How Public Speaking Skills can help you Land your Dream Job
My recent college graduate son asked that I help him with public speaking skills in order to prepare for a couple of job interviews. During our coaching sessions, I realized how public speaking skills can give you a boost with interview preparation. Here are 8 public speaking tips for acing that interview:
1. Know your purpose. Most likely, you are interviewing because you want the position the organization has available. Your purpose for your interview is to persuade the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job. Know your strengths, why your qualifications enable you to be a good fit, and how you align with the organization’s missions and values.
2. Know your audience – do your homework. Who is interviewing you? The hiring manager? Human Resources? Your future boss? Research the organization and the people in the organization. The more you know about the organization and the people who are running it, the more prepared you will be in asking questions about the organization. You will more likely be perceived as highly interested in working for the organization.
3. Minimize your anxiety. An interview can cause a fair amount of anxiety. Instead of hovering over your smartphone before you are called in to speak with your interviewer, take a couple of deep breaths (this will help to calm you) and straighten your posture (you will look more confident). Visualize yourself in a lively conversation with your interviewer.
4. Be prepared to share your stories. Your resume can only go so far in explaining your competence for the job. Stories connect emotionally with audiences, so be prepared to share a few stories that illustrate how you have handled conflict, how you were successful in previous roles, how you turned a negative situation into a positive one.
5. Be conscious of your body language. Start with making eye contact with your interviewer. Direct eye contact signifies confidence, as does a firm handshake. A slight lean forward when sitting signals assertiveness. Keeping your hands visible signifies you are trustworthy.
6. Practice or rehearse commonly asked questions. An interview is not a scripted conversation, however, you will feel more confident if you rehearse your answers to frequently asked questions, such as, “Tell me about yourself.” Check out this website for commonly asked questions: questionsininterview.com.
For the top oddball questions that have been asked by employers, check out Glassdoor’s list: Glassdoor.com/List/Oddball-Interview-Questions-LST
7. Minimize filler words. Use a voice recorder when you practice your answers to potential questions to become aware if you are using filler words. Nothing will convey a lack of polish and confidence than a conversation filled with “ums”, “likes”, and “you-knows”. The first step to stop saying them is to become aware that they are coming out of your mouth. Pause between thoughts. That’s generally when filler words come out.
8. End the interview with a call to action. Never leave an interview without knowing the next step. Is there someone else you will be speaking with? Do you need to send in your references?
Don’t forget to get the contact information of everyone who interviewed you, because a prompt, personalized thank you note leaves a memorable impression and a strong finish.
Above all, be authentically you. The interviewer wants to know who you are, and they can detect when you are not yourself. Good luck!