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To say that I will never get a job as I just cannot do job interviews

(23 Posts)
Hopeless29 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:06:35

I'm an extroverted, confident person. I'm intelligent. I got good a levels and when I interviewed for university courses (where there's only one person doing the interviewing) I excelled. Getting into every university.

I applied for jobs in supermarkets, cleaning etc to get some extra money while studying but was such a nervous, shaking mess I couldn't get a job.
I ended up doing ironing for people for a bit of extra cash.
When I qualified in my undergrad I went for jobs in my field but never managed to secure a job. I got diagnosed with extreme anxiety at job interviews and prescribed some beta blockers which stopped the shaking and visible signs of nerves but it didn't stop my stuttering, talking about nonesense and pathetic answers to the most mundane questions.

I ended up at the local job centre but impressed my advisor so much they gave me a temporary position as a job centre advisor myself!!! I loved it and felt like I was getting job satisfaction for the first time ever.

But then the funding was cut and I found myself without a job. Again, unable to perform at interview I took on a masters to qualify me in a very specific profession where there isn't much competition and where technical skills are more important than excelling at selling yourself.

Upon qualifying I joined a training session for job interview skills and when I went for my first post qualifying job interview I just lost it altogether. It is too embarrassing to even talk about. The interview was over in 20 minutes. Second interview I tried so so hard and every minute felt like a marathon. I had very positive feedback and promised that the next job that comes up I will be contacted for. Another canididate was slightly more qualified than me they said.

Since then I've had over 50 job interviews and each one, while I've not been as nervous
As I used to do , I've not sold myself, not shown any knowledge, not sold myself at all.

In reality. I'm excellent at my job. Feedback from my managers I trained with has been exceptional. At work and day to day I couldn't be more outgoing and confident. It's ONLY job interviews I cannot do.

My references say I'm a great team player, confident, hard working, determined, empathetic, very calm and respectful. They couldn't be more expemplary!

I have now gone back to ironing! At least it makes me some money but it's not what I want to do or be. I dream of being sat in an office surrounded by people I can actually talk to. Something most people take for granted.

There is no doubt I'm more than qualified in my field. The jobs I'm going for I'm qualified and sometimes over qualified for. But I cannot excel at interview.

So as this is now affecting my mental health, would I be unreasonable to just give up trying to get a job from job interviewing? I do believe I've tried everything and I can't even get a 'foot in th door' without a job interview now so there doesn't seem to be any avenues for me to even take a lower paid position in a company and work my way up. I wouldn't pass a job interview as a cleaner to be honest!

So for now, AIBU to give the job hunting a break?

Cailleach Sun 05-Mar-17 11:13:51

I'd advise you to look at temping via agencies to get your "foot in the door", so to speak.

I am autistic and do not come across well in interviews - all my jobs have been via agencies; once a company sees how hard I work they usually keep me on. In fact all but one of the jobs I have had I've got this way.

Hopeless29 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:19:42

I've already been signed up to several agencies. I can't even be successful at interviews for them.

The only thing I would excel at is telephone interviews which a few of my friends have been able to get. But I've never got shortlisted for a job with a telephone interview unfortunately.

leccybill Sun 05-Mar-17 11:20:03

I work for an agency as a supply teacher. It's great because every time I go somewhere new (sometimes 5 schools a week), it's effectively a job interview, so I've lost the fear! I know I'm good at my job so I just get on with it while I'm there and the managers have been happy with my work.

Getting your face known in this way works well too, I've been offered two long term contracts without an interview.

Hopeless29 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:21:45

I'm signed up to several agencies but my lack of work
Experience is an issue for them. Not for getting a permanent job but for agency as they want someone who can 'hit the ground running'

leccybill Sun 05-Mar-17 11:21:50

Sorry, just saw your other post.
So is it something physical which causes your anxiety, that isn't present on the telephone? Eg eye contact, something you think they judge you on physically? There's obvs a trigger here.

Hopeless29 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:25:30

When they can't see me (telephone interview) I'm fine. It's having every movement watched, seeing their reactions to your answers, analysing your body language. It's just horrid.

If I'm being interviewed by one person I excel. It's only once there's an audience.

I've tried everything over he years. I've been unemployed my entire life. So many years completely wasted doing nothing and progressing nowhere. It's so sad.

Hopeless29 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:26:26

I think my first impressions are good. I'm physically attractive and well presented. I have a perfect interview outfit. There's always positive body language from the interviewers until I open my mouth!

jellyfrizz Sun 05-Mar-17 11:40:42

I'm the same Hopeless, I get so nervous, I don't know why. I can, and have happily stood up and presented to large groups of people and led large meetings but in a job interview I just fall to pieces, my mind goes blank.

I think practise is the only thing that helps. Can you get a friend to do some mock interviews with you? Or pay for a job interview coach (just googled -there are lots out there)?

Good luck!

IndigoSister Sun 05-Mar-17 11:42:34

Get a letter from your GP stating that you have severe anxiety in group interview sessions and asking them to make reasonable accommodations (1:1 interview, phone interview, etc). When you get an interview send in the letter and see what happens.

Sundance01 Sun 05-Mar-17 12:09:41

I would suggest a change of mindset - the next few months your focus should be getting better at job intreviews - not getting a job.

Keep applying for jobs and going for interviews but not with any expectation of getting the job. Set yourself goals for each interview e.g. First interview your aim is to answer the first question whilst smiling

2nd Interview control your body language.

3rd compare how many questions match the job description

Take the pressure off yourself by not seeing the aim of the interview as being getting the job - the aim is to get better at interviews so some time in the future you can get a job. This way you have not failed when you don't get the job but can begin to find positives from each interview even if it just a lesson learnt and your confidence will grow.

VeryBitchyRestingFace Sun 05-Mar-17 12:26:09

I'm hopeless at job interviews. Suspect I have social anxiety although I've never been diagnosed.

And I'm one of those people who doesn't look shy. Apparently I look like a snooty, supercilious, cold uppity bitch. sad

I gave up on applying for jobs a long time ago. The last one I persuaded myself to go for (first in years) was 4 years ago. Surprise, surprise - I didn't get it.

I've been working freelance for 14 years.

CarrieMyBag Sun 05-Mar-17 20:15:23

Don't give up, I was crap at interviews a well but I got a job.
When recruiters flined up the interviews for me, I chose to order the interviews from my least favorite company to the one I really wanted to work for. That way, I could practice without feeling much pressure.
You will get more and more comfortable as you will have an idea of the kinds of things they would ask. I have sat on the other side of the table to interview additional team members, and even the best candidates have nerves. It's expected, honest! And if you're nervous just joke about it to the interviewers, it will make you look more human and likeable at the same time. If your job is technical, practice interview questions online. Many recruiters or hiring managers are rather lazy, they are normall busy with their day to day job and would use these resources to help them. Good luck, OP.

LellyMcKelly Sun 05-Mar-17 20:21:37

Your former university might be able to help. They usually provide help with CVs, applications and interviews for a few years after graduation. I know mine does. They can give you a mock interview and give you feedback to help you work out where you're going wrong, and what you can do to get better.

kiwimumof2boys Mon 06-Mar-17 08:44:08

I am exactly the same.
SAHM for 6 years however in that time I have done a post grad qual and a heap of volunteer work in my field.
I go to pieces in interviews. I can never thing of good examples (Bloody stupid STAR type interviews they don't bring out the best in me at all! I wish they didn't use them!)
Doing housecleaning now - same stuff I was doing at uni 17 years ago. Sigh.

Wando1986 Mon 06-Mar-17 09:33:16

It's a job interview, not an FBI interrogation. Plenty of stuff online to help you practice and reherse questions and answers and also what the interviewers want to hear for each answer. They don't want hollow answers, they want relevant examples. Ultimately they want someone who can pass the interview not just do the job.

My friend recently gave up her career then after a series of failed interviews for other jobs she gave up and went back to her old career. Because she had no clue how to 'interview well' and refused to learn how which was an absolute waste.

seriouslyenoughalready Mon 06-Mar-17 09:41:50

Social anxiety can be debilitating. I can see you have already seen your GP and had beta blockers. These are helpful for the physical symptoms of anxiety (palpitations etc) but you need some targeted psychological therapy in the form of CBT. This can be offered through primary care and can usually offer one to one therapy.
Dont give up , you are clearly capable and what a shame to waste your talents.
CBT could really turn things around for you. Ask your GP about it

TonaldDrump Mon 06-Mar-17 09:43:30

I'd upfront tell the interviewers how nervous you are. When I've interviewed people for posts, we absolutely don't want the person who interviews best but the person who will be best for the job. We try to see through interview polish to what the person has to offer. I think you need to remember that interviewers usually want you do well, they're not looking to trip you up.

Sonders Mon 06-Mar-17 10:41:55

I think SunDance has the best idea, in my experience (on both sides of the process), when you're not desperate for the job, you are more engaging and relatable to the interviewers.

It seems it would be easier for you to take a more unconventional route to employment (like your job centre gig). Could you try volunteering somewhere with lots of customer interaction?

Another idea would be for you to do a few jobs for yourself to try and get some confidence. Try services like Upwork and People Per Hour - you might have a skill someone needs smile

2rebecca Mon 06-Mar-17 10:46:26

Agree with temp work and getting known in the business. Pretend interviews can help. Going for some jobs you aren't bothered about may help too as you can practise performing knowing the outcome isn't important.

iremembericod Mon 06-Mar-17 10:58:25

It would be good to get some sort of idea what is actually happening in the moment in the interviews:

What thoughts are going through your mind?

When/ if you feel you have messed up a question, what thoughts go through your mind?

What is your view (in general) on the people who are interviewing you?

What do you think the purpose of an interview is?

What is your view on how much you should 'fit' every aspect of the role on offer?

How do you feel when you see yourself on a video?

Gummybear1989 Tue 25-Apr-17 14:13:55

I feel the same. I've had 46 job interviews. I'm a qualified social worker. I've realised I will never get a job in my profession. I'm a very good social worker and I'm also a qualified psychologist but will never ever be able to prove my abilities in an interview setting.

Sometimes you have to know when to give up.

I graduated 3 years ago so no one will employ me now. I've lost my skills and have a huge employment gap now.

It's sad as I'm a good social worker and there's supposed to be a shortage of social workers. But like some of my fellow newly qualified social workers, j just can't get a job.

I've seen some people all into jobs and have positions lined up before even qualifying. You can be lucky. Sadly I've not been.

Sometimes you just have to know when to give up. 46 interviews, £1000 in travel costs. 46 hours of my life. It's time for me to move on.

user1496429410 Fri 02-Jun-17 23:43:38

I got there in the end. 😁

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