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How do you demonstrate your strengths in public speaking in an interview?

Office Hours #3: All About Interviews: The STAR Method with Judy Park

This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was job interviews. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!

#interviews #job-interviews #public-speaking

Thank you comment icon Judy Park's answer: You gotta show that in action for sure! They're gonna pay attention to you composure, demeanor, tone, etc. Offer up a situation where you needed to present to others, whether that was to decision makers, your boss, a team, or to a large audience. Get those statistics on how many people you spoke to and in what situations. It'll make for a memorable story! CareerVillage Office Hours
Thank you comment icon My advice is to talk about your experience with public speaking when you are asked about your skillset. You can even give this question as an example for how hard it can be to talk about public speaking during an interview and how important it is for you that they know that you love that aspect of your skillset. Anna

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Rommie’s Answer

This is an interesting question and valid in many ways when it comes to an interview. An interview is a form of public speaking and a interview can involve speaking to a couple of people or to an interview committee with several people. There are several key skills that you can use that'll demonstrate your public speaking strengths during an interview process. During an interview "connecting with your audience" is key in communicating your message or telling your story, and there multiple ways to connect with your audience: paint a picture and tell your story instead of giving only facts, read the energy in the room and your audience and adjust your tone and body language to adjust or change the mood. Be confident, it'll show that you're competent, credible, intelligent and likable., but don't be overzealous. Confidence comes from being prepared and having a clear plan to your interview, so it's important to understand the role that you're pursuing, the expectations of the role, have a solid understanding of the company's goals and objectives, and have a plan to communicate your plan during the interview and how'll deliver value to the role and help contribute to the goals of the company. Overall, there are many sources your can reference in Effective Public Speaking and if you practice and use any of the skills it'll serve you well during an interview process. Hope my personal insight is helpful, and good luck!
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Frank’s Answer

One way to demonstrate your strength in public speaking is to practice and get feedback beforehand. Once you are aware of things you might do that could detract from a good presentation/speech/interview answer, then you can get even better. We're often not aware of the unnecessary words/sounds we repeatedly use (such as 'um', 'uh', 'so') until someone tells us. Replacing unnecessary filler words with silence will help demonstrate your strengths. In addition, you could highlight speeches or presentations you have done in the past, or you could highlight things you are doing to get even better such as joining a Toastmasters club.
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Leo’s Answer

An interview is different because you're usually speaking to one or a few people with the ability to have a back-and-forth, whereas with public speaking it's usually more one-way.

But I think the interview makes it easier to show your public speaking skills because of just telling one story, you get to tell a few. Most interviews will have a few open-ended questions like "tell me about yourself", or "how would you tackle this challenge", or "can you describe your experience at X". Make sure you tackle those as if you were speaking publicly: make sure it's a detailed, but concise story that's relevant and connects with your audience, and demonstrate how you use tone, emotion, hand-gestures, eye-contact to add emphasis to your story.

If you have confidence in public speaking, also make sure you describe (and include in your resume) your opportunities and experience for public speaking.

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Jolene’s Answer

Tell them what your going to tell them, tell them, then summarize what you told them.
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Kim’s Answer

In addition to having examples, you need to be able to "walk the walk." If you claim to have public speaking experience, make sure to demonstrate it during the interview, with appropriate eye contact, confidence, body language, speaking articulately, and even asking them if they have any questions about the answers you have provided.
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Michael’s Answer

Personally, I struggled with public speaking early in my career. I'm introverted by nature and I wasn't as confident back then. I succeded to a role that required speaking publically and often. I got better and more comfortable primarily due to practice and preparedness. Understanding your material and the audience are key factors. Learn to be natural, but not too informal. Think about what you're presenting and how it will be received by the particular audience; then adjust your style. Practice...Practice and Practice some more!
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Ausaf’s Answer

Public speaking is more about gauging, listening, understanding than actually speaking. Just speaking with no purpose can completely go the wrong direction, so first try to learn more about who you are talking to, what are their expectations. If that is not easy, then ask the right questions to understand what they want to listen. If they still give no signs of that then throw some options e.g., I can talk about a project XYZ that I think is related to this role and to the company, I feel great pride in delivering that project, would you like me to tell you more ? and if they say yes, then confidently go about describing the project concisely and then your role.
You have to be very very cognizant of time you take. You should never bore the listener with your long talks. Always, check on if they are following and if they had any questions. etc
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