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Incorrect pronunciation: Ever heard the doctor say chew your food well? Now, that requires a lot of jaw movement. The same applies while speaking. Most candidates dont open their jaws while speaking leading to incorrect sounds. You can also try this little practice. Say aloud: 'How now can we travel down to the town?' Now, say the same sentence this way: 'Naao haaao kaeen wee travel daaun to the taaauun?' To check if you are doing it right, record your voice and ask your friend to listen to it. Don't selfevaluate. You can also go to sites like www.m-w.comor www.dictionary.com, where you can listen to the correct pronunciation of any word. Fast rate of speech: If people generally ask you to repeat what you said because they were unable to follow or understand you, that is a warning bell. Don't turn a deaf ear to it. Record and listen to yourself and see if you are speaking fast. Make a consicious effort to slow down. All you need to do is read aloud, everyday.

Use of slang - Avoid words like 'bucks,' 'yup,' 'gotya,' 'gotcha,' etc - in professional conversations. If you overhear a phrase and you like it, don't start using it unless you are sure you know the meaning. Develop a flow in speech, do not use fillers i.e words like, 'hmm, uhh, I mean, it's like, you know.' They break the flow of speech and sound irritating. Incorrect grammar and influence of mother tongue - Use short sentences as thats the magic formula to construct grammatically correct sentences. Don't try saying too many things at one go. Break down the information into short, crisp and to-the-point sentences. Also as non-native speakers, we tend to translate directly from our native language to English. For example, using sentences like - I am from Delhi only. Five quick improvement ideas: Read more. Not just newspapers and magazines, novels too. Refer to the dictionary and a grammar book (like Wren and Martin), while reading. Make it a habit. Do crosswords. They help to increase one's vocabulary and also urge you to think. Grab every opportunity to speak English - with friends, colleagues - even to yourself! Listen to people who speak well. Watching channels like BBC and CNN is a good bet. Poor listening skills - Remember the two-ears-and-one-mouth story? Some pointers tohelpyou: Donot interrupt the speaker. Donot jump to conclusions. Donot assume. Ask if you have not understood something - asking to repeat is okay.
Round 1: Meet the companys HR representative One by one candidates were called for the first round, and after about one-and-a-half hours my name was called. My chances of moving into other rounds solely depended on the performance in this round. The HR representative started by asking for my rsum and other certificates. After screening my rsum she began throwing some typical as well as tricky questions (See Box).

Smart tips: I realised that verbal communication was a very important parameter of the interview. HR people are not expecting long answers but intelligent ones. The questions are designed to measure your logical, creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Speak with clarity, and offer short, constructive answers. If you have experience, then they might just ask you about your salary expectations right at the beginning. The HR representative tries to find whether you can play a positive role in the company or not.

Round 2: Telephonic interview with voice assessor I got through the first round! Next, the voice assessor called me on the phone to test my verbal communication and voice quality. I headed to a quiet place where I had to speak to receive the call on the phone. He posed the same pattern of questions as asked in previous rounds. Before the interview, I was told that a computer will catch everything you speak over the phone. In this round, the assessor tried to gauge whether I was a good listener and speaker or not. He asked some questions relating to my interests. The conversation helped them to know my telephonic etiquette followed by accent and pronunciation skills.

Smart tips: This round judges your verbal competency. You must be fluent in spoken English with a decent vocabulary. No slang, demeaning language during the interview. It could be tough to clear the round, if you speak broken English, which may be grammatically incorrect, or have a regional accent. The girl who sat next to me until the first round was rejected due to her regional accent. Round 3: Telephonic interview with the operation manager (stability check) I found some of the questions in this final round, repetitive. The company which works round-the-clock examines the psyche of the candidate, especially freshers, to check whether they are serious about the job (See Box). This round tests the emotional stability, attitude and the future plans of the candidate. Smart tips: You must be clear on what you wish to achieve in life. The interviewee gauges through your thought process. Be sure of what you say. You must prove that you are not merely window shopping this interview. Every word counts! And remember to see a future in the sector at least until you join.