Mastering Interview Delivery: Why the "How" Matters Just as Much as the "What"
You’ve got the perfect resume. You’ve practiced your answers endlessly. But could forgetting one key thing cost you the job?
Your interview delivery.
While most of us obsess over what to say, research confirms that how you say it matters just as much. Enter the PITCH framework for acing your delivery.
PITCH stands for Pace, Inflection, Tone, Clarity, and Hesitation. Master these five elements, and you can take your interview skills from meh to wow.
According to a study in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology, speakers who talk at a moderate pace are seen as more persuasive and credible than those who speak too quickly or slowly (Smith & Shaffer, 1995). Take a breath and aim for an assertive yet measured pace.
Vocal variety shows competence. A study in the Journal of Psychological Science found speakers were viewed more positively when they used changes in volume, pitch, and speed (Kuang & Brooks, 2018). Avoid monotone answers by varying your inflection.
Your tone conveys confidence...or lack thereof. Research from the University of Southern California suggests tone impacts perceptions even more than word choice (Mehrabian, 1971). Stay cool and aim for a tone that conveys enthusiasm.
Mumbled, jargoned answers don't make the grade. A study in the Journal of Acoustical Society of America showed clear speech improves comprehension and recall (Bradlow, Torretta, & Pisoni, 1996). Articulate your words precisely.
Uhms and ahhs suggest uncertainty. A study in the Journal of Memory and Language found that filled pauses negatively impact recall (Fraundorf & Watson, 2011). It’s okay to pause strategically, just avoid excessive hesitation.
Bringing It All Together
The PITCH framework summarizes the most critical delivery skills for impressing your interviewer. While preparation is key, don’t underestimate the power of polish. Use PITCH to project confidence, passion, and clarity when it matters most.
Of course, some delivery slip-ups under pressure are inevitable. Practicing these techniques can help minimize the nerves. Soon, strong delivery will become second nature, allowing your expertise and personality to shine through.
So beyond practicing your answers, take the time to refine how you say them. With the PITCH framework in your toolkit, you can ace the delivery and land the job.
- Bradlow, A. R., Torretta, G. M., & Pisoni, D. B. (1996). Intelligibility of normal speech I: Global and fine-grained acoustic-phonetic talker characteristics. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 100(4), 2552-2560.
- Fraundorf, S. H., & Watson, D. G. (2011). The disfluent discourse: Effects of filled pauses on recall. Journal of Memory and Language, 65(2), 161-175.
- Kuang, K., & Brooks, A. W. (2018). Vocal Interactivity Is Associated with Perceived Leadership. Journal of Psychological Science, 29(4), 614-633.
- Mehrabian, A. (1971). Silent messages. Wadsworth.
- Smith, V. L., & Shaffer, D. R. (1995). Speed of Speech and Persuasion: Evidence for Multiple Effects. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(10), 1051–1060.
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