No. 1 Interview Mistake to Avoid

Did you know that many people have negative speech habits that make them sound unsure of themselves? I'm talking about words or phrases know as "qualifiers." What is a qualifier you may ask? It's a word or phrase added to another word to enhance its meaning, either adding or diminishing its value.

Some widely used qualifiers are just, actually, kinda, almost, somewhat, rather, a bit, sort of, etc. For example: "I'm kinda thinking I want to pursue physical therapy in college" or "I'm just really happy to be competing at the state level." When participating in any type of interview, be it pageant, college or job interview, the goal is to sound confident and authoritative. This bad habit will make you sound as if you don't know your worth, even if you are an overall confident person.

This goes for disclaimers as well. "Well, I'm not exactly sure but..." It's acceptable to give an opinion without undermining your own credibility first. This comes across as apologizing for yourself and when done several times over the course of a conversation, you will appear weak. Just shoot from the hip as they say. Be direct and speak with confidence. Have you ever heard the phrase "it's not what you say, it's how you say it." You may be giving content rich answers full of meaning and purpose, but if you disclaim yourself or qualify every thought, you will walk away scratching your head wondering why they didn't pick you.

I know you want to sound likeable and relatable. Some people mistake projecting confidence for projecting arrogance, but don't sacrifice one for fear of the other. It's important to identify any negative speech habits before tackling your next interview. This can make or break the way you are perceived and will define the overall tone of your interview. Ask a friend or teacher to listen to your speech pattern to help you identify bad habits. The first step to eliminating bad habits is identifying them. Once you recognize that they are there, it will be easy to kick the habit in a matter of days.

Good luck, and here's to a more confident, empowered YOU!

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