If you’ve ever had a job interview, you know how tough they can be. Interviewers ask all sorts of questions about your past experiences, and if you’re not prepared you might find yourself unable to come up with an example that demonstrates the qualities they’re looking for. Read on to find out which sort of experiences you should have in mind to prove your communication skills to an interviewer.
The first thing interviewers want to know is that you can listen. Of course, you should listen to what your interviewer has to say, but you should also be able to talk about other times when you’ve listened to other people. Perhaps you’ve helped customers or coworkers by understanding what they need. Any situation where you listened to others will do for this.
The next thing the interviewer wants to know is that you can effectively communicate information to others. This can take many forms. Maybe you’ve given presentations or run meetings. Maybe you’ve had to inform customers about products or direct them to where they need to go. Everyone has to give information to other people at some point; pick the situation that makes you look the best and have it ready in your mind.
The third skill you need to have is the ability to handle tough situations. Everyone has to deal with difficult, unreasonable people at some time or another. The interviewer will want to know how you handle such people. Think of a time when you had to deal with things like customer complaints. Avoid using any previous bosses as an example for this, even if it’s completely true — interviewers are wary of people who have conflicts with their bosses.
The final thing the interviewer wants to know is that you can communicate in writing. If you are at the interview stage, you have probably already demonstrated this to some degree in your resume, cover letter, and previous communications, but it’s good to have experiences in mind for this as well. Think of times when you’ve had to write reports or prepare documents for other people.
The specific questions asked will vary from interviewer to interviewer, but chances are that you will be asked about one or more of the skills listed here in some form. Have your personal experiences fresh in your mind will help immensely. Not only will it demonstrate that you have the communication skills desired by most employers, it also shows that you prepared yourself for the interview and are serious about the job.