Preparation is key in giving a good interview. In addition to studying your prospective employer and brushing up on common interview questions, it is important to examine your speech patterns. Interviewers will judge you not only on the content of your answers, but also on how you convey them. Speech errors can reflect poorly on your confidence, your education, your preparation and your interest in the position. Below are common speech errors that should be avoided.
- Avoid filler words such as “uh,” “ah,” “um,”“like” and “you know.” It is acceptable to use one of these words every once in a while, but using them in every sentence is very noticeable to the interviewer. It will make you seem young, inexperienced and unprofessional.
- Do not mumble and speak up. A loud, clear voice will exude confidence in an interview. Also, try to avoid talking really fast. This will show that you are nervous and your words will be more difficult to understand.
- Don’t use a monotone voice. Add emphasis to your phrases to seem more confident, enthusiastic. As a word of caution, avoid going into a high pitch at the end of sentences. This may seem like you are questioning yourself.
- Avoid using poor grammar and informal speech. Using poor grammar can reflect poorly on a person’s education and intelligence. The manner in which a person talks to their friends is usually not acceptable in an interview or the work place. Avoid using slang words such as “cool,” “dude” or “chick” in your interview.
- Avoid using words that show uncertainty such as “maybe”, “hopefully”, “I think” and “perhaps.” Using these words can reveal your lack of confidence in your statements.
- Absolutely do not cuss or use inappropriate expressions in your interview. If you know you have a foul mouth, be extremely careful to not let a swear word slip out. You may offend your interviewer and your professionalism will definitely be questioned.
In preparing for your interview, be aware of how you talk in your everyday life and practice eradicating these bad speech habits before your interview. You will not only be more eloquent in your interview, but you will also have more professional speech patterns that will be assets in the future progression of your career.