather than tell him what to do, I asked him what he would do if he were the boss. By flipping the question back to him, it challenged him further while giving him the confidence that he knew the right answer. I often communicate in a more mentorship based manner."
"Working for a marketing agency, I come into contact with many clients who use marketing buzz words they hear, thinking that is what they want, even though they do not fully understand the terms. These points may not even be something that their business needs in their marketing strategy. I had a client recently, a medical device company, who wanted to put the bulk of their advertising on Instagram and Facebook ads because it's the latest thing to do. Rather than telling them, it was a bad idea, I dug deeper with some discovery questions, to discuss where the bulk of their clients came from, what the daily habits were of their clients, and the age demographic of their clients. After we had a conversation, they concluded on their own that social media was, indeed, not where their idea customer was. I could have taken a more direct approach, but that may not have been as openly received."
"It is important to me that our customers know and understand our return policy before they leave the store. Because we sell undergarments and bathing suits, we do not accept returns of any kind. When I am ringing a customer through, rather than assume they understand, I will print their receipt, flip to the printed policy on the back of the receipt, circle the no returns policy and initial it. I explain verbally to the customer and ensure that they are okay with this fact before leaving the store. This method of communication has eliminated plenty of customer disputes and attempted returns."
"In my previous position, I had the idea of shaking up our sales territory a little bit. The changes were minor but would eliminate a lot of excess travel, saving the company money in sales rep travel expenses. The change would also take down our travel from 30% to about 20%. Rather than telling my boss this, in an opinionated way, I took time to research the benefits to the company. I then created a PowerPoint presentation and asked to present my findings at the upcoming monthly meeting. I wanted to be heard and knew that I needed to approach the situation in the most organized and professional way possible."
"It is important to me that all of my students exceed, try their best, and have parent support at home. I recently noticed a student struggling who was previously one of the classroom stars. I met with the Principal to inquire if I was missing some information on changes this student was going through recently. We made a communication plan and brought the parents to meet with us. I started the conversation by praising the student, expressing how smart and engaged she had always been. Then, I moved into my concern, asking to make a plan of action as a collaborative effort. The parents appreciated my approach and agreed to further support her education, in the home setting."