Remember the game “Operator?” Ten or so kids sit in a circle. The first kid thinks of a phrase and whispers it to the other kid, that kid whispers it to the next kid and so on until “Everyday Interview Tips” becomes “Everybody Wants to Eat Boogers” and everyone has a good laugh.
The corporate world is a lot like that, except without the annoying freckly kid that messes up the phrase on purpose. Communication is a vital part of the workplace, but without good communication, the work will suffer from miscommunication and error. All of this leads to the common interview question: “How do you keep others informed in the workplace?
There is no right or wrong answer. Provided that you have methods of communicating, you can’t truly be wrong. However, there is still a good and bad way to answer this question. Here is an example of a poor answer:
“I like to use email to contact other staff members, and I will follow up with them and send memos when appropriate.”
This answer isn’t terrible. It’s just not great. It’s not special. It’s an easy and run of the mill answer that just blends in with other people that don’t really put much thought into their communication methods.
“Generally I try to use a combination of two methods. First, I will find a direct way to contact other staff members, either through email, at person, in meetings, what have you. Then, I like to start a public database on the server that all staff can access where I have placed anything we have communicated so that the staff has a reference in case they have forgotten. I also like to follow up with staff later to ensure we are still in sync.”
This answer is not much different, but it shows a clear thought process. This answer shows that you put thought into how you communicate, and this type of answer is far more preferable to hiring managers.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Come up with a thoughtful answer.
- Make sure the answer has information on following up.