Early on in my career in human resources and recruiting I learned very quickly that communication and adaptability are very important to employers. It’s so important that even during the interview process, employers look for these skills. Employers are not going to ask you if you are a good communicator or listener. However, they will observe you in the interview process.

The worst interviews I encounter are the ones when the candidate can’t communicate. It’s true. Some people have a hard time listening and sometimes a hard time talking in an interview. I once had an interview with a girl who only talked about herself. That’s great, however not so great when there is a time limit and I need to ask questions in the interview. That’s not a very good listening skill. In another interview I had the candidate would not elaborate on any question I asked them. They were very basic and didn’t even have any questions for me. Not a very good communicator.

In a good interview, the candidate would be able to “tell their story”. That means being able to listen to what the interviewer has to say and the questions they are asking and the candidate being able to elaborate and give details to those questions.

Here are some tips to help you in your interview and on the job.

Listening

Become an active listener. You were an active listener in college so now use those skills on your interview and in your job. No one wants to work with someone who isn’t a good listener. If you can’t follow instructions, it doesn’t matter how brilliant or talented you may be; you’re going to mess something up. Employers want to know that you are listening to their needs, wants, and directions.

Here are some tips to help you refine you listening skills.

1. Face the speaker and maintain eye contact
2. Be attentive
3. Don’t interrupt
4. Ask questions to ensure understanding

Listening shows respect and admiration.

Adaptability

Change can be very difficult for some people. No one loves change, especially at work, but today, being flexible and having a good attitude while welcoming the unexpected is a valuable skill. Being open to change and improvements provides an opportunity to complete work assignments more efficiently. It will also help to adapt to different personalities and habits of co-workers. Change can be positive. It can bring new strategies, ideas and work habits that will improve the workplace and your position with a company.

Adaptability shows quick flexibility.

Communication

Probably the root of all soft skills, if you can communicate well, you are halfway there to many jobs. The interviewer will know right away if you can communicate well by how you introduce yourself and how you address questions. Being able to communicate effectively in the workplace can help establish better working relationships with your co-works and management teams. It will keep you connected to your team and what is going on in the company.

Just a few tips to be a great communicator:

1. Be a good listener
2. Don’t talk over people
3. Paraphrase the conversation
4. Speak clearly

Communication shows interest and confidence

Angela Cotto

Career Coach – Management

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