8 Communication Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 20 September 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Many jobs require professionals to have communication skills so they can share information, explain concepts or ask questions. When interviewing for a new position, employers may ask you questions to assess your communication skills. Knowing how to highlight these skills during an interview can help you showcase your qualifications to hiring managers.
In this article, we provide a list of eight common communication interview questions and offer tips to help you prepare to discuss your communication skills during a job interview.
8 Communication Interview Questions
During a job interview, employers or hiring managers may ask communication interview questions to evaluate your ability to present information or explain ideas. Providing clear, articulate answers to these questions can help you demonstrate your communication skills. Here are eight common interview questions employers may ask to gauge your communication skills, along with sample answers to help you prepare your own responses:
1. How do you build rapport with others?
An employer may ask this question to evaluate how you communicate with others to build positive workplace relationships. Your communication skills can help you share information with team members and accept feedback to improve your performance. In your response, describe your ability to communicate effectively with others and provide an example of a time you have successfully built a rapport with your coworkers in a past position.
Example: "When I first join a team, I practice active listening to learn more about the communication styles of each team member. I use this information to create connections with my coworkers on a personal level. For example, in my last position, I had one-on-one conversations with each team member during my first month of employment. In these conversations, I learned about their individual communication styles, which allowed me to develop relationships quickly. These relationships helped me collaborate successfully with my team on various projects."
2. Can you describe a time you explained a complex concept to a coworker or customer?
Many positions require the ability to communicate with others about complex concepts or ideas. Employers may ask this question to determine how well you can explain ideas or issues to others who may not have the same technical abilities and knowledge as you. Use your answer to describe a situation where you have communicated with a coworker or customer about technical concepts using simple language.
Example: "In my previous role as a human resources specialist, I was responsible for training new employees on the company's payroll system. The system involved several steps, and many new employees found it challenging to navigate. I created a simple one-page document outlining the steps to input their hours worked and included screenshots to provide examples. When I met with new employees, I gave them this document and then helped them practise inputting their hours, clearly explaining each step while referencing the handout. I found this hands-on approach worked well to help new employees become comfortable with the system."
3. What is your communication style?
Often, hiring managers ask this question to determine how you may collaborate with others in the workplace. Your communication style refers to how you provide and receive information. In your response, discuss the ways you prefer to communicate with others and provide an example to describe your communication style. You may also consider forms of communication besides verbal, such as written communication and listening, to highlight in your answer.
Example: "I prefer to communicate with my team members and manager in person using a direct, collaborative tone. When I have a question or concern, I communicate immediately to resolve the issue. For example, in my last position, I led quality assurance testing for a software product update. Midway through the testing, I realised the current iteration of the software would not be ready for the launch by the expected deadline. I immediately notified my supervisor to explain the testing results, and they agreed to extend the deadline to give developers more time to resolve the issues."
Related: 4 Types Of Communication (With Tips)
4. How would you resolve a miscommunication with a coworker?
This behavioural question can help an interviewer understand how you may use your communication skills to handle challenging situations. In your response, you can describe the steps you may take to resolve an issue where one or both parties have not communicated effectively. Emphasise your willingness to address the issue to show the interviewer your ability to work well with others.
Example: "I believe misunderstandings in the workplace often occur because of a lack of communication. In this situation, I would meet with the coworker and ask questions to learn more about their viewpoint. I would repeat the information they share to ensure I understand them correctly. Then I would calmly share my position using clear, direct language. Typically, I have found this approach can encourage collaboration and lead to an agreement."
5. Can you tell me about your greatest accomplishment?
This behavioural question allows the interviewer to gain insight into how you communicate about your own achievements. Often, hiring managers ask this question so they can learn how you define success. When answering this question, communicate clearly to describe a previous goal and the steps you took to achieve it to help employers understand how you speak about your successes.
Example: "In my past role as a communications coordinator for a non-profit, I led efforts to gain new donors through a social media campaign. I wrote and directed a series of social media videos with past donors and targeted those videos to other influential people in the community. Working with the rest of the communications team, we surpassed our donation goal. I am immensely proud of my work on that project and hope to pursue similar projects in my next position."
6. Can you describe a time when you encountered conflict and how you addressed it?
This type of question allows interviewers to determine how you handle conflict and work under pressure. Often, your answer can reveal your ability to communicate effectively to solve problems. In your response, describe a time when you experienced conflict and outline your response to show employers your professionalism.
Example: "I was working with a coworker who asked for several deadline extensions on a project, which affected the team's ability to complete their own work on time. I took the initiative to meet with the coworker to discuss their workflow. While speaking with the coworker, I learned they were managing a heavy workload. I offered to complete several tasks to improve their workflow, which ultimately benefited the entire team."
7. How would you describe yourself?
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your skills. You can answer this question by discussing some of your top strengths as a job candidate. This question allows you to explain the relevant skills and qualifications you have for the position, including your communication skills.
Example: "I would describe myself as a great team player who seeks ways to add value to the workplace through effective communication and listening skills. My work experience has equipped me with the ability to lead and actively listen to others to ensure I understand my team members so they feel valued. I am a dedicated manager who is passionate about helping my coworkers and employees achieve their goals and be as productive and happy within the workplace as possible."
8. Why are you a good fit for this position?
This question helps interviewers gauge your ability to convey your work-related skills. It can also provide insight into the qualifications you believe to be the most important for the position. When you answer, speak clearly about your skills and talents to show employers the confidence you have in your abilities.
Example: "I feel I am a good fit for this position because I am confident, I can provide results for the company. In my previous job, I increased the sales in my department by 8% within the first 90 days of my employment, and I believe I can provide similar results for this organisation. My commitment to regular and effective communication with both clients and sales members, along with my dedication to accomplishing goals, makes me an excellent candidate for this job."
Tips For Communication Interview Questions
Here are some tips to help you answer interview questions related to your communication skills:
Listen actively. An interview is a conversation with a hiring manager, so listen actively when they speak. Provide thoughtful answers and ask detailed questions about the job or company to show your active listening skills.
Speak clearly. When you answer questions, speak clearly and slowly to ensure the interviewer can understand you. It may be helpful to pause briefly before answering a question so you can form an articulate response.
Maintain a positive tone. The tone of your voice can help you emphasise your message when speaking with hiring managers. Maintain a positive tone to appear confident and enthusiastic about the position.
Use the STAR format. When you receive a behavioural question, respond using the STAR technique, which stands for situation, task, action and result. This format can help you communicate clearly when answering questions about your skills and abilities.
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