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Communication


When you join a new company you will have to be able to communicate effectively with numerous stakeholders: colleagues, superiors, customers or partner organisations. You need to be able to show you can adapt your communication style to the situation at hand, whether face- to-face, written reports, presentations or even in emails. Communicating is a dynamic and varied skill to possess.


What they’ll ask How confident are you when communicating with those in and outside of your peer group?


You should say: You need to give examples of times you have communicated with people in different social and professional circles, whether it was working in a group at university, or presenting your work to your lecturer. If you have had any part-time job will have at some had to speak directly to a manager, take instruction or report back about your work, and all of these can be used as relevant examples if you speak about them confidently enough. As a guideline, structure your answer with; What was the purpose of your communication, how did you adapt to each situation and what was the outcome?


Independence/teamwork


You may think that these skills are in direct contrast of each other, and you would be right. Employers need to know that you can work well with staff already in the business, but not have to rely on them for help with every task. This is exactly why universities force you to do group projects no matter what course you do.


What they’ll ask


Do you prefer working alone or in a team? You should say:


They have set you up with a loaded question, but don’t be fooled. It may seem like they want you to pick one but really they are willing you to say you are confident with both, and don’t forget those all-important examples! “I enjoy working independently as you get to really own a project, but working in a team allows you to see others perspective on a problem and consider solutions you may not have identified on your own.”


Research and analysis


Employers need to know they can give you a ‘task’ (problem) and you will be able to find the solution. Most university assignments start with a simple question and it’s up to you to run with it, do the research and come away with a conclusion based on the data you collected.


What they’ll ask


Describe how you have used research methods in the past. You should say:


The question seems blunt, and there are a lot of options for answers. Whether it was an investigation into why the Mycenaean Empire collapsed, or a comparison of the literature of Charles Dickens and Arundati Roy, what’s important is how you tackled the subject, structuring your own work and deciding which of the available resources were most relevant for you.


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