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Scoring an invitation to a job interview is a big deal. If you’ve made it to this step, congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself. Of course, the journey is far from over, as you still need to make an outstanding impression during the interview phase.

Above all else, the ability to relate to and speak well during both phone meetings and face-to-face interviews is a must. Going to a Toastmasters meeting or doing a mock interview with a friend or family member can be monumentally helpful, as you’ll become more comfortable speaking in front of others while gaining valuable feedback.

If you’re unable to take that route, don’t stress. Here’s some general advice to help polish your dialogue.

5 Tips to Boost Your Speaking Skills

 

Talk Slowly

Like most people, you probably talk quickly when you’re nervous. Beyond making you hard to understand, this can be seen as a sign you lack confidence. If you even suspect this is an issue for you, get ahead of it by making a conscious effort to speak slowly. Being aware of the problem and actively working to correct it can make all the difference.

Get to the Point

Rambling is another common side effect of nerves. During a job interview, this can cause key points to get lost in the mix, so nip this habit in the bud. It can also send the impression you’re not prepared for the interview, which won’t help your cause.

Listen Carefully

The ability to listen to what the interviewer has to say is crucial. If you keep having to ask the hiring manager to repeat themselves, you’ll send the impression you’re not that interested in the job.

Avoid this by practicing active listening. This involves paying attention to what the other person is saying, using body language to show you’re listening, and asking questions when there is an appropriate pause in the conversation, and summarizing key points.

Choose Your Words Wisely

A job interview is a formal event, no matter how relaxed you feel with a hiring manager. If you let your guard down and speak in a more friendly or conversational manner, you’ll appear unprofessional. Before saying anything out loud, take a second to rehearse your words in your head to make sure they’re appropriate for someone who could be your boss.

Rehearse Responses to Common Interview Questions

Confidence is the key to improving your speaking skills. Gain this by preparing as much as possible for your interview. Practice responses to questions you’ll likely be asked, so you can reply with ease. When you’re sure of yourself, you sound more articulate and professional.

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