Say It Like You Mean It: Bring Passion and Precision to Your Interview

Say It Like You Mean It:

Bring Passion and Precision to Your Interview

How you speak in an interview impacts how interviewers perceive you. Even well-qualified candidates run the risk of not getting the job if they speak in an unprofessional manner.

It doesn’t matter if you are being interviewed by Zoom or in person, here are a few tips that will help you get the job:

Mirror the interviewer’s style

Mirroring the interviewer’s communication style is a subtle but effective way to build rapport and show that you are attuned to the social dynamics of the conversation.

For example, if the interviewer is very businesslike, adopting a similarly professional and concise style is advisable. A casual or comedic approach may turn off this type of interviewer. Conversely, if the interviewer adopts a more relaxed style, you can slightly loosen your formal tone while still maintaining a professional demeanour.

Don’t ramble

Often, when candidates don’t immediately know the answer to a question, they start to ramble. This can make you appear unfocused and off-subject, potentially undermining the interviewer’s confidence in your abilities.

If you are uncertain about what is being asked, asking for clarification is perfectly acceptable. Or, if you understand the question but need a moment to think, take a brief pause. A couple of seconds of silence can help you gather your thoughts and structure your response more effectively.

Avoid buzzwords and jargon

Some candidates think that using pretentious language will make them look smarter. Usually, this has the opposite effect, especially if the interviewer is unfamiliar with your words.

I would avoid words like “synergy,” “low-hanging fruit,” “circle back,” and “deep dive.” Your best choice is to use simple, plain language that everyone understands.

Speak with confidence

Words like: “maybe,” “perhaps,” “sort of,” and “hopefully” can make you sound weak and insecure. And watch out for uptalk—the upward inflection at the end of a sentence that sounds like you are asking a question instead of making a definitive statement.

Pace your words

Speaking too quickly can make you seem nervous or unprepared. Practice speaking at a moderate pace to ensure your ideas are conveyed clearly. Pausing briefly before answering also shows thoughtfulness and can enhance your credibility.

Modulate your voice

Modulating your voice by varying your pitch, tone, and volume can make your speech more dynamic and exciting. This can be tricky, especially if you have a dull, monotone-sounding voice. (Who’s going to admit they do).  

However, raising and lowering your voice appropriately can be used to emphasize key points or express excitement. Speaking louder can demonstrate passion and confidence while speaking softer can draw the listener in during important moments.

Avoid the use of slang

Even though you may speak to your friends this way, avoid using slang that can make you appear unprofessional. For example, replace “cool” or “awesome” with “interesting” or “impressive.” Replace “guys” with “colleagues.” Replace “freak out” with “became concerned.” And never swear, even if the word choice is mild, like “damn” or “crap.”