7 Ways to Improve Your Interview Communication Skills

Interview Communication SkillsCommunication is a part of our daily lives. It is one of the most basic abilities needed in life, and the most important for an interview.  You can have the perfect resume and credentials, but if you are unable to communicate properly with your interviewer, you still won’t be hired for the position.

Research by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) called Job Outlook, in which employers were asked to rate the importance of certain skills/qualities when hiring job candidates, shows verbal communication as the most important one, followed by a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative.

With the results of the research showing that employers deem verbal communication as the most important skill in their hiring criteria, it is essential for applicants to practice and improve their communication before interviewing. Here are some ways you can improve your communication skills in preparation for your interview:

•    Talk slowly
When anxiety or nervousness takes over during an interview, you tend to lose control, resulting in speaking faster than necessary and giving poor answers. Answer interview questions with the right pace and a calm mind.

Talking fast not only ruins the communication between you and the interviewer, but it may also be interpreted as you having to be somewhere more important than the interview. You should treat your interview in the same way you would approach the (potential) love of your life.

•    Details, Details, Details
During an interview, almost everyone includes attention to detail as one of their strengths. If you really pay attention to details, you will not stay unemployed long. Preparing specifics for the interview process helps a lot during the conversation.
By paying attention to small details, you can start a good conversation, like when you notice what the interviewer likes to collect or where he or she likes to go on vacation. Note, before the interview, you can also read about your interviewer on the company website or on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.

•    Assertiveness
If you want to be given a job, it’s not enough to just believe in yourself.It's important to not only show the employer you're capable of doing the job, but also that you're confident and comfortable with the task. An assertive tone of voice during an interview is one way that can help achieve this goal.

•    Word Usage
Communication involves a lot of factors, such as how you speak, your body language, and the words you use. Practicing which words to use to convey the message you want will help give you a smoother interview. 

Gradually and constantly expanding your word knowledge will help you express yourself with greater clarity. If you read more about your industry and profession, your vocabulary will both become larger and more strongly aligned with your field.

•    Asking the Right Questions
Asking questions gives you control of the flow of the interview. Prepare questions in advance that will help you know whether you want to work at the company.

•    Keep it Concise
When you answer, keep your responses fairly short. Avoid giving long answers that lessen the effectiveness of your answers; only give answers long enough to prove your point.

•    Listen
Communication not only involves you speaking—it’s also expected that you know how to listen. Listening will enable you to ask the right questions and give the right answers. Make eye contact, to show you are engaged with what your likely future manager is saying. Ask specific questions that prove you are being attentive.

One last bonus tip: remember that your appearance communicates too. Show you fit the culture in terms of what you say and what you wear. Look the part. If everyone in your industry wears jeans, it's okay to skip that classic navy suit for the job interview. If everyone wears formal professional, you should do the same. 

Communication is an integral part of the interview process. The ability to communicate is an essential factor in whether an employer decides to hire you. If you want to be hired, prepare for your interview and do your best! Here's to your interview success!