Communication Job Interview Questions for Employers to Ask

Ask about Communication When You Interview Prospective Employees

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The following sample job interview questions for employers to ask about communication enable you to assess your candidate’s skills in communication. You will want to ask several of these questions in all of your job interviews because effective communication is a key skill that most successful employees share.

Even in your interviews with technical employees, communication skills have become increasingly important because of the emphasis on team-based collaboration in organizations today.

So, communication skill assessment should be a component in every job interview in your organization.

You can best assess a candidate's communication and interpersonal skills in a team interview where you have the opportunity to observe his or her interaction with a small group. This gives you the information you need about the potential communication skills he or she will exhibit in your workplace.

Feel free to use these job interview questions in your own candidate interviews.

  • Why are you here today participating in this interview?
  • You attend a weekly staff meeting with your supervisor. How have you ensured, in the past, that the information you have received is communicated to your reporting staff and coworkers?
  • Information that you believe is untrue or confidential has reached you via the grapevine. What actions have you taken in the past to take care of situations such as this when communication is out of control?
  • Give me an example, from your past work experiences, about a time when you were part of a project or team and you never knew what was happening with the other action items or participants. How did you handle this situation?
  • Rate your communication skills on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing excellent communication skills. Give me three examples from your past work experiences that demonstrate the selected number is accurate.
  • What's surprised you about our interview process so far?
  • Describe the work environment or culture and the communication style it uses in which you experience the most success.
  • Describe five things about the communication within an organization that must be present for you to work most effectively?
  • How often do you believe it is necessary to withhold information from staff members who report to you? Would you say you do this regularly, not often, or never? Under what circumstances do you limit communication in your experience?
  • When you have had a boss, in the past, who failed to adequately communicate with you, how have you handled this?
  • When you have entered a new workplace in the past, describe how you have gone about meeting and developing relationships with your new coworkers, supervisors, and reporting staff.

Communication Job Interview Question Answers

Pay attention to how your candidate interacts with people such as the receptionist. This observation, in addition to your own observation of the candidate's level of comfort with communication during the interview, is key. You can observe much about the candidate's communication style during the interview.

How articulate is the candidate?

How clearly does the candidate communicate? How easily does the candidate select words to use to answer questions? Notice the non-verbal communication and the facial expressions as well. Does the candidate radiate sincerity and energy?

In a group interview, which I recommend, how did the candidate interact with each of the employees who attended? Was the interaction easy? Did the candidate answer their questions? Or, did the candidate talk around them? 

In past interviews, the team has experienced all sorts of dysfunctional behavior from candidates and their communication style. Often the behaviors are red flags for an employer. For example, the team interviewed one male candidate who would only look at males when he responded to questions, even when the question was asked by a female employee.

In another interview, the male candidate was sincerely liked, communicated effectively, and found hire-worthy when he interviewed with a senior team member present in the interview. When he met with managers and employees, he failed to make eye contact, repeatedly looked at his watch, and finally asked when they thought that the interview would end.

In both of these examples, the candidate was not hired. The employer spotted too many warning signs during the interviews, especially in a workplace that valued employees, treated employees equally, and expected a teamwork environment.  

Finally, in assessing communication, is the candidate genuinely interested in your company and the open job? You can learn much about whether to hire the candidate from the candidate's nonverbal communication.

Sample Job Interview Questions for Employers

Use these sample job interview questions when you interview potential employees.