Rock That Interview: Verbal Communication

In our last installment of Rock that Interview we discussed the importance of nonverbal communication. Although nonverbal actions take up the majority of our communication, what we say in interviews and interactions with potential employers do have an impact. It is easy to get caught up in the nervousness and say something you do not mean. Just remember these key points going into an interview and you should be prepared to speak without fear of saying the wrong things.
1. Avoid offensive language
    Social Justice is becoming a common topic amongst our society. People have become more aware of offensive language. Anything can be offensive, but the more common (and more advertised) issues include: racism, sexism, sexual orientation and religion. Avoid these topics during small talk and avoid using any generalizations or prejudice of your own in your answers. Any opinion in these topics can be misconstrued and can lead to deeper arguments you do not want.
    Triggers are also something to look out for. Triggers are words or phrases that can spark an emotion within someone. They are unique to different people and can have negative affects on their behaviors, as well as their perspective on you. Words like, "retarded, crazy", and phrases like, "my last job was so gay" can make you appear ignorant and insensitive. They can also trigger your interviewer giving you a less of a chance of landing that job, an issue that should come second to fixing your ignorance.
2. "I don't know" is not good enough
    As you may have heard already, the phrase "I don't know" can come off as a negative answer. Stick to phrases that can give you more time to think like, "That's a good question" or "Let me think about that." Although it may feel like ages in your head, some interviewers like that you take your time to articulate your answers instead of blurting out the first thing you think of in your head and hoping it will lead you somewhere. Do not be afraid to slow things down. If it gives you an excellent answer it may be worth it.
3.  Use compliments wisely
    Compliments can be a good tool to lessen the pressure on both parties in the interview. It can make the situation much warmer and more comfortable to be in. However, it can also do the opposite. Compliments on body image can easily come off as flirtatious and make the interviewer uncomfortable. Even as a sincere comment, telling the interviewer that "they look great today" comes off as unprofessional.
    If you do feel the need to comment on something, compliments on the companies values or work ethic can make you look like a promising employee who shares similar views with the company.
4. Bad talk is bad
    Remember to never bad talk any of your previous employers, especially if they are your reference. References are important and calling them mean and incompetent lowers their credibility, which, in turn, lowers yours. Bad talk against former employers can also lead the interviewer to believe that this will happen again, but with their company the next time you interview for another job. It comes off as unprofessional and no matter how bad your last job treated you it is irrelevant to the interviewer and should be information you keep to yourself or your parents and/or lover(s).
5. Ask questions
    Asking questions may make you seem uninformed, but asking the right questions can make you appear inquisitive and ready to learn. Questions like, "how much is pay?", and "when can we take vacation days?" make you appear like you are only in it for the money and only in it if the job is easy. Again, avoid the superficial.  
    Try asking questions that show that you have done research about the company, which you should do, in order to both display your knowledge and your willingness to learn. Questions like, "I understand my job entails that I work with the camera crew, but are their any other duties with other crews that I should be aware of and prepare for?" or "I saw that you are partnered with 'Company B', will we be doing work with them as well while I am here?"
    For more questions, you can check out this article on asking questions, which is also on our site.
    Although one slip up may not totally hinder your chances of landing that internship, know that they do pile up and that mistakes are easy to spot. Just do your research, practice what you will say and your non-verbals, and rock that interview!
Rock That Interview: Verbal Communication Rock That Interview: Verbal Communication Reviewed by Unknown on 9/05/2014 Rating: 5

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