Use communication-skills interview questions to check how candidates present ideas, connect with clients and collaborate with their team.

Why communication skills are a must

Communication makes the world go around. Fact. 

Every day employees have to interact with coworkers, connect with clients and check in with managers, so great communication should be at the top of every recruiters list.

Interviews are the perfect space to evaluate how candidates communicate: you can figure out if they’re a team-player, how their presentation skills roll and how good they are at listening. 

Top tip: For extra insight ask candidates to craft 2-3 hypothetical emails and see how they communicate on paper. 

Communication interview questions

  • What’s your fave mode of communication and why?
  • List your top 3 comms tools? Why are they so good?
  • How would you overcome comms challenges on a remote team?
  • What would you do to make a boring presentation shine?
  • How would you deal with customer complaints online?
  • What’s your worst comms experience? How did you handle it?
  • What would you do if your manager sucked at communicating?
  • How would you present to stakeholders and ensure your message was clear?
  • How would you get a potential customer to choose us over a cheaper option?
  • How would you deal with an angry customer?
  • Describe a time you had to have a difficult convo with someone at work.
  • How would you connect with your new team?

Candidates to look for

  • Their resume rocks: Pay attention to spelling, grammar and structure of their resume. If they can’t ace their resume, their comms skills aren’t up to snuff. 
  • Awesome comms skills: Watch how candidates express themselves, whether they can stand their own in a conversation and how good they are at listening.
  • They get to the point: Look for candidates who give specific examples that highlight their communication abilities.
  • They ace roleplay: If it’s a face-to-face role, add role-play to the interview, and check how their comms skills stand up. 

Candidates to avoid 

  • Arrogance: Arrogant candidates are a big no-no. Great communicators will want to constantly improve, but arrogance = bad team players. 
  • Poor presentation skills: If candidates struggle on topics they’ve actually prepared, they probably won’t be great at delivering presentations or discussing more complex issues.
  • They look uncomfortable: Check in on their body language for some extra clues on their comms skills.
  • Crappy answers: Whether they’re all about the “Yes/No” answer, or they chew your ear off for an hour, candidates who can’t strike a balance between respecting your time and getting their points across are a no-no.
  • Not persuasive enough: You’re looking for an influencer: someone who can persuade others to their way of thinking. Look for creative, persuasive people and avoid candidates who couldn’t sell hay to a farmer. 

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