Positive Indicators

• Speaks and writes clearly and effectively.
• Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately.
• Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication.
• Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience.
• Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Negative Indicators

• Lacks confidence when talking.
• Produces writing that is vague or wordy.
• Uses inappropriate language.
• Tends to stick to one style of communication.
• Lacks expression during the interview.
• Loses the attention of the reader/audience at times.
• Tends to drift from one topic to another.
• Limited positive feedback from others on communication effectiveness.
• Withholds information without sufficient justification.

Sample Questions

How would other people describe your communication skills?

  • What positive things have people said about your ability to communicate with others?
  • What development areas have been highlighted for you (e.g., speaking skills, listening skills)?
  • Compared to others, how would you rate yourself as a communicator? Why?
  • What could you do to become better at communicating with others?

Give me an example of when you had to explain something difficult to someone who did not have your background/knowledge.

  • What information did you need to get across?
  • What did you consider when explaining the concept?
  • What was the most difficult aspect about giving the explanation?
  • How did you ensure that they understood?
  • What would you do differently next time?

Tell me about a time when it was important to involve someone in a conversation.

  • Why was it important to involve them?
  • How did you go about involving them?
  • When has your approach been less effective?
  • In retrospect, what would have you done differently?

What kind of correspondence have you had to prepare in the past?

  • What experience have you had in writing formal communication?
  • How effective is your writing technique?
  • How could you improve the quality of your writing?

What experience have you had speaking formally in front of others?

  • Describe a talk or presentation which you have given recently.
  • How did you tailor the discussion to suit the audience?
  • How did the audience react?
  • What feedback did you receive?

Tell me about a time when you have chosen not to disclose information to others.

  • What was the situation?
  • When are you less likely to share information with others?
  • What are the main issues you consider when deciding whether to share information with others?

Tell me about a time when you have outlined the key points in an argument in the past.

  • What did you do specifically that was effective?
  • How could you presented your argument more effectively?
  • In what situations have you been least effective at outlining your arguments to others?
  • How would you rate your skills at outlining an argument orally as compared with your peers?
  • What do you see as being the key to successfully putting an argument across orally?

Give me an example of a situation when it was important for you to communicate a strategy or organizational objective clearly to others.

  • Why was it important?
  • What did you do to prepare your communication?
  • What did you do that was particularly effective?
  • What factors did you feel were important to address?

How did you make sure you were understood?

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