Did you know in 2016 more than 43.7 million immigrants resided in the US? That accounts for 13.5% of the entire US population.
With so many foreigners residing in the US, there should be no discrimination based on accent. But unfortunately, many foreigners do face discrimination for having an accent.
Several foreign nationals worry that their strong accent will prevent them from getting their dream job. But how exactly do employers view strong accents? And how can you prepare for a job interview?
Read on to find out.
How do Employees View Accents
Everyone knows that the law forbids discrimination of race, ethnicity and natural origin in employment. But discrimination based on accent sometimes seems to slip under the radar.
A psychology study noted that “a heavy accent that is difficult to understand will cause others to doubt the truthfulness of whatever the person is saying”.
When employers are hiring, they are often looking for confident, trustworthy, dynamic individuals who get the job done. If an employer does not trust you or understand you, they will not hire you.
And even if you’re not being discriminated based on accent, you still may not be successful. You may have a truckload of experience, but if the interviewer can’t understand you, they won’t know about it.
But what can you do about a heavy accent?
How to Improve a Strong Accent
Check out these tips on how to improve your heavy accent before an interview.
One of the best ways to improve a strong accent is to enroll in a pronunciation program. These courses often have positive results. After the program, many students feel confident and empowered to speak fluently.
The bonus is you can do these courses online. Find out more here.
When speaking, don’t mumble. Many do this due to a lack of confidence. But speaking too softly, or mumbling may make your accent harder to understand.
Relax, and try to speak in your normal tone of voice.
Speaking fast will not make you sound more fluent. If you give your interview answers at a supersonic speed, your interviewer may not understand you and write you off quickly.
Take a deep breath, give your answers slowly and clearly. This will increase the clarity of your accent. It will also make you sound more confident.
When you are speaking slowly you should try to pronounce all words as clearly as possible. This is especially important with technical words.
For example, the name of a company you’re applying for. If you can’t say the name correctly, your interviewer may think you’re not suitable for the position.
But don’t get frustrated if you’re asked to repeat something. Repeat it clearly and slowly. This will show that you’re confident, yet willing to improve.
Practice Makes Perfect
Before you head on your interview, make sure you’ve practiced what you’re going to say. But don’t overdo it. If you over-practice, you may sound unnatural and robotic.
You’re Not Alone!
If you have a strong accent, you may feel alone, frustrated and discriminated against. But you are NOT alone!
We at Pronunciation Pro are here to help you on your journey to better pronunciation and a new confident you. Join our community of learners by signing up for a FREE TRIAL today.