Oral Communication During an Interview

You’ve scoured the web for the right job listings. You’ve written and revised your cover letter a hundred times. You’ve filled out online applications and tweaked your resume to be just right. Up to this point in the employment search process, you’ve used written materials to pique the interest of potential employers. Now, it’s finally time for your interview, but are you ready to sell yourself? Whether it’s done over the phone, via video chat, or in-person, oral communication can make or break the entire deal. What goes into great oral communication during an interview, and how can you be sure to make the best possible impression?

Oral Communication During an In-Person Interview

In person-interviews allow job-seekers are able to use the interaction to show off every aspect of their personality and prove that they’re the right person for the job. However, this also means there’s a lot of pressure for interviewees to deliver at all angles. A study performed by Come Recommended found that 33 percent of bosses knew whether they would hire someone within the first 90 seconds of an interview. With that in mind, make sure you’re primed and ready to go from the moment you enter the room. Practice active listening by repeating questions back to the interviewer or summarizing their question. Speak clearly and succinctly, and don’t worry about taking your time to formulate your thoughts when answering a question. According to a study published on Career Geek 38percent of hiring officials said the quality of grammar and overall confidence had the most important impact during the interview.

Oral Communication During a Video Interview

Over the past few years, companies have made the push toward video interviews to make the process more efficient. A study published by the Aberdeen Group found that 47percent of companies prefer video conference interviews because it saves on time, and another 67percent said it cuts down on travel costs. Though you may not be in the room with the interviewer, you should do everything possible to act like you are. Eye contact is still incredibly vital during these video interviews, as it demonstrates confidence. The study published by Come Recommended found that 67percent of bosses and hiring managers cited a lack of eye contact as being a primary mistake by applicants. Don’t let yourself become distracted by going ons around you, and find a quiet, private location that will allow you to answer questions and focus your attention on the hiring party. Continue to practice active listening by asking questions and summarizing their points. Take your time in responding so you don’t trip over your words.

Oral Communication During a Phone Interview

Phone interviews can be a tricky situation. Without any visual cues, it’s tough to gauge reactions to what you say or how you say it. It’s also common to find yourself and the interviewer unintentionally interrupting or talking over one another. Still, these types of interviews are often unavoidable, particularly in the first few rounds of candidate conversations. They are an efficient and quick way for hiring managers to sift through a lot of applicants. When the call begins, make sure to greet anyone who’s announced themselves on the call. Before answering, listen to the question in its entirety so that you’re not jumping the gun or leaving anything out. It may be handy to keep a notepad nearby to jot down important ideas you want to communicate. You’ll also want to try and keep your answers succinct; without the ability to make eye contact, it can be easy to give long and rambling answers. As with any of these interview scenarios, answer with confidence.

Interviews are both exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s as though we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, we also know that if the interview doesn’t go well, it may mean beginning the process all over again. Your written materials got you to this point, but person-to-person meetings will rely much more heavily on your oral communication skills. By remaining calm, actively listening, and showing your confidence, you’ll have a great chance to take this interview and turn it into a career.

What is Oral Communication?

Oral communication can be a high-pressure way to communicate. Unlike written communication, where you have a chance to revise, you have one shot to get your message across. Oral communication has been the primary way we communicate on a day-to-day basis for millions of years according to PLOS ONE. If you can do it well, in many cases, success follows. If you do it poorly you can find yourself in a less-than-convenient situation. Let’s take a look at what exactly oral communication is and why it’s important at work, with friends, and family. 

What is Oral Communication?

Oral communication is the ability to transmit ideas from your brain to either one person or a group of people. Good use of verbal skills means presenting an idea clearly while each thought is articulated in a cohesive manner. It has everything to do with the language that we choose to use. It’s also important to know who your audience is and address them in a way that they comprehend and understand. Your tone is also important as a confident tone can go far when you are expressing an idea as it can help you sound more credible. Good verbal communication often relies on non-verbal cues. These cues, like hand gestures or a raised brow, might put emphasis on a point, show how you feel about what you are saying, and provide insight about the seriousness of a situation. Another important aspect to think about is that good verbal skills go hand-in-hand with excellent listening skills. When used together it becomes much easier to navigate day-to-day encounters at work and in your personal life.

Oral Communication at Work

Being able to present yourself as well as your ideas is important before you even start a job. In fact, the National Association for Colleges and Employers did a study which found that verbal communications skills were the biggest priority when making a new hire. This is probably related to the fact that the ability to work within a team is the second most important quality. According to Medium, we now spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our families. So being able to communicate well with them is essential. The ability to convey ideas to your co-workers helps the team accomplish a task much more efficiently. It can also help to avoid the negativity and unproductiveness that comes when people aren’t getting along.

The ability to communicate ideas to colleagues or a board of directors in presentations is also important. This can help make you sound more expert when presenting as well as helps you look more professional. Being able to cooperate with other people, present your ideas clearly, and the ability to listen and respond to other people’s ideas will go a long way to help you enjoy your work and help set you down a successful career path.

Oral Communication with Friends

Human beings are social creatures. Studies have shown that people who go out of their way to have a social life are happier in the long term, according to Psychology Today. Oral communication is the cornerstone of social interaction. Doing more to engage others leads to the feeling of being more socially connected, which in turn makes us happier. A key part of making new friends is the ability to ask good questions. This requires active listening (an important part of oral communication) so that you can learn about the other person and get to know someone better. In turn, being able to talk about yourself so that they can get to know you is also important. Someone with good verbal skills will be able to do this in a friendly way that isn’t braggadocious or cocky. Being able to have a balanced conversation, especially when you first meet someone, is a good way to make a new friend.

Of course, oral communication is also important when talking to old friends. Sharing things about yourself, from the deeply personal to the mundane, can lead to less stress in life. Happify reports that people who have substantive conversations with friends are happier than those who only have small talk. So, don’t be afraid to go deep when having a conversation with a friend about what’s going on in your life.

Oral Communication with Family

Open communication among family members helps create strong family bonds that last a lifetime. It’s important to be able to sit down and communicate things like what’s going on in everyone’s life, without judgment, while finding a way to encourage each other. An article published by Virginia Tech reports that families utilize two different kinds of communication. One is clear communication where the family members are open and direct. The other is masked which is when communication is muddied and vague. Family members tend to mask how they feel. This happens when they think they will be met with disapproval or are unhappy with another family member. Masking how you feel might get someone out of an uncomfortable situation in the short term. However, being open and honest about feelings strengthens family bonds in the long term. The same article goes on to say that couples who rate their communication skills highly have happier marriages.

If family members feel unheard, it could help to set some time aside for a family meeting. You can also make it a point to sit down and eat dinner together. Speaking to each other and asking questions about what’s going in each other’s lives with an open mind is what family communication is all about.

Oral communication is important in all aspects of daily life. It is the easiest way to let the people around you know who you are–professionally and socially. By being direct and honest while maintaining an open and positive attitude you are telling the world that you are the type of person who can be trusted with everything from a presentation to the board of directors to helping a family member or friend through a difficult situation. Learning to listen to others and responding in a genuine way is what makes you a good communicator.