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Give an example of when you used your listening skills to complete a task properly, or solve a problem.

1 of 25 Competency Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The interviewer wants to see that you have strong listening skills. They want to know that you aren't the type to interrupt before hearing your co-workers out. You know that asking for clarification can save you a lot of grief down the road! Show that you are one to check for full understanding when you are navigating new territory. Highlight to the interviewer that you are the type to listen and troubleshoot problems in a collaborative style attentively.

Someone with excellent listening skills will:

- Give the speaker their full attention
- Maintain proper eye contact
- Show invested interest by nodding or agreeing
- Avoid interrupting
- Ask for clarification if needed
- Make statements such as "If I understand you correctly..." or "Do you mean that you want..."

Give an example that demonstrates how you avoided miscommunication by using your stellar listening skills!

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"If I understand you correctly..."

Answer example

"I often use very sharp listening skills when the executive needs something. She rattles off her needs so fast that I can barely keep up sometimes! I have now taken to recording our conversations on my iPhone so that I can revert to her needs, ensuring I don't skip a beat. Her previous assistant did not do this, and she appreciates my ingenuity and willingness to implement new methods of working."

Answer example

"Listening skills can serve you well in any role. In a heated meeting where two groups were debating about a specific issue they were having, I sat back to listen carefully to identify the root problem. Both teams were passionate about the work so could not hear over their defense mechanisms. As their leader, I was able to hear through this and recommend solutions for them to be successful working together."

Answer example

"I was in a meeting when our owner and the operations manager and I were discussing how branding would look for the following calendar year. It was clear that the other two were not understanding one another, and I was the junior marketing person in the room. Never the less, to accomplish our task, I had to work as the mediator without making them feel like I was biased. I listened very carefully and reworded what each of them said in order to get us all on the same page. By using careful listening and tact, we left the meeting all on the same page, which gave us a great way to start off the year."

Answer example

"Active listening is a key quality to have. I recently hosted a district retail meeting with a team that seems unhappy and discontent. I listened as they explained their issues. While some things I could not change, some of their concerns were easily rectified just by understanding the issue."

Answer example

"Listening is crucial to closing a sales deal. I make the prospect feel as though they're my most important call of the day, listening to what they're saying, and not saying, and clarifying their statements. Not only is it helpful to help uncover any potential objections on the spot, but also it helps to confirm their understanding and reinforce a resolution."

Answer example

"Even when I disagree initially with a colleague or even a student, I make sure not to show it. Rather, I wait to hear them out. If needed, I ask pointed questions to see if what I'm hearing is what they meant to communicate. Once it's clear that we understand one another, we can go from there; even if there is a disagreement, at least there is an understanding. This example applies to building curriculum, scheduling classes, or even answering homework questions. Clarifying questions and active listening will always go a long way."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 08/10/2016
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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