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The Missing Ingredient From Tips For Job Interviews
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If you were asked by a friend to give them some general tips for a job interviews, I wonder what advice you would give them. Some of the most common tips would probably be about being well prepared and knowing about the organisation, the sorts of questions you may be asked and how to give good examples, making sure you have a list of questions to ask the interviewer (reminding them that asking about pay in the interview is a no no and being careful about what they wear. If they have to give a presentation you might give them some tips about that – standing in the right position, making eye contact with people in the room, not talking too much and avoiding ‘death by PowerPoint. We might even suggest that they search the web for additional tips for job interviews. Anyone who does so will find a lot of useful information. However, from many of the list of tips for job interviews that are available, there is often one missing ingredient. That missing ingredient is advice about the voice. Yes you might read about speaking clearly and not too quickly, but you’re less likely to read about preparing your voice just as carefully as you would prepare your questions.

So why when we’re giving someone tips for job interviews do we not pay more attention to the voice? I believe that’s because the majority of us take our voice for granted. Of course if you’re performer, actor, presenter or do any job where your voice is one of the key ingredients to your success, then you’re more likely to have an awareness of the importance of taking care of your voice. The majority of us don’t think about our voice on a day to day basis (until we get a sore throat and are struggling to speak).

The voice is an organ like any other organ in the body and we should take care of it. The only way we can do that is having awareness of some of the things that can impact on the quality of our voices. So here are my voice-related tips for job interviews.

Get enough sleep

That clearly isn’t easy for anyone with young children who don’t sleep through the night but if it’s at all possible get some help so you can sleep. If you’re thinking of staying up half the night to do last minute preparation – don’t. Your voice will be affected by the amount of sleep you have and you want to avoid sounding tired. Getting enough sleep will give you more vocal energy.

Avoid drinks that dehydrate

The obvious one is alcohol. Drinking the night before risks not only dehydrating your voice but also impairing your performance and possibly your judgement. Copious amounts of caffeine, should also be avoided. Like the alcohol it also dehydrates the voice, but it also acts as a diuretic. You don’t want to have to keep taking extra trips to the toilet!

Keep your voice hydrated

Sip plenty of water to keep your vocal chords working. This is important for everyone, but especially if you’re on any type of medication, as they can sometimes dry out your mouth and affect your voice.

Check your breathing

In order for your voice to work properly it needs to be supplied with enough air. We’ve all experienced times when our voice runs out and then we have to take a deep breath. Always do some breathing exercises the morning of the interview and you can even practice whilst your sitting waiting to be called into an interview.

Practise some relaxation exercises

If you are tense in your upper body (which you may well be if your nervous), it can adversely affect the quality of your voice and make it sound hoarse.

So next time anyone asks your for tips for job interviews, remember to include some tips on the voice.

Street Talk

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