A solid foundation of communication skills, when it comes to writing or speaking, can set a candidate apart from other top talent. So, it’s no surprise that communication skills are one of the top competencies recruiters and hiring teams look for in candidates. In fact, studies show that 73% of employers seek candidates with top-notch communication skills.
But how can you determine a candidate’s ability to communicate well? By asking the right interview questions.
In this article, you’ll find 27 interview questions to help you gauge a candidate’s communication skills. Along with general communication questions, you’ll also find questions for related competencies, including empathy and attention to detail.
Read on to uncover all of the communication skills interview questions.
General Communication Skills Interview Questions
- Tell me about a complex idea you had to explain to a colleague. How did you go about explaining it?
- Describe a time when you should have documented something important but failed to do so. What happened, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Tell me about a sensitive situation (that you’re comfortable sharing, of course) that required you to communicate with intention and care.
- Tell me about a situation where you had to voice your opinion in a meeting or during a project.
- Describe a time when you successfully communicated with someone even though you weren’t sure if they valued your perspective.
- Describe a time when you didn’t communicate critical information to your manager or colleague. What was the outcome, and what did you learn from the situation?
- Tell me about a time when you leveraged your written communication skills to make your point of view clear.
- Give me an example of a time when you provided a direct report with information that helped them make a good decision.
- Describe a time when your communication skills helped you successfully accomplish a project or task.
- Tell me about a time when you had a misunderstanding with a colleague. What steps did you take to overcome your communication barriers?
- Give me an example of a time when you were slow to share information with your direct reports or team members, and it had a negative impact.
Empathy Interview Questions
- Give me an example of a time when you noticed a colleague felt down and provided words of encouragement or support.
- How do you ensure that people on your team and other colleagues feel heard when you’re interacting with them (especially virtually)?
- Tell me about a time that you used empathy to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
- Tell me about a time when listening well was especially challenging. What was the result of that interaction?
- Tell me about a time when you picked up on negative feelings from a colleague and adapted your communication to overcome the situation.
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake because you didn’t listen carefully enough to what a team member said. How did you fix the situation?
- Sometimes we encounter emotional situations with coworkers. Describe a time when you didn’t handle a situation like this well.
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to control and filter your emotions in a constructive way in the midst of a difficult situation.
- Describe a time when you had to deliver challenging news to a team member.
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t show compassion to a team member. What did you learn from the experience?
Attention to Detail Interview Questions
- Tell me about a time when you avoided making a mistake on something you were writing because of your attention to detail.
- Share an example of a time when your attention to detail helped you clearly communicate a complex idea or project with your team.
- Describe a time when you caught a writing mistake that your colleagues hadn’t noticed.
- Describe a situation where attention to detail was either critical or unimportant for the task you were working on.
- Give me an example of a time when you found communicating a project’s details to be especially challenging.
- Describe a time when you chose to focus on the big picture when you should have focused more on the details.