So far, we have covered strategy, leadership, stakeholder engagement in our first three instalments, and now we will consider; communication.
A communication question is one of those competencies that is often assessed in a variety of different ways. It can be covered at the interview, absorbed into the presentation stage or marked separately at the end of an interview. However it does also come up in a variety of forms on application forms and questions can vary, however they will usually be in the form of a question such as, “Demonstrate how you use communication to change someone’s viewpoint significantly.” Or “Outline the approach you use to convince others that a particular topic or strategy was important”
One of the most common mistakes people make with this answer is talking about the outcomes of their efforts at the expense of outlining their process or approach. People often rely on the outcome itself to impress, however as your old maths teacher at school would have told you, you need to show your workings. One of the critical requirements of any senior level role is establishing positive working relationships and supporting other individuals. Highlighting your many skills is excellent but remember to ensure that you convey your ability to influence, collaborate and communicate effectively.
How do you ensure you display a balance of proficiency and teamwork, all the while highlighting your ability to deal with a difficult situation?
Like any good answer you should be able to give context and describe how your efforts and objectives were linked to the bigger picture and objectives of the organisation.
Begin by answering in a manner that shows you have adjusted communication to meet the audience’s needs, avoiding where possible the use of technical language and jargon, different groups will need the message delivered in a different way. It is also essential to ensure that your answer demonstrates that you used a variety of appropriate methods of communication and why you employed these methods.
How did you know if these were appropriate and effective? You should also refer to evidence of how you measured the impact and success in relation to what you were trying to achieve.
A comprehensive example will allow you to acknowledge the fact that communication is a two way process and demonstrate that you have genuinely taken the views of others on board and either responded to them or adjusted your message
By showing that you have actively listened and adjusted your communication method or style by choosing the most effective way to convey the message(s) and being able to demonstrate measurable outcomes is ultimately how you will demonstrate your strength in communication.
The “How to Excel at Application Forms” series will culminate in a webinar on the 16th of December 2020, where we will go through each topic in more detail. If you would like to register your interest in this webinar, please click here.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about how to excel at application forms, please click here. A member of our team will be more than happy to answer any queries you may have.