Pathetic at job interviews...what can I do?
Venting a little bit here....
I'm an anxious person by nature, add tests or on the spot wordy questions and I just fall into a heap. It's performance anxiety that's the issue.
I've just come back from a job interview which I did terribly at. I find it so hard to concentrate on what the interviewee is asking, and remembering a scenario to attach the outcome with. Like..."tell us time where you resolved conflict and produced a positive outcome". I'm pathetic at anything like this, I don't have that sort of mind where I can do wordy scenarios, I'm just basically a hands-on-person and I am really good at what I do (I know and believe this...I am competent), but put me into a situation where I have to prove what I do and I collapse into heap.
This has always been my problems with interviews, and this why I always fail at them, and it's so hard...because I know I am more than capable. This is what is holding me back from ever progressing in my career.
I have been so fortunate that along the way, I have found jobs where I have they don't require me to do formal interviews, it's more that I fall into the job. Those jobs work perfectly and never had a problem, so I know I can do it.
I don't know what to do, I don't know what's my next plan of action to "beat this". Yes I have done practice runs, mock interviews, worked with a close family member that has a strong business background and interview background. But it all goes out the window when I am in the interview.
I kind of feel like I am going round and round in circles, I think probably I need to see a psychologist to help me get used to speaking engagement scenarios (role playing). I think I have huge issues with anxities, and I kind of been avoiding it, by fitting in work that hides my issues, but I don't think I can do this anymore.
Agghh just totally lost, sad, but at the same time determined to "beat this". In the past I would of spend days beating myself up, but I don't think I will be going down that route this time, sure I will have moments of "you idiot", but that's going to help me solve this issue.
Yep just a little deflated, but I will be ok :)
I just want to know there is hope for me to get over this, I have struggled with this all my life, and just feels like I will never "get over it", which scares the hell out of me.
The hardest thing is knowing I have such amazing potential, and yet wasting it with these uncontrollable fears.
Toastmasters may help out for that! There is a session at toastmasters that is called Table Topic. During table topic we get asked a question we have no knowledge of before hand, and you have to speak about it for a minute to two minutes. It's a great way to practice it. My interview skills improved a lot after spending a good bit of time in toastmasters. Whenever I interview, I feel like I'm just doing another table topic question :).
If you join toastmasters for that purpose, I'd suggest joining a smaller club because in small clubs (5-7 people attending) you're more likely to be called to do a table topic each week whereas in bigger clubs you won't be called upon that frequently due to the limit of table topics per meeting.
I'm in the same boat.
One thing I recommend is to go into the interview with a lot of things you want to say about why you believe you'll be excellent at the job, and make sure you say this. Focusing on explaining why you believe you are the best candidate is more effective than trying to pass the tests, & such, I think
Out of curiosity / nosiness, why are you looking for a job? are you not able to make a good living from self-employment?
I mean although those things are important, they actually don't talk to me really about anything about, what I do, like what I go through in my actual role. I find also really hard to quickly remember a scenario off the top of my head, that's not something that comes naturally to me.
It doesn't help that I don't really work in big team environments, so it's hard to try and put my small business into a large corporate environment.
Lets say web/IT is the industry I am in. Organising the development of websites.
I can work for myself, but that's actually just hiding issue, because what tends to happen is am I able to hide from my fears, because I can use other forms of communication to get around speaking, or talking clearly. I actually want to overcome this fear, because it's holding me back a lot.
I still think this is more to do with performance anxiety, so I am not sure if toastmasters would be enough at this stage? I quite severe anxiety to be honest, but have been cleverly been able to mask it, by cleverly avoiding certain situations.
Keep the faith... there are solutions to your problem, all is not lost!
You can beat this.
I used to be an incredibly nervous person and interviews would fill me with complete dread. I'm sure I probably missed out on some great opportunities because I didn't want to go to interviews.
The best thing I found was to prepare.
Before you go for the interview - research all you can on the company, the job and even the people working there if you can. Make a lot of notes and write out a list of questions they might ask (you can find bog standard questions that interviewers ask online) and also write down what your answer would be to that question.
By fully preparing yourself, you will feel more confident about the interview because you know you've done your research and also memorised some standard replies to any questions you might get.
Make sure you have a list of questions you can ask them to show you are interested. It's ok to have these on a sheet of paper to take to the interview with you. I've done this and had no problems. It shows you are prepared and shows you are interested and enthusiastic.
However nervous you feel when you get there - smile! This one is so important. No one wants to hire someone who looks miserable and afraid. You have to look positive and friendly even when your stomach may be knotting up inside.
These tips really helped me and although I doubt I'll ever love being interviewed, I can at least feel that I can get through them with my head held high.
Hopefully your next interview will be a lot better :)
Researched the company, although probably could of gone into it further.
Wrote down questions to ask, which was good, although they had already answered a number that I was going to ask.
But yeah...still got totally lost and flustered.
@Angel - thanks for the suggestion will look into it.
I used to be horrible at job interviews. Then I found myself in a position, a long time ago, when I was so broke that I needed to nail a job within 10 days.
Well, I certainly worked on those interview skills.
For you, it looks like it's mostly about nerves and lack of confidence when put on the spot. Maybe you should memorize a few key sentences. It helps to organize your resume skills by skills and memorize about 5 or 6 skills you put in practice illustrated by examples.
It can be examples from your personal life as well. Being original can help you to stand out.
For example, a team I worked with used to do potlucks for lunch. We would share whatever we had cooked. I use that as an example for building team spirit and having a positive attitude.
One thing that helps is to go there witht the aim of helping the interviewer. You are there to solve their hiring problem.
Personality will get you there, more than the actual responses to the questions. If you smile and look at the interviewer straight in the eye, you are half way there.
Also, don't forget, they are people too, and they might be as nervous as you are, but not showing it.
If you have trouble with speaking up in front of people, I would recommend you take acting classes.It's fun and you meet great people.
Also, fake it til' you make it. The most confident looking people can be the ones who are, inside, the most shy but had to break that barrier.
I love this article.
How I Got Every Job I Ever Wanted
Good luck, ellie.
I tend to be a bit radical in my attempt to banish the nerves.
I'd watch or listen to things which put job interviews for example into real insignificance.
Motivational talks from those who have beaten the odds etc. I've not exactly gone into interviews not caring, but I've been far more relaxed than I normally would've been. I did this approach for exams too, although I've been very nervous for some of them naturally.
A diverse amount of responses so far. I like it.
Basically remember two key things:
1) Do not beg. Your attitude should be that they WANT you and YOU are trying to determine if it's a fit. (obviously don't be full of yourself) but know you are the right person. And show it in your answers.
2) The questions and the answers don't matter much. It's all the same boring stuff. It's more about how you carry yourself. Pretend you're watching your own job interview on video with no sound. Would you be impressive? Add sound, but only voice intonations, not real words. Are you impressive there? That's more key. Your presence, not cookie cutter answers. If that was important, there would be an essay section.
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