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5 Questions Related to Communication

Strong communication skills are important in just about every type of job. As such being asked questions about your communication skills is very common in a job interview.

5 Questions Related to Communication Skills

1. Give me an example of where you felt that you hadn't communicated effectively.  How did you deal with this situation?               

What they are really asking
How effective are your communication skills?   

Tips on Answering
Focus on what you learned from the experience, versus the experience itself.  Try to pick an occasion that illustrates the point without making you look worse than you are.  There is such a thing as being 'too honest' in an interview especially when it paints you in a light which does not accurately depict your typical work behavior.

2. Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get a point across.    

What they are really asking
How effective are your writen communication skills?        

Tips on Answering
This is a tip that written communication skills are important for your prospective job.  Focus on how you articulated your ideas, and how you pulled out the key points to develop a compelling proposal.  Talk about the end result and how your communication related to that result.

3. Tell me about the most significant presentation that you've ever had to do.

What they are really asking
How effective are your verbal communication skills?

Tips on Answering
This question implies that the ability to present or communicate ideas is important to the role.  Talk about why the presentation was important, what you did to clearly communicate the main points, and what the end result of your presentation was?  (I.e. How was it received by your audience)

4. Tell me about a time when you had to communicate bad news. How did you handle this?

What they are really asking
Can you adapt your communication skills to different situations?

Tips on Answering
Talk about how you attempted to identify the positive aspects of the message you had to give, and how you emphasized the positive in your delivery. Also mention how you tried to anticipate your audience reaction to the negative aspects, and build messaging into your delivery that offset some of this reaction.

5. Do you prefer to communicate verbally or in written form? Why?

What they are really asking
Are you a better communicator when writing or speaking?

Tips on Answering
Think about what you know about the job before answering. If the job requires strong written communication skills without a lot of emphasis on verbal communication then you probably want to highlight your written communication skills. Conversely if the job is mostly presenting concepts/ideas in person then you should talk about your experience presenting.