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 buzzwords 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 the 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."
"I keep the channels open and communicate with my manager on a regular basis. I will email/call him/her frequently, schedule weekly meetings - or daily meetings if we are on a tight deadline. I will provide my manager with a list of all steps involved pertaining to given projects and in our meeting, will update him/her as to the stages of each step (...)."