In this article, we look at a perfect example to emphasize the importance of communication skills as against good knowledge and performance in academics.
Many years ago, I interviewed Ramana Rao for a position. Ramana Rao scored good marks in his M.Sc. and applied for a job in a pharmaceutical company. He was shortlisted and called for an interview for a role in the quality department. I, as the HR head, along with a senior scientist and the head of quality department met the candidates.
Among the many candidates who attended the interview, I remembered Ramana Rao. He came from a lower middle class family and worked hard in his academics. The marks list stood as a testimony of the same. During the interview, he was one of the few who knew the answers for several technical questions fairly well. The result however was that he was rejected.
When I came out of the interview room to inform the selected candidates to stay back, I saw Ramana Rao from a distance. There was hope and anxiety in his eyes. Somehow I felt like spending a few minutes with him, more at a personal level. I simply did not want to tell him about rejection, but wanted to help him to understand how he should improve himself so that next time he would perform better in the interview.
I took him aside and told him that he needed to work on his communication skills significantly. While he knew about his poor English, he asked me if his superior academic performance and knowledge about the subject would not suffice. His question provoked me to think on the importance of communication skills over excellent performance in academics. Let us discuss its importance in our next blog.
Article – “Communication: The X Factor”
Published in HR Mirror, Hans India.
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