We often overlook the value of communication skills in the world of technology. There seems to be so much emphasis on learning the latest computer languages and technologies that soft skills get forgotten. This leads many people to believe they do not need good communication to work in the IT industry. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This article explains why communication in a technology environment is so important. Later, we explain how to improve your communication skills for an interview where English is not your first language.
The Importance of Being Able to Communicate Well at Work
Regardless of whether or not you work in technology, all jobs require you to interact with co-workers or customers on some level. Below are several ways communication skills may come in handy in a technology environment.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Collaboration is incredibly valuable, and your teammates will often be able to help solve problems you might not be able to solve on your own.
Every Day is a School Day
Most technological jobs require us to update our skills continually, and we often learn from our colleagues. Interpersonal communication is therefore vital for tech teams to transfer knowledge between one another.
Not Everyone is a Techie
Even though you work in tech, you may sometimes need to explain things to people who are not as tech-savvy. For example, you may need to help users understand computer software without the technical jargon.
Different Types of Communication at Work
In most tech jobs, communicating your thoughts and ideas through writing is essential. For example, you might need to create a manual for a new program, which may also involve writing a ticket for QA assistance. You may also need to include relevant data to communicate the approach to other team members effectively.
Other examples of written communication might include documenting your requirements for an upcoming project or planning a new marketing strategy. Even working at the most basic entry-level jobs, you will most likely need to send the occasional email.
Good communication doesn’t end with conveying your thoughts and ideas to others. Listening is just as important as writing or speaking; people often mistake listening for lack of speaking. An active listener is someone who pays attention and who also asks questions at appropriate times. On the contrary, someone who is quiet is not necessarily taking in your words.
How to Demonstrate Communication Skills During the Job Application Process
As you can see from the above, communication is vital in the tech industry. Therefore, tech managers often seek employees with excellent communication skills.
It’s not simply enough to state ‘good communication skills’ on your CV. Job seekers must prepare to showcase their talent at every stage of the job application process. We break it down below if you’re unsure how to do this.
On Your CV or Resume
A CV or resume is a very dry document with little room for self-expression. That said, there are numerous ways to demonstrate how well you can communicate when creating your CV.
Firstly, you can begin by running your application through a spell checker to eliminate errors. Making sure your application is well-formatted, in a uniform font and using appropriate headings will make it more easily readable.
During A Tech Job Interview
Hiring managers know they can make their own jobs easier by appointing people who can communicate well with one another. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you are applying for a technical, remote working job or a position in a large social media team, communication matters.
It is vital to remember that your eyes and body language can give away a lot about how you feel during an interview. Your posture and where you direct your gaze convey your interest levels and confidence.
Confident communicators make eye contact, showing your interviewer that you are engaged. Conversely, looking down at your shoes during an interview may convey self-doubt and apprehension.
When people are nervous or anxious, they tend to talk quite fast. If you are one of them, try to avoid filling in awkward silences with unnecessary conversation. Remaining calm during periods of silence shows that you are in control.
Listening intently and responding appropriately shows that you are taking in everything the interviewer says. For example, let’s say the interviewers talk to you about business data and its importance within the company. You might respond by saying that you have experience in data analysis or make data-driven marketing decisions.
Never talk over an interviewer. If they interrupt what you are saying, of course, it means they lack good manners. However, talking over them denotes that you might not be a good listener and may hinder your chances of getting the job.
How To Improve Communication Skills For a Job Interview If English Is Not Your First Language
Understanding business processes might be a piece of cake in your first language. However, if English is not your first language, you may find that communicating those processes to someone else is challenging. You may also find it hard to participate in weekly meetings if you can’t keep up, even if you have a solid understanding of the project.
Once you settle into a job, your colleagues will likely understand your struggles and be patient with you. However, in a job interview, the above thoughts may cross an interviewer’s mind. Therefore, it pays to prepare a little extra before your job interview. Below are our top tips for coming across confidently in an interview when English is not your first language.
Our advice to anyone preparing for an interview is always to practice with friends and family beforehand. It may feel awkward doing this, but it will help you relax and become more confident on the day.
This is particularly true when applying for an English speaking job when English is not your first language. Only in this instance it helps to buddy up with someone whose first language is English.
Aside from practising your interview techniques, practice speaking English with as many people as possible. If your social circle doesn’t include many native English speakers, joining a MeetUp group may help your communication skills.
When people are nervous, they tend to speak more quickly. Add to this a foreign accent, and a hiring manager may doubt your ability to communicate with the rest of the team.
Slowing down what you say will help you appear more relaxed and in control of your thoughts. It will also give your interviewers more time to understand what you are saying.
A Few Final Thoughts on Why Communication In a Technology Environment Is So Important
When you work in the IT industry, you must be able to communicate your ideas and opinions to managers, colleagues, clients and customers. When you’re safely in a job, you will find that people will be understanding and patient. However, you must be successful in a job interview to reach that point.
We hope that after reading this article, you have a better understanding of why communication is so important in a tech environment and how to demonstrate your communication skills at every stage of the application process.
If you find yourself being turned down for jobs repeatedly due to lack of communication skills, a reputable recruitment consultant may be able to provide tips for improvement.