Interview Questions and Answers: Communications interview questions

Sometimes the interview questions are about communications, not just assessing the communications of interviewees. Many jobs are actually communications jobs. Call centres, customer service and sales, for example, all require advanced communications skills, often as well as other specialist skills.

The reason for checking out communications as a subject for interview questions is because not everyone can do a job like sales well. Many people are so bad at customer service it's a global joke, when it's not a global complaint. It really matters that people being hired for these jobs know their stuff.

The interview questions tend to be tougher than average, too. Each interview answer may need to deal with a range of issues. Questions like 'What are levels of communication?' and 'How do you establish a meaningful dialogue with an angry client?' can be tricky.

If you're in any field which deals with people, communications are a primary issue. You're likely to get interview questions on methods of communication, using communications media, and protocols in communication.

Types of communications interview questions

There are two basic types of communications interview questions; the normal example based type, and theoretical. Some can be mixes of both. These interview questions are often based on scenarios, where you either have to give an example, or respond to an example of a situation.

There are some very simple things that most people overlook in their interview answers.

  1. Communications is an exchange of information. It's not a one way street. If you leave out the person with whom you're supposed to be communicating in your interview answer, you know you've got something wrong.
  2. Communication often involves getting information. You must be aware of situations where your interview answer needs to mention asking for information.
  3. The basic issue of communications is 'What is being communicated, to whom?' Every communications interview question will spell out the problem, but your own interview answer has to tell the interviewers, What, and Whom, every time. If it doesn't, you're wrong.
  4. If you're given several different parties in a communications interview question, all of them are part of the communications process. If anyone gets left out in your interview answer, you've missed something, as well as someone. At least one of the other parties should be in communication with the one you've left out.

Example interview question, using points 1-4

Scenario: You're a supervisor. A staff member can't understand a customer's complaint. You have to intervene, and do it yourself. What do you do?

  • I bring the staff member with me to the client.
  • I ask the client for information about the complaint.
  • I find out what the client wants done.
  • I explain to the customer, if required, what's possible.
  • I make sure the staff member is learning this information.
  • I settle the complaint to the extent possible.

Analysis

This interview answer covers all communications issues including the staff member's lack of knowledge.