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Job Interview Tips – Prepare Your Voice and Body Language

The big job interview is coming up. It’s the job you really want. What have you done to prepare? Have you researched the company and come up with answers to potential questions?

What you say is important but past research suggests that between 70 and 93 percent of the communication spectrum is nonverbal. So it’s important to prepare your voice and body language.

Whatever is going on for you physically or in your mind, will show up in your voice.

I taught voice and speech and broadcast journalism in colleges and universities in Toronto for seven years. Each semester when new students walked in, I observed similar body language issues.  Students would enter the room, slouch in a chair and gaze into their mobile devices. It would take up to the end of the course – 14 weeks – for most students to gain physical self-awareness and even longer for some of them to opt to break habits that were blocking their ability to be strong communicators.

We all have habits. But not all of them serve as tools for positive communication. It takes practice to reprogram the body and feel comfortable moving the in new directions.

Here are some job interview tips to prepare your voice and body language:

Posture

Walk in tall like a king or a queen. It reads positive and confident.  If you’re offered a chair, then sit toward the edge of the chair. That will prevent you from slouching. Keep your feet flat on the ground a couple of centimeters in front of the chair. That gives space to the abdomen and the diaphragm. Don’t cross your legs.

Breathe to release tension.

It’s easy to detect tension in muscles like the neck and shoulders. But tension in our respiratory muscles takes an inner awareness. Start by releasing the abdominal muscles. If they’re relaxed the breath will start to drop into the core.

“Fight or Flight”

The body prepares to deal with a stressful situation with either fight or flight.  Our breathing becomes shallow or irregular and it speeds up. The autonomic nervous system responds by breathing in and out of the mouth. It’s the quickest way to get large quantities of oxygen in the body.

The parasympathetic nervous system controls the resting activities. It runs down the spine, and into the diaphragm and the abdomen. If the diaphragm is moving the breath, it will activate the parasympathetic system and produce a calming effect.

Smile

It lifts the cheeks, lifts your voice and produces a feel good effect on yourself and the people you’re in conversation with.