Behavioral Interview Question: Have you ever had to “sell” an idea to your co-workers? How did you do it?
Have you listed “Excellent Communication Skills” on your resume? What does that mean? Employers generally do not care about these clichés. They want to know how you use those communication skills you claim you have, and whether they’ll actually help you in the workplace. The way they do this is by asking you questions like the one above – Have you ever had to “sell” an idea to your co-workers? How did you do it?
This question looks like it’s about sales, but it’s not. It’s about communication. Imagine you have an idea that could help the company, but it’s a little outside of the box. How do you communicate that it’s a good idea to those around you? Do you communicate it at all?
“Absolutely. I realized that my data entry tasks took me longer when I did one document at a time compared to when I did one entry in bulk. It made more sense, but would be a little unorthodox, to enter in the same answers for every document then move to the other answers, and the time it saved me would also save the company money. So I started by simply chatting with my supervisor and sending an email to the department lead, since of course in the beginning I simply wanted to communicate the idea. But when they were a bit confused, I set up a presentation that actually showed them how it was faster and why, comparing and contrasting the different speeds, accuracy, and ease to show them why it was quicker. I also prepared a sample for them to try themselves to see the difference in speed, but they didn’t end up needing it.”
It’s a bit long, but you see the message – you communicated your idea proudly, and you shared an example of a time you used that communication. If you don’t feel that you’ve ever sold an idea to your coworkers (for example, you had an entry level position and not many innovative ideas), then you may want to be honest.
“I thought my last job was run very efficiently, and while I had ideas, I usually brought them up at meetings and we discussed them with the group. However, if I had a complex idea, I would…” and then explain what you would do.
See Also: How to Answer – What is Your Preferred Method of Communication?
See Also: How to Answer – Sell Me This Pen