Here are few tips on how best you can answer job interview questions that seek to test your listening skills.

By Jappreet Sethi

To be an excellent or effective communicator, one has to or should focus on becoming a great listener. Yes, the art of speaking is important, and listening is just as critical as speaking in the communication process.

It applies to all kinds of different situations at work. When you are dealing with coworkers, managers, or clients — one should try being a great listener first. These are crucial workplace skills. It highlights your ability to listen properly and also provides insight into the rationale behind decisions. One also gets a better understanding of what the speaker is trying to accomplish. Practices attentive and active listening 

A good listen is one who has the patience to hear people out. They are people who can accurately restate the opinions of others even when he/she disagrees. Listening involves hearing the speaker and understanding the speaker’s point of view. Describe how you do this. 

Through this job interview question on listening skills, the HR interviewer wants to know how well you listen and absorb what the speaker is saying. It’s crucial to understand how well you listen to your seniors. Answer this question by saying that excellent communication is not about saying something. Remember that it is not always about audience hearing it either. In general, it is essential that the listener understands your message and can repeat it back. If the person who is listened understands the nuances, the emotion, and the content — only then is communication successful. And being a good listener isn’t always easy.

While answering this job interview question on listening skills, you can say that it is not possible to retain all the information that you are being provided. So along with listening, you try taking notes. To ensure that you don’t miss out on the initial message communicated, you note down these facts immediately post a communication — especially if you don’t have the same handy with you. It is important to understand and comprehend the message without truly grasping the meaning behind them. Often, we get distracted and don’t pay attention because while someone is talking. It is important to stay focused and listen to someone.

Effective listening includes patiently hearing people out and absorbing the speaker’s message before responding. Describe a time when you were able to do this despite it being not very easy to do so. 

Through this job interview question on listening skills, the interviewer would like to know if you have the potential to hear people properly and absorb the message before responding. You can say that you try to do this every time there is an important work meeting, or there is a similar discussion. To try to absorb more, you also make more eye contact. This not only gives a clear indication that you’re paying attention to him or her. It also gets you the attention of the speaker — so if there are doubts or queries, they would address them patiently — as compared to answering doubts of people who were distracted or not interested.

While answering this job interview question on listening skills, add that you do believe in making appropriate facial expressions. Some of these are nodding, tilting your head, smiling, etc. But mention that you only do this when you can grasp the meaning and are interested in what he or she’s saying. If there is a doubt you prefer to ask questions at the right time. At the end of the day, critical listening involves asking questions. If you don’t get all the information, then you would have trouble understanding. It is also important that you ask questions, and try not to interrupt the speaker. Only when they complete his or her thoughts do you respond or asking questions.

One of the most challenging aspects of active listening is to accurately restate the opinions of others, even when you disagree with the speaker. Share a time when you effectively did this. 

The interviewer is likely to ask you about a time when you had to accurately restate the opinions of others even when you disagree with the speaker. Also though this is never easy, it meant that you had to concentrate. 

While answering this job interview question on listening skills, you could say that this was during a time when a meeting was prolonged beyond expectations. Having had a long day, you had to listen equally to everyone. And while it was already a prolonged day and you were tired, it was essential to listen to those who waste a lot of time, but try to help them. And so in this case, though you didn’t’ agree with them in some cases, you tried to put things short. 

It could be that you needed to interrupt someone who rambles and try to help that person communicate in a better way. You attempted to summarize and repeat the whole thing or whatever he or she has said. Doing so not only helped him or her categorize to stop rambling — it also reflected your ability to tell this person to be shorter next time tactfully.

While answering this job interview question on listening skills, you can also mention that there are times when you are verbally criticized — so all of the negative comments were made at you. Still, you try to keep calm and maintain composure. You decided to focus on the task ahead and accurately understand what is being said. You did not accept or refute. 

Once you were done with absorbing the energy of your opponent to manage — you started asking clarifying questions without hitting back. You restated whatever was said earlier, and yet you allowed others to talk until they run out of venom. You also helped yourself by eliminating the non-verbal signals. These are signs which indicate you are not listening. So there was no furrowed brow, blank stare, body agitation, finger or pencil drumming. Instead, you showed your respect by tactually handling this patience and composure — and not retort back.

Kilde The HR Blog