October 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm #28007cindyParticipant
Hello – I wanted to get your input on any experience you’ve had in interviews or a similar situation.
– How did you and what did you do to prepare for interviews? What helped you the most?
– How long did you prepare for? Hours, weeks, months?
– What are the most important things you’ve learned in the process?
Any advice and tips are appreciated. Thank you.October 23, 2020 at 5:06 pm #28013GáborParticipant
My winner mindset for my current job was that I don’t care about the results, I went to the interview to practice and because of curiosity (“let’s see what they can offer to me”). As a PWS I also had some humiliating experiences and an interview, where I talked about my stuttering and I think that was a mistake (as the interviewer could use this information as a reason not to hire me).October 26, 2020 at 9:07 am #28021JavierModerator
Well, I haven’t had much experience with these kind of interviews, luckily I guess. So I can’t offer much advice. But I think that a book that you might find very helpful is:
“How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling”, by Frank Bettger. I’ve learnt a lot from this book and Dale Carnegie’s. They were actually friends and share a similar mindset.October 26, 2020 at 12:04 pm #28026
You will never be one hundred percent prepared for an interview. Even fluent people are never completely ready for an interview as you have no idea what they will ask you. The thing that helped me the most was to practice my answers (without practising words) over and over again, each time, my answer differing slightly from the previous time.
Visualisation – imagine yourself in the interview, confident, speaking flawlessly. Visualise the whole interview from the time you enter the building until you leave the building after having had the interview.
Accept that you will definitely have fear no matter what happens and that this is normal. Even fluent people experience fear before an interview, so if you are waiting for the day you will have no fear before an interview, this is not going to happen!
There is no time frame which will automatically render you ready for the interview. When you truly believe that you are able to avoid any stutter with a crutch, there is no situation that will be able to make you stutter. It can be an interview, a speech in front of the world, or simply speaking to a 4-year-old, you will be able to avoid any stutter. This is when you are ready. And guess what? That can be right now if you allow it to be. You are your harshest critic, and if you wait for the day you have perfect speech, you will wake up in 30 years and realize you are still in the same job you wanted to leave 30 years earlier, but were too afraid to.
What is worse than potentially stuttering in an interview? Waking up one day and realizing that your whole life is wasted, all because you were too afraid to take a risk.October 26, 2020 at 12:11 pm #28027
I never used to tell anybody that I stuttered, it made my stuttering worse. Worse than that was that people would pity me, or be embarrassed for me. I found that when nobody knew that I stuttered, I was calmer and was able to avoid more stutters than when people knew. It is almost as if we get lazy when people know that we stutter. We think to ourselves “Oh well, they know I stutter, so I can stutter as much as I want to”.
That is the coward’s way out. Knowing that you have to work harder to avoid stuttering incidents is much harder than just telling somebody that you might stutter and relinquishing all your responsibility. It is your responsibility to avoid all stutters by using the crutches. Telling somebody that you stutter does not help you. Fluent people get irritated when people stutter. They ask themselves why they should sit there and listen to you stuttering when they have better things to do. Any fluent person who tells you that they are okay with you stuttering, simply because you told them that you stutter, is lying. They would much prefer you not to stutter.
Telling people in an interview that you stutter is a sure-fire way to not get the job, and even if somebody does, in fact, hire you knowing that you stutter, they would much prefer that you did’nt.October 26, 2020 at 12:18 pm #28030GáborParticipant
Yes, that’s true, back then I didn’t have any tools to avoid severe stuttering and I thought being open about it is the right thing to do (I still read in some stuttering forums and groups that we should stutter proudly and if others don’t like it, that’s their problems, which I cannot really accept now).October 26, 2020 at 5:30 pm #28035cindyParticipant
I’m still in my early stages of interview prep and if someone were to ask me a question right now, even though I have a slight idea of what to say, I would ramble, sound very incoherent, and hesitate. Hesitating, as we know, is a primary cause of stuttering. Therefore I have to get to the point where I am confident with my answers. I only interviewed when I felt comfortable with answering the most common interview questions. This means writing my ideas in bullet points, then practicing over and over and over again out loud. This is similar to what you are suggesting Leah, except, that I will need to practice by changing up the words every time.
In my last two jobs I’ve had, I actually told the interviewers I had a stutter (this was part of another speech program I was in). By doing so, I felt less pressure. However, these were interviews I spent countless hours preparing and I got the jobs. These were earlier roles that didn’t require a lot of presentations. The case might be different now since I’m applying to more leadership positions that require a lot of communication with execs and managing a team. My point is I think people can be understanding but I agree that they’d much prefer we not have a stutter. And why continue to do so, if we have the 3 legged stool to defeat it!
I think to summarize, the main steps for interview success will be to 1) Write ideas in bullet points (bare minimum words) to common question and 2) Practice out loud using the crutches, and each time using different words/phrases. Practice aloud your ideas until you do not have any hesitation and have confidence in your answers
Javier, thanks for your book suggestions. I have read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. 🙂 I will need to check out Frank Bettger’s book.October 27, 2020 at 8:23 am #28039JavierModerator
Hi again Cindy! If I’d be you, I’d practice more Crutch 11, speaking like a King. Take your time, speak more slowly. There’s no need to rush. Take your time. The employer will actually appreciate it, and prefer that compared to somebody who speaks really fast, without pauses, in a hesitant way.
And ask questions, show interest in him/her, how long has he/she been working there, what’s the thing she likes most of this company….. They will like it a lot!
Have you read “Speech Anxiety to Public Speaking?” and watched the video course? You can find very good suggestions for these cases there.
You don’t need to be nervous, this interview and the employer represent no risk to you, they are not going to do you any harm… So stop worrying about yourself and your insecurities, and focus on them, find something likeable from them, ask questions, as I said before, smile, be friendly and loving…. That’s what I would do.
Of course, I would also do some research about this company and the position you’re applying to.October 28, 2020 at 9:24 pm #28067
Cindy, I completely disagree with what you have said above. Do you know everything that every single person is going to ask you tomorrow? So how do you answer them without “rambling, sounding very incoherent, and hesitating” as you say? Do you not answer people on the spot all day, every day?
How is an interview different from a normal everyday conversation that you have with someone (again, having no idea what they are going to ask you and therefore having no idea how you are going to answer them). Yes, an interview is nerve-wracking, but it is that way for everyone. What you are implying is that because it is an interview, you have to have the perfect answers, meaning that you have to plan your words. That is absolutely the only way you could have a perfect answer if you have written it down and are reciting it word for word, otherwise, your personality gets in the way (which is what we WANT).
You wrote: “Practice aloud your ideas until you do not have any hesitation and have confidence in your answers”. Again, I disagree with this. You should not have any hesitation if you do not allow yourself to have hesitation. Trust me, if you wait for the day that you do not have any hesitation as opposed to the day that you decide you will not hesitate, you will be in the same job for many years to come. You need to decide TODAY that you will not hesitate on any word, at any time, and you never will again.
This is what happened when I was trying to get over my fear of the phones. It was not as if I stuttered on the phone one day, and did not stutter on the phone the next day without fear. It took me months of practising phone calls using the crutches, all while my heart was beating out of my chest. Sometimes, I would get so nervous, I felt like vomiting, but I did not stutter. I hesitated many times, but I stopped, took a breath (paused) and then started again with a crutch. All the while, forming fluent memories of me on the phone. Trust me when I say I was not confident on the phone until January 2019.
It is a catch 22 – you need to put yourself in situations that you are not confident in to BECOME confident in those situations. If you are not confident speaking on the phone, and you wait until the end of the year to make a phone call, hoping that by then you will be confident enough to make that call, what would have changed between then and now?
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