Communication is one of the most important skills for employees to have. No matter how talented or fit for the job they may be, it will be hard for them to be effective if they aren’t good communicators.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to judge someone’s communications skills before they start a job. Even in a typical interview, this can be difficult, as one-on-one conversation isn’t always indicative of how someone will work in a team environment.
In this article, CEO of Everest Business Funding Scott Crockett discusses the need to conduct communication interviews and provides ideas for an observation table that can be used for recruitment analysis and improving hiring decisions.
Match Their Verbal Communication to Their Written
It’s very important that a candidate’s verbal communication matches their written communication. It’s a great indicator that they are truly a great communicator, rather than just someone who can write well when given the time.
To do this, interviewers should thoroughly read a candidate’s cover letter and then see how well the “voice” matches that of their verbal communication during the in-person interview. If they don’t match, then it should be a red flag.
Ask the Right Behavioral Questions
Much of communication revolves around a person’s behavior. How they act and the values they hold for themselves will come out in how they communicate with others.
To assess this, you should ask behavioral questions during the interview that focus on a person’s communications skills. An example would be asking them to describe a time they faced a challenge with another employee, customer or vendor. Or, you could ask them to describe how they communicated a challenging concept to someone.
Practice Role Playing
One of the best ways you can assess a candidate’s communications skills is by role playing. The interviewer should create hypothetical scenarios that are likely to happen at your company, and specifically for the role the candidate is interviewing for. Then, ask them questions about how they might handle a specific situation.
By having them describe how they would approach various situations, you’ll not only be seeing if they are knowledgeable about the job itself, you’ll also be seeing how well they communicate.
Pay Attention to More Than Words
Communication is more than just words, and interviewers should pay attention to some of these other cues. What non-verbal communication skills — such as hand gestures and body language — does the candidate use during the interview? Are they friendly? Do they approach you and others with respect? Do they have good listening skills? Are they confident, both in themselves and their responses?
These are all signs of how well they communicate.
All companies should focus on improving their hiring decisions, and they can do that by constantly analyzing their recruitment process.
Scott Crockett suggests having two people in every job interview. One should be the lead interviewer who will ask the questions and direct the interview. The other should be an observer. This other person should take notes on all communication-related things they observe.
This person should note non-verbal communication skills, voice, body language, and anything else related to communication. These notes can then be put into an observation table, with one for each candidate. After all interviews are conducted, your hiring team can compare these various tables to see which candidates have the best communication skills.
About Scott Crockett
Scott Crockett is the founder and CEO of Everest Business Funding. He is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Mr. Crockett’s track record includes raising more than $250 million in capital and creating thousands of jobs. Scott has founded, built, and managed several finance companies in the consumer and commercial finance sectors.