Speech Habits That May Prevent You From Landing a Job

July 17, 2014

Career Advice

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When we get nervous, we sometimes experience what feels like an out-of-body experience where we lose control of what we’re thinking and what we’re doing. Then the bad habits enter the picture. That might mean losing eye contact, tapping your pen, bouncing your knee, or any of the below listed speech habits. That’s right. There’s a whole slew of things that can go wrong with your speech alone. And it can distract an interviewer. Here are just a handful:

1. Talking too softly.
Interviews are the time for confidence. Speak up even if it’s out of character for you.

2. Ending your statements with a question. 
Don’t second guess everything you say. End your statements with finality.

3. Talking too casually.
You’re not having a conversation with friends. Your speech should take on a formal tone.

4. Using slang or regional phrases.
Save any informal nicknames or unusual sayings for another day.

5. Using improper grammar.
Pay attention to your vocabulary and tenses as you speak. It’s OK to speak slowly so you speak correctly.

6. Talking too loudly. 
It’s good to be confident but there’s no need to act like the most important person in the room.

7. Saying Umm…
Get comfortable with pauses and don’t feel obligated to feel them with a placeholder word like “umm…”

8. Giggling. 
Smiling is an interview must, but excessive giggling is not — it just makes you look nervous.

The best way to find out if you suffer from any of these ailments is to set up a mock interview. Have a friend or relative quiz you with tough interview questions. Ask them to observe your speech patterns and body language and jot down anything out of the ordinary, then do your best to rid yourself of those habits.

Another option for the brave at heart is to join a Toastmasters group. Toastmasters is a professional club that can help you master the art of public speaking. Sound scary? Then you should probably join.


About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers


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