Great communication can contribute a lot to the success of any organization. Yet many of us struggle with it, for one reason or another, which leads to both personal and organizational problems. Maybe a day will really come when robots and artificial intelligence replaces us. We won’t need to communicate anymore. Maybe we will also become robots then… Until that sad day arrives, however, you will face questions about communication in your job interviews, and in this article we will look at one of the most common, related to your communication style.

Before we look at 7 sample answers, I want to tell you two crucial points to remember. First: This is not a school exam. The hiring managers do not expect you to simply pick one of the seven communication styles (or four, or 10, depending on the categorization you follow). They want to hear more, they expect you to explain how your communication style impacts your interactions with colleagues. Sure, you can say that your communication style is assertive (or passive, or direct), but you should always elaborate on it, explain how it actually translates into your interactions with others.

And the second thing: Make sure that your answer corresponds with what they see and hear in the interview. Saying that your communication style is assertive, and at the same time not really showing any initiative in the interviews, or confidence, won’t take you far. They will immediately start to doubt the authenticity of your words, and in such a moment you have already lost your chances in that particular interview… Let’s have a look at the answers now, I hope they will give you some inspiration to come up with your own, unique answer.


7 sample answers to “What is your communication style?” interview question

  1. I would describe my communication style as direct and honest. Since I do not like when people play games with me, saying things they do not really mean, I do not do the same to them. On the contrary, I say things how I see them and feel them, and I do not mind either praising people or criticizing them. I know that sometimes people may find my words hard to swallow, especially if I share a difficult feedback with them, but in a long run I believe it is the best communication style for the company, since my message is always clear, and everybody cooperating with me knows what they are supposed to do.
  2. I try be assertive in my communication, but I never try to take advantage of others. What I try to say here is that while I have my goals–both personal and in the company, and try my best to achieve them through effective and assertive communication, I do not do it on the expense of others. For me, cooperation beats competition, and that’s how I try to approach each meeting, inside or outside the company. Having said that, I still see room for improvement when it comes to my communication style, and hope to get a chance to improve on it while working for your company.
  3. I would describe my communication style in the following way: Listen first, talk second. In my opinion, that’s the only way to manage people and teams effectively. I try to be attentive to the needs and feelings of my colleagues, and make sure that nobody is afraid to talk openly to me. That’s the basic pillar of my communication style. Once I know what the people expect and how they feel (about their work but also in general), I can manage them effectively and reach the goals we set for the team.
  4. I would say that I do not stick to one communication style only. Individual approach is the key for me, in communication with other people. If you want, we can call my style adaptive. Let me explain. With some people, only direct communication works. With others, who are very sensitive to any negative feedback, you have to communicate more politely, choose your words more carefully. And than you have situations that demand super assertive, almost aggressive communication style, for example when your colleagues do not get the magnitude of the situation, and you are on a brink of missing an important deadline. Of course, it isn’t always easy to judge the situation correctly, and adjust your communication accordingly. But I believe that the years of corporate experience under my belt help me a lot here, and more often than not I get it right.
  5. Actually up to this point people would describe my communication style as submissive. I worked under an authoritative boss, and in my previous job it was all about pleasing the ruthless management. And I went along, since I needed the job and the good salary. But eventually it only made me feeling miserable, because deep inside I knew I wasn’t doing a good service to anybody with such a communication. I decided to leave the job, and from now on I want to be more direct and assertive in my communication. And I hope to get a chance to do so in your company.
  6. My communication style is empowering. Or at least that’s how I try to communicate with people, and especially at work. I want people to feel good and confident while working with me. They should feel that we managers trust them, and see the value they bring onboard. That’s why I never let pass an opportunity to praise someone for a good work, and I also often ask my subordinates for feedback and opinion on important issues, to give them the feeling that they also participate on the decision making process. This communication style has proved successful in my last job, and I want to stick with it in my new job as well, hopefully with you.
  7. To be honest, I am still finding my communication style. This is my first job application, and while I had mixed success in relationships at school and in my private life, and definitely can learn something from those relationships that failed–communication is always to blame here, at least partially, I also understand employment and communication with colleagues is an entirely different world, and one should perhaps approach the communication in another way. I hope to learn from my new colleagues here how to communicate the right way, in the team but also with the clients. I believe that at my age we can still learn and change, and I have no doubt that eventually I will learn to communicate in the most effective way…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Make sure to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions related to the communication in the workplace:

Matthew Chulaw
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