Communicating through the Hiring Process
Part 1: The Interview
Communicating effectively and appropriately through the hiring process can be all that it takes to set you apart from the competition or eliminate you from the competition all together. If you ask any hiring manager polished communications skills is one of the top priorities employers are looking for in potential employees and is a key asset a candidate can bring to create success in their career.
Setting a communication style up front is imperative and would be professional and more formal to start. After you have been with an organization awhile, you may pick up that the company culture is more relaxed in terms of how they communicate internally. Here are few other tips to set a positive impression when it comes to your communication skills for the workplace.
An interview can be scary, but making a good first impression with confident communication can help put you at ease and lead to a successful end result. Good verbal communication includes nonverbal cues and they are just as important as the verbal communication. Having a professional appearance and a confident attitude is the first step. Shaking hands with the individual (a good one!) and looking them in the eyes to clearly introduce yourself is next.
Hopefully you have done research on the organization beforehand and can start conversation or interact intelligently when asked basic questions about the company. From there let the conversation flow naturally – likely the recruiter will ask you several simple questions. One of the first questions that typically asked is ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself?’ Be prepared and have a few key points referencing past experience that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Keep this response short – approximately two minutes.
As you answer the following questions, think of meaningful examples and content that gets to the point of the question. Think like the employer, what is it that they wanted to know about you by asking that particular question? Be sure to answer questions in a clear and concise manner and all parts of the question. If you begin to talk too long or get off subject, it is okay to say, ‘I’m sorry, I got a bit off track there, did I get your question answered?’ Then stop and let them pick up the conversation or continue by asking another question.
If you find yourself in a situation where the interviewer isn’t offering up much conversation, provide a quick review of yourself and accomplishments and why you’d enjoy working with the organization or even better yet, ask them some question about the company or their role, such as, “What is it that you like most about your company?” This is also a great example of a question that can be asked of the interviewer if you are asked if you have any questions.
Wrap up the interview with an understanding of next steps and appropriate action. Will you be calling them or will they be calling you? Have you left a clear impression that you’d like to work for them?