Using your voice to your advantage in aviation interviews

Published: 04 Jun 2015 By Suzie Larcombe

When preparing for an aviation interview, it’s tempting to focus only on what you’re planning to say and what you’re going to wear.  While both of these interview elements, as well as your body language are essential to your success, there’s a fourth factor that’s well worth taking into account too.  That fourth element is your voice.  What you say is really, really important, but almost as critical is how you say things at your interview.  In other words, the tone, volume, pitch, tempo and timbre of your voice can help you change your message and improve your interview chances.

In fact, your voice is a more important part of your interview than you may imagine, so how can you use it to your advantage in aviation interviews?

Here are some great things to think about:

Tone. One of the first questions you need to ask yourself about your voice is whether or not its tone varies depending on what you’re saying?  If you think about people you know who speak in a monotone voice, you’ll get the importance of this point straight away.  There are few things that suggest lack of interest and boredom more than a monotone voice, so you need to quickly establish if you might fall into that trap.  If you naturally err on the side of monotone, today’s the day to take remedial action.  In order to create interest in what you have to say as well as winning the hearts and minds of your interviewers, you simply must introduce variety into your tone.  Varying the volume, pitch, tempo and timbre of your voice will nudge you closer to securing that dream aviation job than you imagine, so you must be honest with yourself on this one.

Volume.  Do you use volume for effect?  While we would never suggest that you either go into your aviation interview shouting or whispering, increasing and decreasing the volume of your voice at the appropriate moment can add real power to your communication elbow.  No matter whether you want to build up to a crescendo or give what you want to say an interesting slant, increasing or decreasing the volume of your voice accordingly will really add impact.

Pitch.  Are the highs and lows of your voice appropriate for the position you’re hoping to secure?  If you have a naturally high voice, then you’re probably already battling with lowering the pitch of your voice, but rest assured, the effort you make will pay dividends in your interview setting.  Most people find that, when they are nervous, their voice tends to go a tiny bit higher than normal, so getting this in check before your interview is a good idea.  Thereafter, making sure you vary the pitch of your voice to suit your message will help you no end in seeming like a serious and well-prepared candidate.

Tempo.  Is the pace of your voice right for the message you’re hoping to transmit?  Once again, in a nervous situation, it’s all too common to speed up the pace of your speaking.  If this is the case, take time to breathe and to slow yourself down.  What is important here is introducing a healthy variety of pace.  Maybe when you’re listing points you can afford to speak more quickly and slow down when you want to make your main point.

Timbre.  Is your personality coming through in your voice?  Timbre is all about emotion, and prior to going to interview it’s worth checking that your timbre is letting your personality and emotion shine through.  For example, you may want to express slight anger at a certain industry event, or some sadness to demonstrate understanding for an unfortunate situation.  Both of these emotions call for a different timbre in your voice and by amending your timbre accordingly you can share what you really feel with the interviewer.

So, as you see, while what you say at your aviation interview is really important, it’s also essential to analyse how you want to say what you want to say.  And one final point – don’t forget the power of the pause.  No matter how nervous you are, a pause can give a really strong message of control and can also be a clever way of buying yourself time to think on your feet if you need it.

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