Interview questions about how well you listen and how to answer them
Getting a job offer is more likely if you are ready for questions about how well you listen during an interview. If a candidate can tell a detailed story that shows they can listen well, a hiring manager may be able to tell if they can solve problems at work and do the job duties for the position. You can get ready better if you go over some common questions about how to listen. In this article, we explain what this kind of interview question is and what it is supposed to do. We also show you how to answer the question.
What questions can you ask in an interview about how well you listen?
When an interviewer asks about your listening skills, they want to know if you can get information and ideas from a conversation partner at work. Hiring managers often ask about your listening skills to see how you would follow instructions from a boss and make decisions, since getting other people’s opinions can often help you do a better job. You might be asked to talk about a time when you had to use active listening skills to solve a problem at a previous job.
Here are some important listening skills that you should mention in your answers:
- hearing what people say is a way to learn things.
- Evaluating a message
- By asking questions, you can learn more.
- Responding with useful information
- Things to remember in the future
- Interview questions about listening skills and answers that show how to answer them
Think about these four answers if you’re asked about your listening skills in an interview:
1. At a job you had before, what did you do when your boss told you what to do?
This is a common question that a hiring manager might ask at an interview to find out how well you can remember and follow spoken instructions. They might also be interested in how you show how well you can listen in a situation like this. Think of a time when you correctly confirmed a boss’s instructions, asked them to explain, and then did a good job on a task. You might want to tell a hiring manager these instructions again to show that you understood them.
Example: “Last year, my boss told me to print some flyers for new clients who were coming in the afternoon. Each client needed a different set of documents that fit their needs, so it was very important that I did this task well. My boss told me to look in our internal database for the right labels, change the fonts so they match, and print them on both sides of a piece of paper. I asked her to show me where to find the right labels, which sped up the process and helped me give the new clients documents that were correct.”
2. Have you ever asked someone to explain their point of view before giving your own?
It’s often important to find out why a coworker or boss says or does something in the workplace so you can plan how to respond. This is a question that hiring managers often ask to find out how you talk to people at work. This can help them figure out how you might get along with people you might work with in the future. They could also see how you work with people who have different ideas. Think of a time when you and a coworker had different ideas and explain how you used your listening skills to handle the conversation.
Example: “At my last job, a coworker and I had different ideas about how to handle a certain step of a project. Instead of arguing for my point of view, I asked them about theirs because I wanted to know if they had found a better way to deal with the situation. After I heard what they had to say, I asked them questions to make sure I understood. Because of this, I found out that our ideas were more alike than I thought, which helped us finish the step of the project faster.”
3.What did you do when you and someone else at work didn’t understand each other?
When hiring managers ask this common question, they often want to know if you can solve problems at work by listening. In your answer, they can see how you work with other people, which may show how you could help a department if you got the job. The questions can also test how good you are at customer service, since being able to talk through problems can help a business keep its customers. To give a good answer, you might want to talk about a time when you handled a misunderstanding well and give important details.
Example: “Six months ago, I took an order for a book over the phone from a customer. I ordered the wrong book because I didn’t understand what was going on. They called back a week later to say they were upset because this book was a gift for their son’s birthday and it might not get there on time because of the mistake. I patiently listened to her story and asked her questions to help me figure out what went wrong. I told her what happened when I found out she wanted the second book in the series instead of the first, and I made sure we ordered the right book.”
4. Can you think of a time when your ability to listen helped a company reach its goals?
When hiring managers ask this question or one like it, they are usually trying to find out if you can come up with new ideas at work because of how well you listen. They might see if you can both listen well and take part in making decisions, since both can help you figure out how to solve problems. Think of a time when you heard your boss or coworkers talking about a problem and then realized something that helped them figure out how to solve it. Think about telling your story in steps to make it easier to understand.
Example: “A few of my coworkers and I met about two months ago to talk about making a website for a big client. They just sent us some new requirements to implement, but our current platform has some limits that kept us from finishing this project step. Before I had any ideas of my own, I listened to my supervisors explain what was going on. After 10 minutes, I realized that an update to the platform that I had read about on an industry website might be a good solution. We were able to finish the design because of this.”