Getting the Job: Is It All in the Voice?

Who knew?  Your voice may be the key to getting a new job.  Or, more specifically, its pitch.

It turns out that the way your voice sounds to potential recruiters and employers can have a positive -- or negative -- effect.  It seems a person’s speech may convey their fundamental ability to think — the capacity for reasoning, thoughtfulness and intellect.  Simply put, a job seeker's voice may reveal his intelligence. At least, that's the finding of a new study.

Of course, that's also taking into consideration the contents of one's mind, and communicating them clearly, like specific thoughts and beliefs (though if you use your voice to talk about how much you hate math and the job's about accounting, maybe not so much).

When hypothetical employers and professional recruiters listened to or read candidates' job qualifications, they rated the candidates as more competent, thoughtful and intelligent when they heard the pitch of their voices than when they just read the resumes — even when the words used were exactly the same. As a result, they liked the candidate more and were more interested in hiring him, if they liked his voice.  Rather, the pitch of it.. 

According to a new study, the way your voice sounds wins out over stellar resumes and portfolios. 

In an initial experiment, a separate group of evaluators judged spoken pitches either by watching and listening to a video recording, listening to the audio only, or reading a transcript of the pitch.

The evaluators who heard the pitch -- and liked it -- subsequently rated the candidate as more intelligent, thoughtful and competent than the evaluators who only read a transcript of the pitch.  Those who watched the video weren't moved either way.  But evaluators who heard the pitch reported liking the candidate more and reported being significantly more likely to hire that person.


That part the study left blank.

But think about it.  Wouldn't you much rather be around someone who speaks in a soothing, calm way than someone whose voice is raspy and grating?  Pitch itself is the vibration of the folds of the vocal cords, according to  The sound of the voice changes as the rate of vibrations varies. As the number of vibrations per second increases, so does the pitch, meaning the voice sounds higher. Presumably, potential employers wouldn't enjoy listening to someone whose pitch could shatter a tea cup.

So listen up.   If people wince when you start speaking, you're probably not getting the job.


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