Securing a job in these economic times can be tough, but there is one thing nearly every employer looks for – communication skills. An ability to communicate with co-workers, the public, and your manager/supervisor is very important. Naturally, the best place for a potential employer to judge an applicant’s communication skills is in the job interview, and knowing this allows job-seekers to be as prepared as possible.

Get inside information

A good first step is to ask your recruiter about specifics regarding the potential employer. For example, your recruiter may know that a company wants a receptionist with high energy or a data entry operator with outstanding accuracy. When applying for those particular positions, you can then decide how best to demonstrate to the employer that you fit with their requirement.

For example, if a company is looking for secretaries who can function across different departments, you should arrive at an interview armed with examples of how you have handled these situations. How did you enable different teams or departments to work better together? Even actions some people might dismiss, such as ensuring that messages between the teams get relayed as a priority, can make a big difference.

A good idea is to make a list of achievements or accomplishments that demonstrate how you can supply what the company is looking for, along with specific examples. Memorise the top two examples in case the company does not allow notes during the interview process.  

Listen carefully

During an interview, you can listen closely for clues that will further outline what the perfect hire looks like to the company. That secretary who can function across different departments may be further described as someone who can respond to changing situations quickly and without getting flustered. Being able to outline an example from prior employment or volunteer work usually resonates with prospective employers. It shows that you have done your homework.  

Ask pertinent questions

Listening carefully can be augmented by responding to some of that information with brief, to-the-point questions. It not only demonstrates to the interviewer that you have been paying attention, but it shows an interest in the position and the company and demonstrates good communication. 

For example, “can you give me an example of how the secretary in this position contributes to meeting team deadlines?” will show that you’re not just interested in the position, but in helping the teams and company overall.

Communication involves listening to information, then processing that information and making relevant inferences and decisions about it. Job interviews are an excellent place to showcase those skills, as it gives you one-on-one time with a decision-maker at the preferred company. 

Preparation for the interview allows you to demonstrate that you are a good “fit” for the company, division or team, and that you do your homework – something the company is likely to desire in their new employee. 
Showcasing communication skills during an interview is one of the best ways to communicate with a company that they have found the perfect new employee.