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Job Interviews


KurtisM
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I have to do a job interview soon, and I'm not ready even remotely.

It's online and in the form of a video questionnaire, so I don't believe there'll be another face over the line- just a pre-recording of me answering questions if I'm right. At least, for now.

I've had to do two interviews in my life before. The first was back in Grade 6 applying for french-immersion where I had the comfort of my parents to answer most of the questions, while I looked around the room in awe. I barely consider it an interview, even if I did get in as one of the 20 or so out of 41 kids who submitted.

The second was in french-immersion this year as one of the last projects- where we had to talk about something with a global/humanitarian impact. I took interest in the resource based economy and rehearsed dozens of times, feeling ready nut nonetheless nervous. I flunked it terribly and ended up having a breakdown and crying in front of the teacher because my brain froze. We couldn't have any notes, but free form speaking from memory is just devastating for me.

So I'm trying to rehearse for these interviews I know I'm going to have- trying to understand my answers+beliefs so I'm honest and prepared to answer most of the common interview questions people get asked. There's no one in front of me right now, and when I try to answer these honestly it still feels forced+performed and I always freeze up. I can't finish a paragraph without just suddenly stopping mid sentence and feeling stupid about my inability to finish and resolve and communicate.

I know it's not the be all end all of my life, but it's the only way I'm going to get a job to begin with. Something I've been putting off since middle school out of stubbornness. I'm incredibly nervous and stressed lately, and this is just one of those "reasons".

Edited by KurtisM
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If you live in a large enough area, you might consider checking out Toastmasters International-they specialize in helping people learn how to speak in situations off the cuff,  and giving gentle feedback about how to improve. I have an awful stage fright problem and fear of being judged (like most in Arrogance,) but I found them helpful in the past.

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I can feel your pain, Kurtis. I have been to numerous interviews in my life and I would say I underperformed in most of them - not necessarily because of the the nerves, but more because of the lack of preparation or procrastination. It makes me wonder if I have a chief feature of self-destruction. I think there is really not a shortcut to this, but you have to spend quality time to focus and prepare for your answers, especially when you feel you're not confident enough. Also please try not to judge yourself too hard to a degree that it blocks your thought process and "freezes" you. It is important to let things flow as much as possible, even if they are not perfect. In a face to face interview, a lot of the times people look at the way you approach the questions other than the actually answer itself.

 

I encourage you to try to put aside the attachment to the results itself, and focus on how to achieve your goal in this process. Believe in yourself so that you can present the best of you, and the positive outcomes are just consequence of having the right thought and taking the right actions.

 

Good luck and I'm sure you can do it :) 

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it's all a mind game!

 

just tell yourself that you look forward to the experience, to learn from it and to get better the next time regardless of the outcome, be curious about the procedure.

 

meditate bevor the event, that should help, also before you answer a question take a deep breath!

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Hey, Kurtis. I know what it is to be painfully shy. I was like that for most of my childhood and teen years. Sages are supposed to love the limelight and whatnot, but I always preferred to communicate one-on-one, and never in person if I could help it. Interviews were always painful, and I've had a breakdown in front of my teacher and the whole class during a test as well. I only managed to deal with it when I incorporated Trust back into my worldview. Once you go into a situation already trusting you can do it, everything seems much easier. It won't take away the fear, but it will give you the courage to shine despite it. 

 

Whenever I'm in danger of forgetting how to Trust (myself, my ability to live, the goodness in other people), I read this:

I'm sure you'll figure out interviews eventually. If not this time, then the next. We've got a lot of life in us yet :)

Much love.

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I am the same way. I hate speaking in public. I get a lot of anxiety when the spotlight is on me. Everyone gave good advice. If I could add anything, it would be to just try being as present as possible when you do the interview. Just be there. I think half the problem is that we are lost in our heads or in another time (the past or future) when we need to be "present" during situations like those. Relax, listen to the questions, and respond as thoughtfully as you can. And if your nerves show through, maybe they will take it that you care enough to be nervous. Most people who want to do good are. 


In the meantime, maybe put it all on the backburner and distract yourself with something else, so your anxiety doesn't get the best of you.

 

Good luck to you! 

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Also, I wanted to add: most people don't care as much about your mistakes as you think they do. What's the worst they could do anyway? Not hire you? Well then, they'd have lost out on a great employee. And if you need proof for that statement, just look to the left of your post. I think "Cornerstone Member" says a lot :)

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Kurtis, I had an interview like that at some point in the past two and a half years. I found it weird because there was no one on the other end. I pretended I was doing a spot for a show and "performed" for the camera. Just be sure to look at the camera like you are talking to a friend you haven't seen in years. And you are catching up. I also practiced with my webcam a few days before, which was really helpful. Also, I was able to rerecord until I liked the take. I think I got a follow up for a phone interview but they didn't follow thru. Like, I got interview ghosted, which happens more than I would like. 

 

In any case, the question I find hardest is "tell me about yourself." I really hate that question. You'd think after 30 some odd interviews I'd have this answer down pat but I don't. It's the question I get the least reaction from so it's hard to gauge if what I say is okay or not. They don't want to know about your hobbies (unless it is relevant to the job) or your personal life or anything like that. They want a quick work history in relation to that job where you highlight any significant accomplishments. If you don't have a work history focus on any relevant academic achievements and any relevant volunteer work or relevant extracurriculars. They invited you to interview further tho so they saw something in your resume that they liked. You're already halfway there. 

 

If they don't call you for an in person interview or tell you that you have the job try not to let it get to you. Sometimes it comes down to qualifications, not how you were during an interview, like maybe someone knows some software you don't or maybe someone worked an extra month longer than you. So don't take it personally. 

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Thanks everyone, all of this is very very helpful.

I did the video questionnaire today and definitely still had some trouble with freezing up, but I found it helped if I stopped focusing on one ultimate word to describe my intentions perfectly and just chose to say whatever came to mind. From there, even if I couldn't perfectly say what I wanted to, I could at least catch up on a train of thought that would help.

I got asked 4 questions, and one pre-question that wouldn't be sent.

 

 

 

@Juni- Thanks, I'll look into that. :) Social anxiety isn't easy.

@Cong- I always prepare. People say though that I prepare and over-think way too much. I prepare so much it's practically like procrastination. I believe this comes from my investment in Scholar Energy and -Theory. I absolutely agree that risk is sometimes the best we can do.

I did what you said, and tried letting myself and my thoughts flow out more.

@Estoy- Thank you, I also believe in the power of positive thinking. It's what my parents have been teaching me through my childhood.

I will definitely meditate and recenter. That's a great idea. :)

 

@Sharvari- Yeah, trust is powerful. Even when we're uncertain, trust in the past so we can move forward to the future is so essential. Thank you for the link too, I'll reread the session.

Also lol. I guess being a cornerstone member can translate into the workplace. And you're right- the worst they can do is not hire me. Heck I'd even make it an effort to say at the end of an interview, that "I hope you find the best candidates you're looking for in this position." Not because I'm trying to impress them, I just genuinely care that they do what's best for them. I'm still scared though, as I know little about customer service, and worklife.

 

@Heidi- Thank you for the advice. I understand how presence can be a life saver in a conversation. It shows you care. Calmness can be pretty tough at times. Maybe focusing on other things would be much more helpful, but I know already I can't control everything.

@Caricai- Thanks for the good advice about not taking everything so seriously. :) "Tell me about yourself." was my pre-recording practice question, but I'll definitely consider talking about my work history and volunteer experience if I get asked it. I don't have much to say for that, but maybe I can add on by talking about book clubs, martial arts or art projects I've been involved in too. They're not much but it's a start. I haven't involved myself in much outside of school.

I believe I was called back mostly because I'm bilingual, but if it was for more than that, I'd be glad.

 

 

Edited by KurtisM
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5 hours ago, KurtisM said:

 

@Caricai- Thanks for the good advice about not taking everything so seriously. :) "Tell me about yourself." was my pre-recording practice question, but I'll definitely consider talking about my work history and volunteer experience if I get asked it. I don't have much to say for that, but maybe I can add on by talking about book clubs, martial arts or art projects I've been involved in too. They're not much but it's a start. I haven't involved myself in much outside of school.

I believe I was called back mostly because I'm bilingual, but if it was for more than that, I'd be glad.

 

 

 

I'm not saying don't take it seriously, I'm saying don't take it personally if you don't get hired and don't worry over little things you can't control. That question always comes up and it's always the first question. Always. I've never not been asked that question. If you have had any jobs that are similar to or relevant to the one you are interviewing for now then yes, talk about that. 

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