When you attend a job interview one of the skills you will be judged on are your communication skills. When you’re concentrating on trying to give the best answers you can, coupled with any nerves you may have, you can forget about your communication skills and unconsciously create barriers in the way you communicate with the interviewer or panel.
Listed below are some of the communication barriers that candidates create. Some of these may well resonate with you.
1. Not smiling: If you forget to smile when someone first greets you, it can immediately create a barrier. Make sure that you smile at each person you’re introduced to.
2. Speaking too quickly or too slowly: If you’re one of those people who naturally talk very quickly, this can become worse in interviews. Make sure that you slow down your speech, otherwise people will lose what you’re saying or you may make them feel tired out. If you speak too slowly, just because you’re thinking you will lose the interviewer and they’ll find it difficult to concentrate. You have to strike the right balance.
3. Talking too much or too little: Talking too much can really damage your chances in an interview. It can look like you’re too fond of the sound of your own voice or not interested in other people. It can also give the impression you're not listening. Talking too little can also create a barrier between you and the interviewer. No interviewer wants to feel like they're dragging information out of you.
4. Not listening: Is probably one of the worst communication errors that you can make. Of course if you don’t hear something, you ask for it to be repeated, but you must make sure that you don’t talk over people or not listen to questions that you are asked – if you do you might find yourself giving the entirely wrong answer.
5. Not making eye contact: If you don’t maintain eye contact with your interviewer or members of the panel, they may well find it difficult to engage with you.
6. Directing answers to single member of the panel : Some candidates make the mistake when being interviewed or delivering a presentation of directing their remarks or responses to one or two people that they think are the most influential. However, if you do this you immediately exclude the other people present and they are likely to view you less favourably in return.
7. Attitude: Ensure that your attitude does not become a communication barrier. If you appear superior, act as if an organisation would be lucky to employ you, seem bored, criticise current colleagues or employer you will have no chance of getting the job. Even if the interviewer appears hostile, rise above it and maintain your equilibrium at all times.
If you are aware that you do any of these things mentioned above, what can you do about it? Having more self-awareness is a start, but the best way to conquer any of these tendencies or habits is through visualisation. By using visualisation techniques, you can walk through the whole interview process concentrating on how you will communicate at each stage minimising the chances of you using any bad habits and harming your chances of being selected as the ideal candidate.
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