Filler words such as "umm", "uh", etc. are quite common in everyday speech. However, such words can takeaway from the quality of your presenation. Filler words can even give the Interviewer a feeling of doubt. Fortunately, these can be avoided with some simple tricks and helpful tips; let's see how:
Knowing what you do unconsciously
Filler words like "you know" and even the word "so," you may not realize that you're saying them, but your Interviewer sure sees it, and it may just cost you a job. Now and then, a filler word slips out, but when it comes to presenting yourself professionally, using them too much or even at all can ruin the first impression you give to the Interviewer. The situation is explained in this example, the Interviewer: "Thanks for coming in for the interview. How did you find out about the open job position?" Candidate: "Um, well, I saw the job opening online it's like it was either on LinkedIn or indeed." Interviewer: "Great, what was it about the job that sparked your interest?" Candidate: "So I've had my current job for a few years now, and I recognize that now's the perfect opportunity to advance my career. I'm ready to take on greater responsibilities and build my experience, you know." Let's stop right there. What went wrong if you were this candidate? You would have just used filler words six times in less than a minute and would have spoiled the professional aura in the interview room.
Additionally, if you put on your resume that you're an effective communicator, you just proved that you aren't and gave the impression that you may have lied about the other skills you have listed.
Review yourself through recording
Practice answering common interview questions and record yourself, then listen to the Recording and pick up on any filler words you notice. A great way of getting rid of them is to be precise while talking and record yourself this way. It allows you to mentally catch up to what you're saying and move on efficiently.
You can consider the following example where the candidate refrains from using them. Interviewer: "Thanks for coming in for the interview. How did you find out about the open job position?" Candidate: "I saw it on both LinkedIn and indeed, but I applied on LinkedIn in the hope that you'd be able to see my profile." Interviewer: "Great; what about the job that sparked your interest?" Candidate: "I've had my current job for a few years now, and I recognize that now is the perfect opportunity to advance my career. I feel confident that I'm ready to take on greater responsibilities and build my expertise." What did you notice this time if you were this candidate who has spoken clearly and precisely? You presented yourself professionally and explained yourself enough without speaking for too long.
Be prepared and conduct your homework
Not only should you familiarize yourself with the content, but you should also practice giving a powerful speech. According to several experts, preparation minimizes the quantity of filler in your speech. Dlugan gives an example that if you don't do so, then instead of retrieving words from prepared memory, our brain must have to 'invent' words. This puts you under more stressful and mental effort, making you more likely to fall behind.
Stop, think for a while, and then answer
Take yourself as an example. Are you at a loss for words or unable to recall that one term? Consider your response. Don't just mumble anything like "uh, uh, uh." Pause. This can be as effective as emphasizing the proper word in your speech.
When you use a filler word like 'hmm,' you're thinking aloud, as described by Harvard Extension School's Steven D. Cohen, who explained that you're expressing your psychological process in this way. With this knowledge, it's simple to see that pausing is a practical and unique approach.
Calm & Slow down
You're excited & fascinated, but you're speaking far quicker than you know. If you speak too quickly, you're likely to be at a loss for words, especially if you haven't thought out what you'll say next, as Jordan explained through his interview experience. According to him, you'll use many more filler words if your tongue moves faster than your head. Slowing down will not only eliminate speech errors but also make you more understandable, which is essential while giving your interview, whether in person or online.
Focus on Substance in Words
As a suggestion by Anderson, another interviewer who has interviewed several candidates over a couple of years, even if you use the word "uh" frequently, there is a method to appear well-spoken. As per him, one should concentrate on constantly producing and speaking about the content of what you say great. For example, if you're speaking at the International Conference of Accountants, a lot of accounting can be exciting. The finest communicators, on the other hand, are the ones who speak full of Substance.
Stand in front of the Mirror
Now, let's take that familiarity to the next level. Do a practice activity in front of a mirror by interviewing yourself. Read the answers to the interview questions a few times. You aren't attempting to memorize what you've written, most importantly, you should avoid memorizing your answers. Instead, it would help if you repeat your written comments to familiarize yourself with the plot of the story you've produced. It would be best if you were repeating your replies, similar to how someone making a speech may peek at their notes momentarily while maintaining direct eye contact with the audience. As you get more comfortable with what you say in response to an interview question, you will use fewer filler words while deciding what to say next, followed by that famous saying as it goes, "Practice makes a man perfect!"
“To learn more about how to avoid filler words, schedule a call today to speak with one of our career experts.
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