Top 20 Interpersonal Communication Interview Questions You Must Prepare 14.Jun.2024

There are at least three types of situations in which this can happen to an average person.

The first type of situation is one in which we are exposed to jargon, or to the technical use of a term, for the first time.  For example, this happened to me when I first studied Constitutional law.  I had heard the word “taking,” of course, but I had never heard it used as a noun to refer to an area of law regarding government regulation and how much it detracts from the value of someone’s property.

A second type of situation is one in which someone sees the world differently than we do and therefore uses words in ways that we would not.  An example of this for me is Emile Durkheim’s use of the word “organic” to describe modern society.  When I hear the term “organic solidarity” it makes me think that all the people in the society are essentially the same because they are part of one organism.

First, online friendships are handicapped, because they are not able to get to know people in different modalities. There is no physical contact, little picking up of gestures, body language, and other elements that are present in a face-to-face relationship. For instance, you cannot travel together. 

Second and more importantly, online friendship are usually based on convenience. You get to check messages when you want. You get to reply when you want. In fact, you can go online only when you want to. There is little social responsibility. Hence, online relationships have a hard time growing. Often times, friends become closer as they help each other out in hard time. In short, you are there for each other; online friendships rarely do this. And when online relationship do this, it is often because there is already a face-to-face relationship. 

Third, online friendships are usually very broad. This me that you can have hundreds of online friends. For example, some people have over 1,000 Facebook friends. This does not mean that all these people are actually friends. Broadness and superficiality (which are not necessarily bad) replace in depth relationships. 

One final point, online friendships are not always bad. The lack of formal contact can make people open up much better. This can be judged a positive point in some ways.

The interpersonal deception theory contends that there are more than 18 different instances where a person who wants to deceit can actually attempt it. They refer to specific situational instances that enable someone to try and deceit to cause a loss of focus. However, the actual deception theory is intrinsically connected with the interpersonal deception theory. Therefore, the elements of it are basically broken down into what constitutes a deception, and in what instances the deception is most likely to occur. 

In modern forensic psychology scenarios the IDT is the basis of the many TV shows about criminal profiling that we see today. This is because the IDT explains five ways in which we can detect deception in  people. These are studied from the point of view of how us, as primitives, were able to instill in others fear, warning, compassion, or anger, without formal speech. Hence, deception can be detected in these non-verbal scenarios:

  • face-  a change in the musculature of the face such as wrinkling, clenching, or looking seemingly stressed, or detached. 
  • body- trying to touch, or asking not to be touched, keeping or breaking close proximity boundaries. 
  • gaze- the way in which the person moves and uses the eyes to convey a message
  • gesture- a sudden change in the primary expression

Therefore, all these serve as basic tenets to determine the possibility and plausibility of deceit in modern communication.

No form of communication is simple. Because of the number of variables involved, even simple requests are extremely complex. Theorists note that whenever we communicate there are really at least six "people" involved: 1) who you think you are; 2) who you think the other person is; 30 who you think the other person thinks you are; 4) who the other person thinks /she is; 5) who the other person thinks you are; and 6) who the other person thinks you think s/he is.

We don't actually swap ideas, we swap symbols that stand for ideas. This also complicates communication. Words (symbols) do not have inherent meaning; we simply use them in certain ways, and no two people use the same word exactly alike.

Osmo Wiio gives us some communication maxims similar to Murphy's law (Osmo Wiio, Wiio's Laws--and Some Others (Espoo, Finland: Welin-Goos, 1978):

  • If communication can fail, it will.
  • If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just that way which does the most harm.
  • There is always somebody who knows better than you what you meant by your message.
  • The more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.

Interaction between two or more individuals involving name-calling and personal attacks, besides being immature, could be categorized as "incivil," "confrontational," "argumentative," or "aggressive."  Probably the most appropriate of those labels, though, is "incivil."  Incivility is defined as "the quality or state of being uncivil," and commonly refers to the use of name-calling and personal attacks in the course of communications between two or more people. [Definition is from Merriam-Webster.] Depending upon the degree of incivility and aggression, this behavior may be legal assault as defined by Tort and Criminal law:

Intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. No intent to cause physical injury needs to exist, and no physical injury needs to result. (LII, Cornell University)

A 2011 article in U.S.A. Today described a study by the American Psychological Association that concluded that workplace incivility was on he rise in the United States, a situation exacerbated by the economic difficulties and high unemployment that have characterized American society for the past half-dozen years.  According to the article, the APA study found that "'75% to 80# of people have experienced incivility.  It's a growing and prevalent problem,' said Jeannie Trudel of Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion'." ["Incivility a Growing Problem at Work, Psychologists Say," U.S.A. Today, August 9, 2011]

In short, the conduct described in the question can best be categorized as incivil or, depending on excess and degree, assault.

There is no question that the contemporary era's multiple me of personal communication, especially social networking sites and Skype, have made long-distance relationships easier than any time before.  The ability to communicate instantaneously via texting, the prevalence of cell phones in most peoples pockets or purses, and, most importantly, the visual connections made via Skype all contribute to the extremely important component of communication within personal relationships.

Whether these me of personal communication are sufficient to increase the probability of a long-distance relationship succeeding, however, is uncertain.  Certainly, in some cases, Facebook, Skype, and all the rest have facilitated the continuation of some relationships, especially when the physical distances involved are not so great as to prohibit regular personal visits.  And, an important fact is always going to be how well established the relationship was at the time of physical separation.  Newly-dating couples would invariably find the physical separation more difficult to overcome than would married or long-established couples.  Even for the latter, however, physical separation exacerbates any other underlying issues that may exist within the relationship, and most marriages involve such issues.

Today's couples involved in long-distance relationships have it better than earlier generations.  Geography, however, didn't entirely disappear with the introduction of social networking, texting, and Skype.  Physical intimacy remains important to most relationships, and no amount of texting or Skype can substitute for that.

The communication process has four steps, which are encoding, medium of trmission, decoding and feedback. Following the steps of the process helps to establish effective communication and ensures that no messages are lost or misunderstood.

The first step of the communication process, encoding, is perhaps the most crucial since assumptions will follow. The sender needs to deliver a message that is concise and clear. Issues such as tone of voice and body language also need to be considered, as these factors play a key role in how a message is interpreted.

This leads on to the second step, medium of trmission. It is the responsibility of the sender to decide how and when to deliver the message to increase the chances of it being understood. The form that a message takes can be critical to the next step, decoding.

Once the message has been fully delivered, the role of the sender ends. It is then up to the receiver to decode the message in the way it was intended. Once the receiver has understood the message clearly, feedback ends the communication process.

Feedback is given by the receiver to the sender through the form of acknowledgement or short response. This final step is important because the sender then understands the effectiveness of the message.

The communication process consists of the steps taken to ensure the successful trmission of ideas between two or more people. A simple diagram of the communication process includes a sender, message, receiver and feedback in a circular flow chart.

The communication process is as simple as two people talking face-to-face or as complex as intricate social media sites connecting individuals from across the world. They all have the basic components of the communication process in common: sender, message, receiver and feedback. A sender needs to choose a message to send as the foundation for communication. From there, a method to send this message needs to be decided. Email, television and viral videos all are examples of a channel of communicating a message. The receiver has to be able to accept and decode the message in order for the communication to be successful. The connecting step in the communication process is the receiver sending feedback to the original sender. An example of this feedback is direct written or oral communication, including questions or comments.

There are at least two major factors that help to determine whether we will be effective or ineffective listeners.  One is the degree to which we care about listening.  The other is the extent to which our minds are open and flexible.

Part of listening is making the effort to listen.  Good listening involves trying hard to understand what the other person is saying.  It is an active process in which we watch the other person for body language cues and in which we listen to their voices for clues from how they speak.  It is a process in which we try to think about what they might be thinking so as to understand what subtexts might be present beneath the actual words that they are saying.  All of this takes effort.

We can't not communicate. The very attempt not to communicate communicates something. Through not only words, but through tone of voice and through gesture, posture, facial expression, etc., we constantly communicate to those around us. Through these channels, we constantly receive communication from others. Even when you sleep, you communicate. Remember a basic principle of communication in general: people are not mind readers. Another way to put this is: people judge you by your behavior, not your intent.

The best way to avoid conflict starter statements is to think hard about what we are saying and try to avoid injecting emotion into our statement.

Conflict starter statements come about when we let our emotions get the better of us.  We then try to strike out at people who have made us angry instead of simply focusing on what we want done.

In other words, communication does not happen in isolation. There is:

  • Psychological context, which is who you are and what you bring to the interaction. Your needs, desires, values, personality, etc., all form the psychological context. ("You" here refers to both participants in the interaction.)
  • Relational context, which concerns your reactions to the other person--the "mix."
  • Situational context deals with the psycho-social "where" you are communicating. An interaction that takes place in a classroom will be very different from one that takes place in a bar.
  • Environmental context deals with the physical "where" you are communicating. Furniture, location, noise level, temperature, season, time of day, all are examples of factors in the environmental context.
  • Cultural context includes all the learned behaviors and rules that affect the interaction. If you come from a culture (foreign or within your own country) where it is considered rude to make long, direct eye contact, you will out of politeness avoid eye contact. If the other person comes from a culture where long, direct eye contact signals trustworthiness, then we have in the cultural context a basis for misunderstanding.

There are several methods by which you can counter an opening statement designed to create immediate conflict.  In most cases, you can effectively re-direct the conversation to avoid the initial conflict starter, but there are occassions when avoiding conflict is impossible.

If someone begins a conversation with a conflict starter, one of the most effective counter moves is to say something like, "Let me see if I can re-state your concern to make sure I understand it thoroughly and then address it to your satisfaction."  By countering your antagonist with a restatement of his or her conflict starter, you accomplish two important goals:

  1. your restatement allows you to soften the conflict-starter with a reasonable interpretation of the person's concern but in more neutral terms and
  2. a reasonable restatement will almost immediately diffuse the conflict-starter and allow a discussion, rather than an argument, to follow.

Most conflict-starter statements are designed to put you on the defensive, but by your reasonable and thoughtful restatement of the issue--in more neutral terms--you will almost always put your aggressor in a more conciliatory mood, and a true discussion can then begin.  In many cases, people begin a discussion with a conflict starter because they believe your response is going to be equally argumentative.   By restating the argument in more neutral terms, however, the conflict is then set forth in terms in which a resolution is possible.

The five key stages in the communication cycle are message creation, trmission, reception, trlation and response. A communication cycle refers to the process by which a message is developed and sent to the recipient through a selected channel.

The first stage in communication is the creation of an idea or the message. It is the process by which the sender decides what he wants to communicate and selects the channel through which to convey this information.

The second step is message trmission. This process may be as simple as meeting with the recipient and orally communicating the information, or communicating with the intended recipient over the phone.

The reception stage involves change of communication responsibilities between the sender and the recipient. The receiver obtains the information by reading the information in written format or listening carefully to the message when delivered orally.

The next stage is trlation. During this step, the recipient encodes the message into a form that he easily understands. This may involve an individual listening to or reading the message and paraphrasing it in his head.

The final stage in communication cycle is response. It fulfills the requirement of an effective communication as a two-way street. After receiving the message, the recipient crafts a response and communicates it verbally or in a written format.

We can encounter a number of different challenges every day that affect our ability to truly listen to people. Let us look at some examples. 

Outside noise. This can be a serious problem as it detracts from our ability to pay attention to the person who is talking to us.  We live in a noisy world with sirens, TV sets in waiting rooms, and people talking on their cell phones.  All of these sorts of things can make it hard for us to listen properly. In addition, internal noise from our own thoughts or preconceptions can also make it hard to listen and understand properly.

Electronic devices.  Today, practically everyone carries a cellphone and many people do a lot of texting.  Many people have smartphones that allow them to access the internet.

Intrapersonal communication is a communicator's internal use of language or thought. It can be useful to envision intrapersonal communication occurring in the mind of the individual in a model which contains a sender, receiver, and feedback loop.

While Buller and Burgoon (1998) make a great attempt at breaking down the components of how deception manifests through interpersonal communication, there is little information on what are the main causative factors for deception, or where the human need to deceive find its motivational source.

It has been explained through the theory that it is our primitive instinct of self-preservation what often motivates us to conceal, embellish, exaggerate, or plain change information altogether. However, all this is explained under an interpersonal perspective. 

When you explain a mode of communication from merely the interpersonal perspective, you merely focus on a specific scenario, where two people must exchange information and "read" each other's non-verbal communication.

The TV show "Lie to Me", as the show's website itself explains, is based on the real life stories of a true-life criminal profiler; an expert at noting the physiological changes that manifest in human expression, gaze, facial gestures, and emotions, when people try to lie, or cause deceit.

With this information, we can assert that it, indeed, links with the Interpersonal Deception Theory proposed by Buller and Burgoon (1996). This theory proposes that the primitive tendencies of our bodies to react in the face of danger can be associated with the fear some people have to be "found out" when they know that they have done something wrong. Therefore, when people are confronted with information that causes them anxiety, fear, or paranoia of some sort, a number of bodily reactions, some being quite subtle, can certainly take place and be predicted.

There are four Principles of Interpersonal Communication

  1. Interpersonal communication is inescapable
  2. Interpersonal communication is irreversible
  3. Interpersonal communication is complicated
  4. Interpersonal communication is contextual

You can't really take back something once it has been said. The effect must inevitably remain. Despite the instructions from a judge to a jury to "disregard that last statement the witness made," the lawyer knows that it can't help but make an impression on the jury. A Russian proverb says, "Once a word goes out of your mouth, you can never swallow it again."