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Um, Is the Way You Speak Like, Hurting Your Chance at Getting the Job?

Tried-and-true, and a few brand new, interview tips and techniques for talking your way into a job offer.
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You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Especially in job interviews, it’s important to communicate with confidence and sophistication to impress your potential employer. Knowing the latest (and some tried-and-true)  interview tips and techniques provides a foundation for any future workplace interaction.

How you speak during your interview communicates your hireability to the hiring manager (i.e.., your future boss), recruiter, or human resources manager. Job seekers must take time before their big meeting to learn tips for speaking effectively. 

Below are five ways people can improve their chances of securing a job offer by learning how to speak more professionally. Here’s how to speak during an interview:

Interview Tips: Talking Your Way Into the Job Offer

1. Slow Down

One of our excellent interview tips is being composed and at ease. Speaking too fast is a sign of nervousness and will give the impression you can’t articulate your thoughts. Many people who feel unsure about what they’re saying have trouble slowing down their speech to convey confidence in themselves.

Another problem with speaking too quickly is that it’s difficult for others to comprehend what you are trying to say. This is because you don’t allow time between sentences or ideas. It also makes it hard for interviewers to take notes because they are trying so hard to keep up with everything you’re telling them.

2. Avoid Verbal Pauses Like “um” and “uh”

Verbal pauses such as “um,” “uh,” “err,” or “like” can be a serious detriment to your communication skills.

These pauses may seem trivial, but they are hard for the listener’s brain to ignore and often lead them to believe you are inexperienced, not confident in what you have to say, or don’t know how to articulate yourself enough.

3. Articulate

Although it sometimes can’t be helped, do what’s in your ability to articulate your words. Slurred words are characterized by a lack of clarity, poor pronunciation of words, and lack of precision.

Candidates who don’t speak clearly are less likely to be hired because others may perceive them as not possessing the best information or ideas for a company’s product, service, or strategy.

4. Use Complete Sentences

While it’s not necessarily wrong to convey your thoughts in short, concise sentences, some people talk without using complete sentences, which can be very hard for the listener to follow.

Candidates who don’t speak in an organized manner may seem scatterbrained when trying to make points or cover topics on their resumes. This can lead listeners to believe they are less competent than candidates who have concrete ideas about themselves and what they bring to the table.

Talking without using complete sentences is also tricky for interviewers because it makes it more challenging for them to digest all of the information you provide!

5. Say “Bye Felicia” to Slang Terms

Slang terms like “y’all” and “dude” are not used in formal situations.

The use of slang terms is considered unprofessional, which can negatively impact your chances at a job interview or business meeting.

Tips for Speaking More Professionally

Here are a few techniques you can use to improve your verbal communication before the big day:

  • Appear confident.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Stay focused on the person interviewing you.
  • Practice active listening.

How to Speak at a Job Interview

If you want to be successful in today’s competitive job market, you must learn what, and perhaps more importantly how to communicate. Communicating professionally during an interview will get you noticed and hired quickly.

Job interviews require candidates to put their best foot — and speech forward. The best interviewee will communicate professionally, and land the job! Concise, clear, powerful speaking free of verbal pauses will definitely set you apart.

The career services team at SCI offers a variety of valuable services including resume building, job readiness training, interviewing techniques, guest speakers, and much more to help people succeed at their jobs by improving verbal communication skills. Learn more at

This article was published on: 06/15/21 12:05 AM

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