How To Communicate More Confidently in Job Interviews

Did you know that your voice and how you speak says a lot about your self-confidence? Becoming confident in the way you communicate can help you to reach your career and job search goals while boosting your self-esteem.

Communicating confidently in job interviews is especially important. Speaking with authority and confidence informs the interviewer that you believe in yourself and that you are worthy of respect, which can change how they perceive you.

While it may seem like you are either born with confidence or not, confidence is a skill you can learn and acquire over time.

Communicating confidently in a job interview means that you talk with ease to the interviewer, listen carefully, and address the interviewer’s questions with authority and care.

Speaking confidently is not just about the words you use or the tone of your voice. It is also about your body language, such as how you stand and the way you move your body. It is also about your ability to connect with others in the room and even the way you breathe.

When you speak with confidence, the interviewer will feel at ease and believe what you are saying. When you project anxiousness or fear the interviewer will pick up on it. The more awkward you feel the more awkward the interviewer will feel for you, which means they are not really hearing what you have to say. Even if you are the most qualified of all the candidates they interview, they won’t recognize this fact. Communication breaks down when your listeners do not believe in you or in what you are saying.

Reclaim Your Personal Power by Communicating Confidently in Job Interviews

The real benefit of speaking with confidence in a job interview is that it allows you to embrace and build upon your personal power. Your words, your tone, and your boundaries while communicating are indicators of whether you are claiming and honoring your personal power.

Your personal power is your confidence, competence, and strength, which you acquire throughout your life. It is your state of mind about whether you have control over your life.

There may be ways that you are signaling to interviewers, through your speech, that you give up your personal power. Words have power, and they can either elevate or diminish you.

When you use words that diminish who you are or what you are capable of, you are giving up your personal power. This opens the door for the job interviewer to see you as less-than or inferior. Your words are the verbal embodiment of your personal power. Learning to choose your words carefully can help you feel more powerful when conversing with the job interviewer and in turn, the interviewer will see that strength in you, as well.

15 Tips for Speaking with Confidence in Job Interviews

  • 1) Take it Slow

    In uncomfortable situations, many people make the mistake of talking too fast. Talking too fast in an interview conveys the impression to the interviewer that you are nervous and lack self-control. Think about how you talk when you are in conversation with your friends. When addressing an interviewer, adopting this same pace will help them feel like you are engaging with them, not hurling words at them.

    Practice this in your daily life. Slow down. Adopt a relaxed pace to your voice. The more you pay attention to your speed, the more you will become aware of when it is racing too quickly, and you can adjust. Speaking slowly also allows you more time to think about how you want to answer an interview question and it makes you sound more confident.

  • 2) Pause Before Speaking

    Don’t rush to speak as soon as the interviewer finishes her question. Pause for a second or two when the interviewer is done talking before you say what you are thinking. When you take your time, you come across as relaxed and confident, which gives the words you are saying more authority, as well. A job interview is not a race to get through as quickly as possible. Take your time and be thoughtful with your words.

  • 3) Eliminate Verbal Pauses

    We all do it. We have those words that creep into our speech when we are looking to fill the void. Words like “um” and “like” are sprinkled throughout your speech, and you may not even know how often you are saying them. When you use these words to fill space in your speech you sound uncertain and lacking in confidence.

    Practice by recording yourself in conversation with a friend. Listen to the recording and count how many times you say these filler words.

    Now that you are aware of your problem, you can focus on dropping these words from your speech. When you start to hear one creeping in, slow down and pause. It is better to say nothing than say one of these meaningless words. When you pause more, it allows the person you are speaking with to catch up to you and anticipate your next words, too.

  • 4) Practice Speaking with Authority

    When you are speaking, your voice should not pitch up at the end of a sentence unless you are asking a question. One way you lose authority and sound unsure is to speak as if you are uncertain about everything you are saying. Raising your pitch is a sign that you are unclear or uncertain, which can make you sound less confident.

    Practice doing the opposite of this inflection. At the end of every sentence, focus on pitching your voice slightly downward. How does this sound? What difference does it make to what you are saying? Even when you ask a question, this downward inflection adds confidence to your speech. Try it and see what a difference it makes.

  • 5) Work on Your Pauses

    Deliberate pauses can add authority and confidence to what you are saying. Strategically placed breaks add emphasis to your points or words. They also vary your speech patterns, which makes it more interesting for the interviewer. In shorter sentences, try adding a pause halfway through. In longer sentences, break it up into thirds.

    Pauses are useful for getting the interviewer’s attention as well as making your point even more evident. Using pauses purposefully communicates that you are confident in what you are saying.

  • 6) Work with Your Breath

    Your breath comes in a slow, steady pace. When you want to speak with confidence, your speech should have that same slow, steady pace. By working with your breath, instead of trying to get all your words out in one and quickly inhale to keep going, you will relax your pace and sound like the confident person you are.

  • 7) Loud Does Not Equal Confidence

    Rather than showing confidence, talking loudly conveys a lack of respect for your listener. While you want to be heard, speaking too loudly often results in a pitch that resembles screaming. Strive instead for a cadence that is smooth and rhythmic and a pitch that is low and steady. This will make you sound more confident.

    Again, recording yourself is a wonderful way to see how well you are doing with this. Listen to yourself talking. Does your pitch go up and down dramatically? Does your rhythm feel smooth or choppy? Practicing your speech is a way to work on not only what you want to say but how you want to say it.

  • 8) Relax Your Body

    When you are nervous, the muscles in your jaw, neck, throat, and shoulders are all affected. These same muscles influence your tone of voice. Relaxing these muscles is vital if you want to sound confident in an interview. When you are speaking, if you feel these muscles start to tense, focus on releasing that stress and staying relaxed.

  • 9) Smile

    When you are speaking in an interview, and you see a blank face on your interviewer, smile. You don’t want to come across as manipulative, so don’t do this in a very obvious way, but a subtle smile can make a big difference. You will quickly notice that many interviewers will start smiling back at you. Plus, when you smile, you are showing that you are confident in your words and you will appear more composed and friendly.

    Smiling also enhances the quality of your voice and helps you keep a more even pitch and rhythm. Practice speaking into a mirror to feel how smiling influences your confidence.

  • 10) Get Rid of Qualifying Phrases

    Modern speech is filled with phrases and words that add nothing to the conversation but have become ubiquitous. Many of these are also phrases that show a lack of confidence.

    Examples of these include, “I’m sorry,” “Well,” “I mean,” “Like,” and “This is just my opinion.” We say these things to apologize for what we are about to say, which begs the question, why should anyone continue listening. These tics are common when people are nervous or hesitant about how the interviewer will respond to what they are saying.

    When you say what you mean without these qualifiers, it lends authority and confidence to your meaning. Offer your viewpoint with authority and get rid of these unnecessary, filler phrases that rob you of your confidence.

  • 11) Stand Up Straight

    Just as smiling affects your voice and speech, so does your posture. And how you hold and carry yourself tells others a lot about how confident you are feeling. Even when you do not feel all that confident, standing or sitting tall, with your head held high, can make you feel more confident.

    Good posture is essential to communicating with confidence. When you stand or sit straight, you can breathe more deeply, which allows you to project as well as watch your pace.

  • 12) Work on Eye Contact

    Don’t speak at your interviewer, speak to them. Eye contact makes your interviewer feel more engaged in the conversation and conveys confidence, too. Avoid scanning the room too much, or gazing over the interviewer’s head. Most people, when you make eye contact with them, will smile or offer other positive reinforcements, which can make you feel more confident, too.

  • 13) Move Your Hands

    Your body language is just as important as the words you choose to say. Using a variety of gestures conveys energy, confidence, and warmth to your interviewer. Your gestures should be purposeful and related to your conversation rather than distracted fidgeting or nervous habits. Use your hands in ways that add to your message. Practice in front of a mirror if you are unsure of what would be appropriate.

  • 14) Focus on the Situation

    In a job interview, it can become easy to get lost worrying about what you will say next. When you are so focused on what you plan to say next, you forget about relaxing, breathing, or slowing down. Focusing on the present and what you are saying right now is the only way to stay grounded and sound more confident in your speech. Listen to your voice, and focus on each word like you really mean it.

  • 15) Practice, Practice, Practice

    If you want to improve your communication skills and sound more confident in interviews, you will only achieve this by practicing. The more you practice, the less nervous you will feel about using your new skills.

    Practice allows you to work out what you want to say ahead of time, which leaves you with less to consider at the moment, as well. Conduct mock interviews with trusted friends or a job search coach.

    Record yourself to listen for your pitch, pacing, and pauses, too. Nothing will help you improve more than practice will, so use every opportunity you have to work on feeling more confident in your communication and interview skills.

    Learning to speak with confidence can help you perform better in interviews, move ahead in your career, achieve important professional goals, and share your knowledge and views with others. It can also help you reclaim your personal power.

    Like all skills, learning to speak with confidence is something you can master over time and with practice. There are many components to effective communication, including your voice’s pitch, tone, and rhythm, as well as nonverbal cues like your facial expressions and posture. Even learning to use silence and pauses can help you make your point more confidently to your listeners.

    If you want to be more confident in what you are saying, you must believe the words you are using and communicate a message that is important to you.

    Practice these skills, and you will have the job interviewer and all your listeners believing in your confidence in no time.

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Fifteen Tips for Speaking with Confidence in Job Interviews