Interview Communication and Body Language 101: Voice

The way that you use your voice at an interview can play a big role in determining what kind of impression you make. How you say something is just as important as what you say. Your voice can convey poise and confidence, or it can reveal the opposite. Here are a few tips for using your voice effectively.

How To Speak Well During an Interview

1. Good posture

If you sit erect, with your back straight and chest out, you can breathe much easier, which will also make your speech flow more smoothly and forcefully. Poor posture, on the other hand, may force you to take more breaths, causing more breaks in your speech.

2. Imitation

Research has shown that imitating the behavior of interviewers can help to form a better rapport with them, and this applies to their voice as well. If the interviewer is more calm and measured in his or her speaking, you should try to do the same.
If, on the other hand, the interviewer is louder and more enthusiastic, you should imitate this style.

3. Speak naturally

Some people at interviews try to change the tone of their voice, to sound more dignified, serious, or confident. But you may not be able to project your voice as well, making you sound quieter.

4. Be direct

Speaking in shorter, simpler sentences helps to convey a sense of authority and confidence.

5. Finish your thoughts

A sentence is sometimes described as a complete thought, and you should speak in complete thoughts. People sometimes trail off at the end of a sentence, resorting to filler words, which gives the impression of timidity and uncertainty. Just as bad is changing the inflection of your voice at the end of a sentence to make it sound more like a question.

6. Record your speaking

Practice answering interview questions and record your answers. Then review the recording. How do you sound? Do your answers sound well thought out and confident? Or are you fumbling around trying to gather your thoughts? Also, watch out for filler words like “um” or “you know.”

7. If needed, pause before answering

After a question, you don’t need to immediately begin talking. You can take a moment or two to gather your thoughts so that your answer is more compelling and coherent. And if you find that you have wandered off track while giving an answer and are in danger of rambling too much, stop and again take a few moments to gather your thoughts.

8. Deep breathing

If you have a real case of the willies, deep breathing is an excellent way to calm down.

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