Interpersonal relationships at work matter. That’s just one reason why interpersonal skills are some of the most important skills you need to succeed in the workplace. They are the thing that will set you apart and make you stand out. That’s why it’s so important to know the different interpersonal skills interview questions that you could get asked in an interview.
Since there are many different types of interpersonal skills, there are also many different types of interpersonal skills interview questions to test them, that you need to prepare for. And that’s what I’ll be sharing in this post.
But before we get into the different types of interpersonal skills interview questions you need to prepare for, we first need to understand what interpersonal skills are.
What are interpersonal skills and why are they important?
Interpersonal skills are the skills you use to interact with others. They are also known as people skills or soft skills. The better your interpersonal skills, the better you are at interacting and communicating with others, and since every job involves interacting with people, whether that’s colleagues, clients, or customers, every company wants to hire people with good interpersonal skills.
What’s more, having good interpersonal skills means that you’ll have better strategies for successful interpersonal communication. This is important when it comes to dealing with different types of people, both in terms of style and seniority level within an organization. And of course, having good interpersonal skills means better interpersonal relationships at work which leads to better all-round collaboration and ultimately, a better, more engaged company culture. Not to mention greater performance and success.
As you can see, interpersonal skills are critical to the success of any company. This is why improving your interpersonal skills in the workplace should be your top priority.
There are lots of different types of interpersonal skills. Many of them fall into one of 3 categories. Here’s a list of the 3 categories with examples of some of the different types of interpersonal skills that fall under them:
Verbal Communication – Using your words to convey information to others. What you say as well as how you say it
- Negotiation skills
- Public speaking
- Presentation skills
- Day to day conversations with co-workers
Non-Verbal Communication – Using body language, gestures, and facial expressions to convey information.
This is where having emotional awareness and emotional intelligence (EQ) is important. The more aware and in tune you are to your emotions and how you feel the better able you will be to manage those non-verbal cues in yourself as well as being able to notice the nonverbal cues in others. Examples of non-verbal communication/non-verbal interpersonal skills include:
- Active listening
- Use of body language including hand gestures and eye contact etc.
- Paying close attention
- Using appropriate tone
- Exercising self-awareness
Clearly there’s a lot to consider when it comes to great communication skills. Make sure you’re not falling into the trap of some of the most dangerous types of communication in the workplace.
Relationship Management – Building bonds with others
Relationship management is your ability to build bonds with others. Examples of interpersonal skills that fall into the relationship management category include:
- Ability to build rapport
- Setting and managing boundaries
- Being receptive to feedback
If you want to improve your relationsip management and your interpersonal relationships at work – check out these 7 essential steps for building good relationships at work.
Some interpersonal skills can span more than one of the three categories because to demonstrate them, you need to use skills in multiple areas. Examples of these include:
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Conflict Management
As you can see, there are many different types of interpersonal skills, which means there are also lots of interpersonal interview skills questions that the interviewer could ask, and the list above is by no means exhaustive.
53 Interpersonal skills interview questions to prepare for, that will test your interpersonal relationships at work.
Now that you understand what interpersonal skills are, and how critical they are to your success, here’s a list of the interpersonal skills interview questions that interviewers will be using to test your interpersonal relationships at work I’ve broken them down into the core competencies/ interpersonal skills areas which they will likely fall under, but remember, some questions could demonstrate more than one skill.
Tell us about a time when you had to deal with conflict at work
Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with your boss
Tell me about a time when you dealt with an unhappy customer
Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a colleague
Describe a time when you had an issue with a coworker
Describe a time when you resolved a conflict at work
How do you deal with differences of opinion when working in a team?
What makes you a good team member?
Give us an example of when you have demonstrated good teamwork skills
When have you worked successfully as part of a team?
What was your contribution to the team?
What role did you play within the team?
What makes a team function successfully?
When have you found it difficult to work with a team member?
Tell us about a time when you had to work as part of a team in order to successfully complete a challenging task
Have you worked with virtual teams?
Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
Give an example if when you had to work with someone who you found it difficult to get along with, how did you handle the situation?
Give an example of a time when you were communicating with someone abs they didn’t understand you, what did you do?
Tell us about a time when you had to use your negotiation skills in order to reach a solution that was suitable for everyone
Can you give us an example of when you have had to market yourself or your ideas to others?
Can you share a time when you struggled to reach a solution/agreement in a negotiation?
How do you make sure you establish rapport and trust?
why can logical arguments sometimes fail to influence?
Flexibility and adaptability
Describe a time when you were faced with ambiguity at work, how did you handle it
Describe a time when you had to adapt to a significant change in your work that you had no control over
Tell me about a time when you had to adapt your style or approach to work with a colleague in order to get the task completed
Describe a time when you had to change your initial approach to a task or project in order to complete it successfully or to achieve your goal
Describe a time when your company or department was going through a change in processes or systems, what did you do and how did you feel during this time?
Tell us about a time when you resolved a conflict
Describe a time when you were unclear if your roles and responsibilities what did you do?
Describe a time when you’ve had to do something outside your normal job responsibilities
What would you fo if you have been working on a project for some time and the manager informs you that the requirements have completely changed?
Give an example of a tune when you have successfully handled the change
Describe a situation when you had to think outside the box to complete a task
How do you come up with ideas
Tell us about a time when you have been faced with an unexpected challenge
How do you weigh the pros and cons before you make decisions
Describe a time when you have had to solve a problem or complete a task without having all the necessary information – how did you approach it?
Tell us about a situation that demonstrates your confidence
Ability to manage stress and work under pressure
How do you handle stress?
You don’t have all the experience required for this role – so why should we hire you? (This question is designed to put you under stress during the interview and see how well you respond)
Give us an example of when you’ve handled rejection
What kind of people struggle to work with you?
Tell us about a time when the situation did not go according to plan ? How did you handle it?
Leadership and influence skills
Give an example of a time when you had to persuade someone to your way of thinking
Give an example of how you have led by example
What is the toughest decision you have had to make, how did you come to this decision?
Describe your decision-making process
As a leader, how would you persuade others to do what you wanted?
How do you resolve a conflict between coworkers?
Describe your leadership style?
Tell me about a time when something has gone wrong and you’ve had to take control and responsibility
These questions will help the interviewer test your interpersonal relationships at work. Because your combination of interpersonal skills is unique to you, being prepared for these interview questions will help you demonstrate your unique value proposition, that only you can bring to the organization!
I’ll be continuing to expand this post with more great questions so be sure to check in and if there are any questions you don’t see here then share them in the comments below!