Communication Interview Questions and Answers
Question 1: How would you simplify a complex issue for a customer?
[SITUATION] I have dealt with customers in a number of my previous roles, including _______ and _______. [TASK] In all of these roles, I have had to communicate complex issues, for example company policy on particular issues. [ACTION] Knowing the issue is complex I consider what the customer needs to know, their level of existing understanding, their motivations and why we are in this situation. I also consider the appropriate method of communicating, e.g. face to face, by telephone, email or letter. I will then make sure that plain English is used and my communication follows a logical flow. [RESULT] In doing the above I have always had success in communicating. I always check understanding afterwards so I can be certain of the effectiveness.
Question 2: How would you go about persuading someone to see things your way at work?
[SITUATION] In all of my previous roles I have had to persuade or influence colleagues to take a course of action they have not wanted to. [TASK] For example, when responsible for the booking of transport, I have had to persuade colleagues to take the most cost-effective method, even where this may require compromise on the travel time, location etc. [ACTION] I always seek to understand their position firstly. I can then address this directly. I will ensure my reasoning is well-founded, e.g. based on company policy, best value, legal requirement etc and then make this case to them. [RESULT] When I have fully communicated the reasoning I have found I can then persuade effectively. Key is understanding their viewpoint and addressing directly.
Question 3: How would you deal with a difficult customer becoming very irate?
[SITUATION] I have had this situation many times in previous roles. For example, I have had to refuse customers refunds if their return did not comply with company policy on conditions, use etc. [TASK] The challenge in this scenario is to diffuse the situation and bring to a conclusion with the customer understanding why their request cannot be met. [ACTION] I always deal with the customer with respect. I listen and understand their issue. Keeping calm, I explain why their request could not be met and offer any alternative options (e.g. store credit) where this is possible. I use positive body language to try and diffuse the situation. [RESULT] In all difficult customer scenarios I have always managed to diffuse the situation, keep calm and close the matter effectively.
Answering Communication Interview Questions and Answers – Standouty’s STAR Methodology
All of our Communication Interview Questions and Answers are based on the STAR method. This is recognised across the industry as the BEST method for answering interview questions. If used well the panel will be unaware of its use but consider your answer to be well constructed, methodical and just plain AMAZING.
The STAR Technique involves constructing your answer in the following way:
Set the context of your answer. Tell the panel, where, when and why this situation came to be. For example, “Whilst working in my current role, we were holding an event in which 100 plus people were due to attend any minute. That’s when I was notified the caterers weren’t able to make it.”
What did you have to do. For example, “I had to organise alternative caterers and without the guests knowing. The failure of the event would have been a disaster for the company.”
What did you actually do. For example, “I spoke to the venue owner and we identified other caterers who may be able to help at short notice. I contacted all of them and identified one who could cater the event albeit one hour later than planned.”
How did the situation play out. For example, “Catering was provided in line with guest expectations. The evening, after this initial hiccup, went seamlessly. I was congratulated by the senior managers for sorting out what could have been a catastrophe.”
Constructing your answers in this way will ensure you fully address the question / scenario given and the criteria the panel are measuring you against.
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