I can’t believe how many candidates I talk to on the phone that don’t know how they sound to others.  They’re soft spoken, monotone like they’re giving a patient assessment, with no enthusiasm, inflection with a lot of pause fillers.  Many are not using a simple tool that could tilt things in their favor. The voice recorder on their smart phone!

Over 90% of candidates I talk with have never heard their recorded voice. What is the first thing they say when they hear their recorder voice Yep. That’s not me. Yes, it is McFly. You need to get married to your smart phone recorder and practice everywhere you go.

Recording yourself helps you get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material, get rid of the uh’s and other pause fillers, or to find out if you really sound like Donald Duck. You need to get married to your smart phone recorder. You need to hear what the oral board is going to hear out of your mouth. It’s narrows the distance between you and the badge you’re looking for!

Some will say, “Well, if I practice it too much it will sound canned.” NO it won’t! It sure will be planned though. Practice makes permanent. “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” One practice session with a voice recorder is worth 10 speaking out loud, standing in front of a mirror or being video recorded. After practicing, you will get to a point where your answers will get into your subconscious. That’s where the magic begins. You can’t be fooled.

During a coaching session a candidate had such a monotone voice I asked if he knew. He said yea, but that’s just my voice. I told him I didn’t believe that for a second. What can I do about it? I’ve been testing where I can for four years, going to school and work as a federal firefighter.

A few days later I get a call from an energized candidate. I didn’t recognize the voice. Yes, it was Mr. Monotone. He told me he didn’t realize how bad it was until he listened to the recording of his coaching session. He said, “Man I sounded retarded. I can’t believe how much stuff I left out. How many times I said “What Ever” and other stupid pause fillers I didn’t know I was using.” The closest distance between you and the badge is picking up your smart phone and hearing what’s coming out of your mouth like Mr. Monotone!

If you want to be one of the last of America’s heroes, start asking yourself what can best prepare you for the most important part of the hiring process? . . . The oral board. Because if you can’t pass the oral board, or score high enough on the list, you don’t get the job. Never! Ever! Ever! Now, where’s your smart phone?