COMMUNICATION is the most important Soft Skill to learn in a crowded candidate field.
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
I have shared several times in the past about the importance of soft skills. While soft skills can be harder to develop than hard skills they are arguably equally important in standing out as a candidate. Some of the top soft skills include: negotiating, customer service, conflict resolution, problem solving, and teamwork. However, the one soft skill coming to the forefront of the workplace right now is #communication. Life is all about communication. How you communicate with the waiter will be different then how you communicate with your boss or a client. You need to be aware of how to handle all of these situations.
I read an article recently that mentioned a job search engine company analyzed over 6M jobs posted on LinkedIn which included at least one soft skill in the description. The study found out that more than 2M of them included the desire for “effective communication”.
Interviewers are looking out for how you communicate during an interview. There are a few reasons as to why interviewers like to test for your communication proficiency:
- They can get an idea of how a prospective employee will be able to make decisions and relay those decisions to others in the organization.
- They can determine whether you can handle unhappy customers or clients.
- They can determine whether you will be able to represent the organization in a positive manner within the industry and community.
Here are a few examples of questions which might come up during an interview as it relates to your communicative abilities:
- How would you go about simplifying a complex issue in order to explain it to a client or colleague?
- How would you go about persuading someone to see things your way at work?
- How would you go about explaining a complex idea/problem to a client who was already frustrated?
- Talk about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it did well.
- How would you explain a complicated issue to a colleague with no understanding of the background?
- Describe a time when you had to be careful talking about sensitive information. How did you do it?
- Talk about a time when you made a point that you knew your colleagues would be resistant to.
- Is it more important to be a good listener or a good communicator?
- Tell me about a time you had to relay bad news to a client or colleague.
- How have you handled working under someone you felt was not good at communicating?
There are three (3) main types of communication:
- Verbal Communication (ability to express your thoughts and concepts through words)
- Non-verbal Communication (ability to communicate and pick up on cues like on body language in the room)
- Visual Communication (ability to depict ideas and concepts through visual tools and presentations)
Good communication skills are essential to allow others and yourself to understand information more accurately and quickly.
Please let me know if you would like to discuss further how to improve your communication skills during your career search.