London is home to scores of nationalities as well as people that have moved here from across the UK. Surely with so much diversity, it’s what we say and do rather than how we say things that ma’ers? Or, should I say, matters? Our experience is that it does matter.
When assessing the match of a prospective employee, the way we speak is part of who we are. And the way a company’s employees talk gives a certain impression about that company; it’s part of the brand. We can argue back and forth about what type of pronunciation is the right one but I have no doubt that it makes a difference.
I’m not specifically talking about accent here though there can often be a crossover between accent and dialect. I’m talking about the pronunciation of certain sounds such as the ‘th’ of think or the ‘tt’ of letter.
We all have different ways of speaking – you’ll talk a certain way to your mates and a different way to your parents – and in most cases we switch between them unconsciously.
Whilst my belief in the diversity of language remains intact and I remain ambivalent around whether pronunciation should matter, my recommendation for your job hunting is to recognise that, right now, it does make a difference in most cases.
As a salesperson, you’re a voice for the company. For an interview, you’d be well served to understand the voice of your prospective new company and match it as closely as you can.