While the idea of a new job is exciting, searching for one often is not. Filtering through job ads, creating unique cover letters, filling out complex applications — it’s easy to get down when you don’t see results right away. It’s even harder when you’re unemployed and time seems to be slipping by fast.
It’s important to push through and remain optimistic. When you do get interviews, you want to project energy and enthusiasm so you make a lasting impression. This, however, is easier said than done when you’re feeling low. It’s time to take a deep breath, give yourself a pep talk, and follow these five rules of speaking with energy and optimism.
- Be well rested and feel your best
The first rule has nothing to do with speaking and more to do with giving the body what it needs to feel its best, which is rest and fuel. A hiring manager can sense if you’re sleep deprived and groggy, plus your brain simply won’t be in a good place to respond to questions quickly and efficiently. A good night’s rest and a nutritious meal will help prep you for success.
- Set the stage with positive thinking
Before an interview, practice some positive affirmations. Think of five strong skills you have or times when you felt particularly proud during your career. This will help set the stage for an upbeat discussion, plus you’ll have these top of mind when answering questions.
- Note quality of voice
Sometimes stress or fatigue can alter the quality of your voice, distracting the listener’s focus away from your message. In order to speak in a friendly and confident way, focus on speaking words in a solid, not airy, manner. Too quiet or too loud and you’ll miss the mark. On a scale of one to 10, strive for a six or seven overall. This will help you seem energetic and passionate without sounding like a stereotypical used car salesman.
- Be authoritative with proper tone
When you speak in a high tone or end sentences on a higher note, it appears you’re either asking a question or you simply aren’t confident in what you’re saying. Pay attention to your tone and inflection. You want to sound genuine and authentic. Remember, practice makes perfect, so go over your answers to common questions before any interview. Record yourself and then note areas for improvement.
- Take a moment and breathe
Rushing through questions? Conversation take a bad turn? Don’t know the answer? Try this exercise. Take a moment to breathe before answering a question. This will help you collect your thoughts so you can clearly articulate your answers, as well as giving your voice better projection. Plus, it does wonders for keeping the mind and body at peace during times of stress.