Four Tips for Better Interpersonal Communication

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

While good work experience and skills are important to earning a job, you also need to be aware of how you are coming across in the hiring process. Today we will explore four tips to help you be your best.
Interpersonal communication typically falls into four main categories: speaking, listening, body language and writing.

Speaking Speaking includes both your words and tone of voice. Use proper grammar and clearly pronounce words. Your tone of voice should be conversational, professional and demonstrate interest and enthusiasm.
Avoid rambling and fillers such as “um, uh, you know, like.” While brief periods of silence can feel awkward, a steady stream of fillers can be frustrating in a conversation.

Listening Do not interrupt the interviewer; wait for them to complete their question or statement. This will ensure you understand what they are asking and give you a few seconds to formulate your answer.
Try repeating back what you thought the interviewer said or asked. That will show them you have actively listened to what they shared.

Body Language Approximately 55 percent of interpersonal communication is body language. Be sure to dress and groom appropriately. Use a firm handshake, maintain good eye contact, sit up straight, and do not fidget to create a positive impression.

Writing The written word is something you can take time to get just right. Do not rely on spellcheck; reread everything – your resume, cover letter, your application, emails or thank you notes or emails. One way to catch spelling errors is to read your writing starting from the bottom, reading right to left. This slows you down so you can focus on each word.

Combining great work skills with strong interpersonal skills will go a long way to helping you land your next great job.