Communication skills are essential in a business, and becomes more important as the company size increases. Imagine if you were the CEO of a 10,000 employee company. If there is a communication breakdown within the organisation, your company would go in all directions!
The one thing unique about communication skills is that it can be assessed in the interview itself. Sometimes, employers would go through great lengths to put you through an interview with staff from different departments to ensure that you have a feel of the way they communicate.
Before I get on to talk about how you can improve your communication skills it is first important to note that:
1) You need to be able to demonstrate that you are able to communicate, in an organisational heirarchy, sideways, upwards and downward. By, this I mean you should be able to proove to the interviewer that you have worked and interacted with people from the top managers, the people under you as a leader and your equals or colleagues around you.
According to research to get a message across verbally will depend on
60% How you say it
30% Body Langugage
10% What you said
Take a sentence for example:
"I will phone you." How many meanings can it imply?? Depends on how you say it!
"I will phone you." implies that I and no one else will phone you. Now imagine if you suddenly coughed and stressed the will part.
"I WILL phone you." Implies that I, will definitely phone you.
"I will PHONE you." implies that I will, only use the the phone to call you and not by any other means. How about if you suddenly sneezed and emphasized the YOU?
"I will phone YOU." You get it by now no?
The moral of the story is
2) Watch how you say things! How you say it can matter a lot!
Be aware of things like stresses and where to put them.
Check the volume of your voice to ensure that the interviewer can hear you clearly and crisply. Make sure you are not speaking monotonuously throughout the conversation!
The next, part of communication skills that interviewers can guage from you just by meeting you is your body language. Apart from the way you sit which was covered in chapter 3, the other most important thing is eye contact!
Eye contact is a powerful tool that can be used to your advantage. When little kids lie, there is a tendency for them to look away and avoid eye contact.
When you make eye contact with animals, they will often perform some reflex actions like run away! To make the most of this:
3) Establish eye contact with your interviewer. If there is more than one, you should make eye contact with most of them and dpending on cultures, you are expected to make eye contact. For example, when working with the Dutch, eye contact is required to make a valid point. Also, making eye contact also implies that you are being truthful in your words.
Not only does looking away from the interviewer suggest that you are not confident, it is just plain funny if you spend 30 minutes interviwing someone who is looking at the floor or ceiling. Hello! Nothing exciting there.
Next, one of the skills you will be tested on most probably is your presentation skills! Remember, when you are being interviewed, you are presenting the interviewer a brand, trying to sell what you have to give. You are that brand. Would you buy a Ferrari just for kicks? That is the kind of decision the interviewer has to make you see and something presentable sure has an advantage. One way to help present yourself would definitely be body language. The first thing you need to know is to
4) Smile! It costs nothing to produce one and a smile is often returned with a smile!
I love this quote:
What can one do when death smiles at you? All a man can do is smile back.
I digress, but still, you can only smile back to someone who smiles at you and based on research, it gives a good feeling to both parties. So, do practice smiling!
The last thing that you can do to improve communication is to make it more exciting by adding hand gestures and body movement when your present something. There are planty of sites that talk about this but it is worth noting that these techniques can be priceless!
Stay tuned on how to answer those IT questions HR likes to ask!
Objective of the interview
Things to prepare
At the Interview
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