interpersonal skills

The employer will ask you a range of questions at the interview to establish whether you have good interpersonal skills. You need to demonstrate that you can solve problems and conflicts with your colleagues and peers and that you have in the past been able to build effective relationships with supervisors and management.

The employer will try to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are and may ask you how you rate yourself as a team player, how others would rate you etc. They may ask you to provide an example of a situation where a conflict arose with a colleague and or management.

They will ask you to detail how you dealt with the situation and what the outcome was. The answers you provide will allow them to determine whether you have good interpersonal skills.

You need to anticipate the questions and have your answers ready.

Questions may include things such as:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who you did not like. What did you do to make the relationship work?
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a decision or request of your manager. How did you approach them? What was the outcome?

Spend some time thinking about scenarios you have encountered at work that could have been or were problematic. Consider how you dealt with them and what you could have done differently for a better outcome. Think about situations where you have excelled under pressure. Offer those as examples of your good interpersonal skills at the interview.

What about my Interview Interpersonal skills, how do I communicate effectively with the interviewer?

Having good interview interpersonal skills is about being prepared and putting forward information with confidence. First impressions of course always count!

Prepare

Make sure you prepare for the interview by anticipating the questions and preparing your answers. dress appropriately and read your CV, application letter and take copies. Leave home in good time, check for any potential delays.

Try to arrive 5 minutes early and be pleasant with everyone you meet in the company when making your way to the interview room. They may feed back your performance to the interviewer. If you are late call and let them know and turn your mobile OFF before going into the interview.

Make your entrance

Enter the room with confidence walking at a steady pace. Make eye contact and smile. Smiling is important as it makes you seem personable and approachable and we all respond well to those who smile so its always a win-win situation. Shake hands firm but friendly. Try to avoid the nervous limp lettuce hand shake which can suggest a weak character. Also avoid trying to almost break the interviewers hand which implies over-confidence and arrogance.

Be seated

When seated, do not fold your arms. Sit upright and confident in your chair, do not slouch or sit round shouldered. Do not fidget or become too animated. Its ok to engage the interviewer with some hand gestures but do not bang fists on tables or point etc.

Keep gestures friendly, open and honest.

If offered a drink, its probably better to decline, you may be nervous and spill it, or your hands may tremble etc.

Communicate

Try to maintain good eye contact and only answer questions you are asked. Do not get an attack of verbal diarrhoea. Less is more in some cases! Refer to details you provided on your CV when they ask you questions and be prepared for trick questions where they may try to catch you out or just be testing your reactions.

Do not be rude or too personal about current or previous employers as this will reflect how you may be within their company should they hire you. They don't want someone who will bad mouth them when not at work.

Stay calm, stay focused and try to get what you want out of the interview, the job!