Communication Skills

How to get started with job interview?

Often communication in the job interview will start off with-

  • Some small talk,
  • Asking questions about getting to the interview, the weather etc.
  • Respond appropriately in a conversational tone but avoid over-communicating.
  • Stay clear of problems or negatives such as describing how bad the traffic was.

Have a couple of polite conversational-type remarks ready for this small talk phase,
For example –
comment positively on the building or surroundings. You can prepare these while you wait for the interviewer.

  • Address the interviewer by name but know how to pronounce it correctly.
  • Ask the receptionist beforehand if you are unsure of how to pronounce it.
  • It is advisable to address the interviewer formally until they suggest otherwise.

Important tips for job interviews –

  • Matching your communication style to that of the interviewer.
  • If the interviewer is very business-like, then you should respond in a similar way.
  • Avoid offering up jokes and funny stories.
  • If the interviewer is more informal and chatty, adjust your communication style accordingly by responding in a more informal tone while still showing respect.

The interviewer should be the one who sets the tone of the interview, not the candidate.

A good interviewer will attempt to put the candidate at ease; don’t interpret this as trying to be your friend! Always treat the job interview as a professional meeting.

  • A common mistake candidates make is talking too much.
  • Listen to the question being asked, ensure you are clear as to what is requested and respond with the information.
  • Effective communication means keeping your answers concise and to-the-point and making sure you are answering what is asked.
  • It is advisable to ask for clarification if you are unsure what the interviewer means or wants. Don’t guess and make assumptions, this usually results in an inappropriate response.
  • Say something like, “So you would like me to tell you about ….”. The interviewer can then correct you if you have misunderstood.
  • There is no need to fill up silences with unnecessary rambling.
  • Silences will naturally occur as the interviewer gathers their thoughts or formulates the next question, it is important to be comfortable with silences.

Avoid interrupting the interviewer. Make sure they have finished speaking before you respond.

  • You can do this by allowing a pause before you start speaking.
  • Taking a little time to think about a question rather than rushing to answer also helps you to organize your thoughts and prevents verbal fillers such as “umm” and “you know”.
  • These always come across as unprofessional.
  • By taking a moment to think before you answer you appear calm, confident and polite.

The best ways to end the interview

Follow these basic closing guidelines.

Use the possible statements below to help you develop your own closing that is appropriate and that you feel comfortable with.

  • “I did extensive research on this company beforehand and was really excited about this interview. This has been reinforced by everything I have heard and learned today. I appreciate the time you have taken with me and I am positive about my ability to perform successfully in this job. Is there anything else you need to know?”

You need to be sure that any possible concerns that the interviewer may have are addressed when you close.

  • “Is there any reason why this process will not progress to the next step – I would like to clear up any issues now that may impact on my getting this job. I am really excited about this opportunity.”

Make sure you close on a positive note.

  • “Thank you for your time. I Hope that my skills and experience will add real value to your company in this job. Have a good day Sir/Madam.”
  • “From my research I knew that this was going to be an exciting position with a company that has an excellent reputation in the industry. Now I am even more convinced of that. Is there anything else you need to know that will help convince you that I am the right candidate for this job?”