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How do I help dh not freak out at interview and balls it all up?!!

(21 Posts)
Moomin Mon 24-Sep-07 16:28:15

DH has an interview for a job he really wants on Thursday. He's well qualified for it, experienced in that field and at the level required, plus he used to work there a few years ago while he was training, was well-liked and he loved it there. He's now been working at a higher level for the past 3 years and a vacancy has come up for him to work at a promoted level.

Trouble is, he is rubbish at interviews. He goes to absolute pieces, jibbers and shakes, the works. He went for a different job at the same place a few months ago and, although it was a long shot as the job wasn't exactly what he was wanting, he did try to get the job. He didn't get it and was told that he had majorly cocked up the interview with his nerves.

This job on Thurs is much more up his street and he would be great in it. But he's already had a sleepless night last night worrying about it; not helped by remembering how badly he did for the last interview. I have promised to help him prepare tonight; I've been trying to big him up and give him confidence; I really do think he'd be brilliant in this job. What else can I tell him to help his nerves? Anyone got any tried and tested methods for interview nerves?

EffiePerine Mon 24-Sep-07 16:32:58

Can you go over some questions with him? Thing is, the interviewers will want him to do his best, he knows the answers, so he just needs to keep calm and give the right info. Interviews are a lot about acting anyway: you need to present a calm and positive face even if you are petrified

More specifically, he needs to answer each q positively and avoid saying things like 'I don't know' or 'that doesn't apply to me'. Smile, calm, organised (get there in plenty of time) and try and relax!

lailasmum Mon 24-Sep-07 16:33:49

remind him that he is interviewing them too, that gives you a bit of confidence rather than just appearing too desperate. maybe get him to think up a couple of questions to ask them so that he has some control.

justaphase Mon 24-Sep-07 16:34:20

I have been there...

Practice, practice, practice.

You can interview him tonight or get a friend to do it. You can also record the practice interview and play it back to him. Prepare answers for the typical interview questions and practice them some more.

If he is taken to the room before the interviewer he should pick the seat facing the door. He should make sure he speaks as early as possible.

A smile can also work wonders.

flowerybeanbag Mon 24-Sep-07 17:38:17

If he has a job description he should be able to work out a lot of the questions. Have a look at the person spec, where it says what skills/abilities/experience etc the person needs.
Basically they will be asking questions to ascertain whether the candidate has those things or not.

So get your DH to look at all the things he needs to have, and get him to think of an example of when in the past he has used x skill or demonstrated x ability. Including background, why the situation was successful, what he learnt from it etc.

If he's got those examples ready in his head to cover all the things on the person spec, he ought to be able to handle most questions. Talking about a past example rather than a hypothetical 'I would do x, y z' is more convincing and reassuring for an employer and is easier for him as well, he will feel more confident talking about stuff that's happened than he would trying to imagine what he would do in x circumstance.

Even if the questions asked are hypothetical 'what would you do' ones, make sure he answers with examples anyway.

Good luck to him

Moomin Mon 24-Sep-07 22:07:03

THanks for all your suggestions. He's really tired tonight and didn't finish work til 7.30 but I've said we'll go through the job spec tonight (as you've suggested flowerybeanbag). I'm convinced he can do this job; and he is too; we just have to approach the interview in a relaxed but thoroughly prepared way.

THis is a bit alien for me - I think I must be a freak as I really like interviews!

stressteddy Mon 24-Sep-07 22:10:38

Ask him what question he really DREADS being asked in the interview and then get him to prepare an answer for it. This works wonders as once he can answer that it should give him confidence to answer other easier questions.
If they know him from previous work there then it would also be ok for him to tell them he is very nervous if he fluffs his answers a little.
Good luck to him
Do let us know how he gets on

Moomin Tue 25-Sep-07 20:54:48

Oh dear. We had a quick run through of 'typical' interview questions at bed time last night and he immediately folded his arms (mmmm, nice body-language, dh!) and started answering either monosyllabically or with 'dunno'. Riiiiiight.......

SO then I had to practically wrestle his arms from his sides and try to get him to loosen up. I tried all the 'it's just a performance', and 'it's just a way for you to talk about yourself and them get to know you better' malarky and he got really uptight and started saying 'but WHY? WHY do they need to go through this farce, why can't they just see me doing my job??!!'

Blimey! But I wore him down in the end and got him to loosen up. We talked through some 'good' answers and I tried to get hin to think of ways to relax a bit. His idea was that he could take half a valium before the interview hmm...

He's still at work now unfortunately and not due home until 9.30 so the poor sod will be knackered again. But I shall persevere and try to keep it casual but focused. I'm worried that he'll try to 'cram' loads of info the night before or even a few hours beforehand and that's the worst thing he could do as it'll just flummox him! I bloody hope he gets it now after all this trouble you've gone to answering my posts!

flowerybeanbag Wed 26-Sep-07 09:02:05

Oh dear moomin. Maybe he was just a bit self-conscious, some people are a bit uncomfortable doing role play stuff, he'll probably be much better when it's the real thing. Fingers crossed anyway

cheeset Wed 26-Sep-07 09:13:39

Hi, my husband says he needs to act like he doesnt want the job, maybe he will be more relaxed!

Obviously practise his responses and hopefully anticipate some of the answers but think that he doesn't want it!

Blackduck Wed 26-Sep-07 09:17:12

Think before you answer - helps to slow you down and stops you gabbling (count to three in your head if necessary). If you are not sure what they are asking ask them to repeat the question. remember on the whole interviewers desparately want candidates to do well (its tendious and mind numbing and painful otherwise), please get him out of one word answers - nothing worse than interviewing someone when you feel like you have to drag every answer out of them. Big yourself up - the interview is where YOU sell yourself....

Megglevache Wed 26-Sep-07 09:18:29

Message withdrawn

EffiePerine Wed 26-Sep-07 09:19:46

Hope things go well . When is the interview?

Bluestocking Wed 26-Sep-07 09:39:06

I have been on more interview panels than I care to remember! I think one of the worst things a candidate can do is "over answer" a question, so they say what they want to say, then they start elaborating and rambling and end up contradicting themselves or talking rubbish. Also, interviewees who take a few moments to compose an articulate answer come across much better than those who start gabbling away immediately the question is asked - the interviewee can say they need a moment to think about the question, that's fine. And if they're not 100% sure what the question means, they should ask the panel to elaborate.
Good luck to your DH!

Niecie Wed 26-Sep-07 09:46:39

Definitely Bachs Rescue Rememdy. A few years ago everybody in our office had to reapply for our jobs and it really worked for most of the people who normally suffered from anxiety over job interviews.

Get him to think about the situation from the other way around. Make him think about why they would be lucky to have him.

I have always done better when I don't want the job that badly. Is there any way you can take the pressure off him by thinking about what he could do instead or where he might go if he doesn't get this job. Try to take away the feeling that he has all his eggs in one basket.

I hope all the nerves disappear and he does himself justice and the gets the job.

Niecie Wed 26-Sep-07 09:50:26

Remind him to smile, make eye contact and walk in confidently with head held high when he gets to the room. A lot of the decision making anybody does about another person is done in the first minute or two of meeting them - all these things will help make the interviewers more positively disposed towards him from the start and more inclined to over look his shortcomings.

WideWebWitch Wed 26-Sep-07 09:51:15

I think he should practise AND go to the GP and see if he can get some beta blockers or something, they got my sister through her driving test.

And he needs to know his cv inside out.

Moomin Wed 26-Sep-07 20:13:08

Too late to get beta blockers: the interview is tomorrow! I think some deep breathing and positive thinking might be the way to go. He seems better today as we went through a few things last night and he does seem calmer.

He had to swot up on some policies last night and he explained them to me today and actually sounded like he knew what he was talking about as I understood it (and it's corporate bollocks-speak as far as we're both concerned!) but it's based in common sense so seeing it that way makes it simpler. He sounded very convincing (IMHO of course!)

I told him of some of the posts on here and he was really grateful. We tried some visualisation exercises too - 'seeing himself' smiling when he goes into the room; being successful and relaxed, etc., which has helped too. We're having one final run-through in about an hour. He is a gazillion times better than he was at the beginning of the week at any rate, so that's the main thing. Will post as soon as I know anything (tomorrow night or FRiday I guess)

Moomin Thu 27-Sep-07 17:39:23

Well folks, many thanks for the great advice, Dh went off to the interview a whole different person this morning, nervous but relaxed and feeling much more confident.

I rang him afterwards and he said it had gone well and he was really plaesed with the way he'd been, and had answered the questions without freaking out so I was really proud of him.

Sadly, he heard this afternoon that he hadn't got the job... but the only thing that they said gave the other person who got the job the edge was that they had a teaching qualification, whereas dh just has practical experience of teaching/mentoring and not the official accreditation. So he was pretty gutted to begin with and is wistful now but he knows it's not the end of the world, and he's pleased with his performance and glad that aspect didn't let him down. He's decided he's going to follow up the teaching qualification and see if he can do it over the next couple of years now.

Bless him, he did so well.

flowerybeanbag Thu 27-Sep-07 18:50:32

moomin that's a shame he didn't get the job but it sounds as though it went well anyway? Which hopefully will do wonders for his confidence at least!

MegaVegLech Sat 29-Sep-07 00:33:16

Well done your DH Moomin!

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