What are the categories of communication skills?

One of the reasons why hiring teams sometimes overlook communications testing is the belief that the majority of communication is verbal. Here are the four types of communication that tests can analyze.

Nonverbal communication.

This type of communication can be either purposeful or inadvertent. Body language refers to facial expressions, posture, physical touch, gestures, and eye contact. People that are skilled at understanding nonverbal cues will always perform better in conversations and comprehend the intended message.

 Nonverbal communication comes in a variety of forms, including:

 Facial expression.

 Body movement and posture

 Eye contact

 The distance between people

 Tone of Voice

It is estimated that around two-thirds of all communication is nonverbal. This makes it an important communication skill to assess for. When nonverbal communication is employed successfully and efficiently, the workplace becomes more collaborative and harmonious.

Traditionally, nonverbal communication abilities are assessed during a face-to-face interview. In certain situations, the recruiter may witness firsthand how successfully the candidate employs their nonverbal abilities.

However, recruiters might conduct nonverbal communication tests prior to the interview stage. There are various formats for communication testing. Simply introducing nonverbal communication-related questions can highlight individuals who understand what it is and how to apply it.

Verbal communication

It is not simply about the language used to convey thoughts. Verbal communication also includes how the words are used. Tone and pitch are important for understanding what others are saying. Verbal communication is, of course, essential in customer-facing roles (both internal and external).

Written Communication

While the ability to communicate in writing has always been crucial, it has never been more necessary than in today’s workplace. Written communication abilities must be examined as team members communicate and collaborate through digital mediums such as Slack, emails, and WhatsApp.

Misunderstandings in written communications are prevalent, especially if a team member tends to write without thinking about it or does not grasp tone or context.

Visual Communication

We rely on visual communication more than ever, whether through memes, infographics, or videos. The ability to interpret and generate visual messages is a skill that is in high demand in today’s industry.

Images may be used quite efficiently to improve communication. They are good at attracting an audience’s attention and can help deliver big volumes of information rapidly. The difficulty is that if a candidate is unable to successfully communicate with visual assets, they will struggle with distracting graphics.

What types of communication abilities are necessary?

Communication skills are critical to corporate success, yet they are frequently misunderstood.

We don’t merely use the four main methods of communication mentioned above. We express information in many different ways, each requiring a distinct skill:

Emotional intelligence
People with higher emotional intelligence communicate more effectively, actively avoid stress, meet and overcome problems, and interact with others empathically.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, there are four key factors to consider. They are:

Becoming self-aware

The ability to self-manage

Becoming socially aware

The ability to handle work relationships
Emotional intelligence is typically thought of as a subjective and ethereal ability, yet it can be measured. Candidates are presented with a variety of emotional challenges that they are likely to face. The questions will assess their answer to these difficulties as well as their ability to communicate effectively in each scenario.

Communication tests that include emotional intelligence-based questions often assess the four branches of emotional intelligence (perceiving, using, comprehending, and managing emotions). The problem for HR teams is determining how to interpret the outcomes of such tests.

A normal IQ test has obvious right and wrong responses. Measuring emotional intelligence is more difficult because there is rarely a right or incorrect answer to any particular situation. Recruiters must be able to grasp the responses provided on the tests and evaluate them in terms of emotional intelligence.

Clarity and Cohesion

Communication is more than just being able to say the proper thing (verbally, in writing, graphically, or through body language). What is being said must be delivered clearly and simply.

Communications tests assess this by examining intent. This includes understanding the objective and intended effect of each particular communication. The importance of cohesiveness and clarity stems from the fact that a lack of either nearly always leads to uncertainty and poor decisions. Every message is encoded, sent, and then decoded.

If the message is clear, it is more likely to be fully understood, with little chance of misinterpretation or misunderstanding. Lack of clarity implies that not everything will be comprehended.

Clarity and coherence testing is an important part of communication tests. These tests will assist recruiters find people who can:

Understand their audiences and aim messaging accordingly.

Identify the aim of all communication and messages.

Acknowledge the substance and context of every communication.

Avoid extremely complicated jargon.

Use the appropriate media for each sort of message.

Integrate creativity into communication.


Approachability, sometimes known as friendliness, is an essential component of effective communication. It all comes down to knowing how to communicate in the appropriate tone of voice. How it is implemented will be determined by the recipient and their relationship with the person communicating.

In most communications, a more pleasant tone is vital for eliciting successful responses. That includes all the little individual touches. Whether the interactions are internal or with customers, pleasant customisation can make all the difference in reaching the desired outcome.


There is a delicate line between confidence and overconfidence. Overconfidence can come out as confrontational, which is rarely appropriate.

Candidates who can display confidence in a communication test can illustrate how they will meet the needs of clients or team leaders. It’s a difficult metric to quantify, frequently relying on verbal indicators like eye contact or a kind yet strong tone of voice.


The more employees a company has, the busier the workplace. Every member of every team and department will have their own ideas about how things should be done. To avoid antagonism, disagreements must be approached with empathy.

Of course, empathy is especially vital for employees who interact with customers. That’s because empathy allows you to connect with each customer’s feelings, making it easier to solve their problems. Empathy can also help clients feel heard though your voice and hence, building the need for voice assessment tests.

If you want your company to attract the top employees, communication will always be a core ability that should be checked. The first stage in testing employee communication abilities is to verify that your workplace communication exams are properly prepared and administered. Workplace communication exams have emerged as one of the most useful recruitment and selection tools. However, hiring managers frequently have difficulty ensuring that these tests ask the proper questions and that each question serves a purpose which can now be functionally and much easily be achieved with the help of Mercer | Mettl.

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