Job interview answers overview: Communication skills

Good clear interview answers will get you any job. The most important of all skills in any job interview are communications. All interviews test communications skills throughout the interview process. Each interview question should be regarded as a test of communication skills.

Key communications elements in job interview answers

The simple rule for job interview answers is 'Keep your answers simple.' The easier to understand, the better your answer.

These are the essential communications elements in a good job interview answer:

  • Speech and language use
  • Clarity
  • Structure
  • Information content
  • Relevance
  • Expression

Speech and language use

Speak clearly at all times, when giving job interview answers, so interviewers can hear clearly. Don't speak rapidly, because the interviewers might miss some information. Don't use slang, or words likely to give offense or be considered offensive.

Clarity

Job interview answers have to be made so the interviewers can easily follow what you're saying. Think about how you want to give your answer. Use the easiest way to express what you want to say, so it will be understood properly and not misunderstood.

Structure

The rule for all job interview answers is 'Start at the beginning, end at the end'. The interviewers have to be able to follow each stage of your answer in a logical sequence. This is particularly important when being asked to give examples of work situations.

Information content

Your job interview answer must address all parts of the interviewer's question effectively. Make sure you both understand and answer the question fully, and never leave out any part of a question. (If necessary, ask for clarification of questions before answering, to avoid giving an incomplete or incorrect answer.)

Relevance

Never go off topic or get sidetracked, when giving a job interview answer. Stick to the subject matter at all times. The risk is losing track of your answer, which makes it look like a bad answer. Worse, it also says nothing good about your communications skills. All information in your answer must be relevant to the question.

Expression

Good expression will get you a job, too. Interviewers assess communications skills largely on the quality of job interview answers. If you can consistently express your interview answers clearly and well, their assessment will be consistently good.