This week, I am looking forward to serving as a “guest judge” for a professional organization’s speech competition. In reviewing the scoring sheet, it occurred to me that several elements for judging a speech presentation are also applicable to a job interview. If you are going on a job interview this week, here are ten pointers you may wish to consider.
- _____ Appearance – Does your overall attire represent you well? From head to toe, do you reflect professionalism and appropriateness for the job to which you aspire?
- _____Audience Relationship – Are you connecting with your audience? Tip: Eye contact and smiling help establish a rapport with strangers.
- _____Content – Does your presentation include a compelling and relevant opening, body and close that delivers direct evidence that you are the number one candidate for the job?
- _____Energy / Enthusiasm / Sincerity – Do you sound like you know what you are talking about and have you convinced the listener that you are the winning candidate? Do you convey your message with conviction, passion and authenticity?
- _____Gestures – Are your gestures natural and appropriate or exaggerated and out of control?
- _____Poise / Confidence – Do you know what you want to say and how to express it with confidence and sureness or do you appear afraid and anxious? Tip: Practice and more practice may help calm your jitters.
- _____Posture – Are you demonstrating good posture? Tip: Stand in front of a full-length mirror prior to departing for the interview and evaluate your posture. What message are you sending to strangers?
- _____Speaker’s Enunciation – Is your speech clear and easily understood? Are you using words appropriately and pronouncing them correctly?
- _____Speaker’s Pace – Are you speaking too rapidly or too slowly? Are you inserting periods or are you connecting each of your statements with “um, uh, and-uh, and ah”?
- _____Vocal Quality/Pitch – Are you speaking too loudly or too softly and is your speech quality well modulated or a monotone?
Homework Exercise: Prior to going on your job interview, give yourself one point for each of the above elements. How did you rate yourself and what, if anything, needs improvement before you land in the interview hot seat?