Interview Communication

By: Lynne Marks | 2 Jan 2014

During an interview, communication skills must be practiced and polished. You must be able to describe (not just write on paper) the top situations that illustrate your skills. Rather than saying “I have good communications skills,” a generic, meaningless phrase, be sure to have an arsenal of examples demonstrating the times your communication skills came to the rescue. For example, when did you solve the problem, calm an incendiary situation or synthesize several sides of an argument?

shutterstock_74824927-388x215Interviewers are looking for “transferrable skills,” intangible and specifically acquired attributes that you have picked up throughout your professional or personal life. They are so valuable for your experience portfolio that they can be used anywhere. They come along with you as a package, and you need to know not only what yours are, but also how you can use stories to illustrate them.

Here is a quick rule of thumb to succinctly relate your case studies or success stories. In other words, how do you humbly “toot your own horn” without sounding arrogant? You describe the problem in about 30 seconds or less, you briefly outline the actions you took and finally, you dwell on the results or outcomes. This should take one to two minutes maximum. Any proprietary names and emotionally charged descriptions should be left out but measureable results and metrics are always remembered. People love happy endings!

When it comes to filling in the gaps in your experience, do not pretend that you have the experience if you do not. Interviewers say that a measure of your honesty is to admit that you lack experience in this or that area, but they want to know how you would overcome the gap. They are looking for passion, enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, curiosity, flexibility, humility and approachability.

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