When it comes to the hiring process for any industry, a good impression can often be the deciding factor in landing a job, and communication is a crucial component of this. Luckily, clear, effective communication is an easy skill to learn and the positive effects will trickle into all aspects of your eventual career.
The available information on the topic is extensive but when you get down to the very basic building blocks of communication, there are 3 types of communication styles: aggressive, passive, and assertive:
- The aggressive type of communication is very straight-forward and demanding. These personality types don’t beat around the bush and they often feel that small talk and details are a waste of time that shouldn’t be indulged.
- Passive communication is the opposite of the aggressive style. It’s evasive and indirect, which makes it difficult for the other person to understand what they are trying to communicate. Their default is to avoid confrontation and conflict.
- Assertive communication is the perfect balance between the 2 extreme styles of aggressive and passive. An assertive communicator is straight-forward but also open-minded. They’re active listeners and they appreciate hearing the other point of view and voice their opinions in a respectful, mature way. This is the style of communication everyone should strive to adopt.
Learning to Adapt
While it’s common for one person to vary in their style, there is usually one consistent type they exhibit. During the hiring process, we recommend paying attention to which type you’re interacting with and then adapting to their style. This doesn’t mean you make an obvious and unnatural change to your personality; you merely use your adaptive skills to bring out certain personality traits of your own to complement theirs. For example, if you’re dealing with an aggressive communicator, be sure to keep your responses brief and concise. Learning to adapt to different styles makes interactions smoother and simpler for both parties.
The Interview: What You Aren’t Saying
Going through the first interview can be overwhelming, so it’s important to maintain professionalism and exude confidence. This is your time to pitch yourself and your valuable skills to the company. When armed with a positive attitude and good communication skills, interviews are a great opportunity to shine and let the interviewer see what you are bringing to the table.
While verbal communication is important, be sure to pay attention to the non-verbal cues you’re projecting. This can include body language, appearance, and attitude. To make a good first impression, dress professionally for the interview and greet everyone warmly with a firm handshake. Attitudes are easy to pick up on, so it’s important to come across as confident but not arrogant. It may be difficult in the beginning to find the right balance of all these components but with enough practice, it can easily be done.
Your Communication Long-Term
Master assertive communication and try to avoid the aggressive and passive styles. Remember that a good impression will get your foot in the door, but to achieve long-term success, you need to maintain this assertive style and carry it over into the entirety of your career. When you do, good relationships will form and positive career consequences will manifest as a result.