Tag Archives: doubt

pre-interview pep talk for the anxious soul

Today I have a major interview and teaching demo at a state college for a full-time instructor position.  I received the phone call three weeks ago and have been in a state of panic ever since, reading everything I could find about what’s expected of a teaching demo, to the kinds of questions I might be asked, what I should expect when I get there, information about the college itself, reviewing teaching theory, and on and on and on.  The past couple nights I’ve gotten little sleep for the anxiety that’s got one hand clenched around my stomach and the other gripping the back of my neck.

Last Fri I was supposed to see the doctor and at that time I was planning to ask for anti-anxiety medication.  Got down there and turned out the doctor had an emergency and so that was that… rely on nerves of rubber to get me through this.

I’ve submitted my resume to a lot of places and of all of them, this is only the 3rd interview that I’ve gotten.  The 1st two were for part-time positions and, well, I’m still unemployed so you can imagine how well those went.  The thing is, in both cases when they asked, “Why do you want to work here?” I fumbled on my answer.  Because I didn’t really want to work at those places and I hadn’t come up with a well thought out response that wouldn’t sound like I was trying to avoid, “I need to make money.”

In this case, however, I really do want the job.  It’d be a challenging position and I’m not even going to kid myself about that, but it’s also doing something that interests me and would give me the opportunity to help others better themselves which is really why I enjoy teaching.  It’s certainly not because I enjoy prolonged social contact.

Funny thing.  I don’t like social contact and yet I’m interested in people, in helping people.  How does that work?

I’ve written out a list of questions that I might be asked along with my responses, gone over the list several times over.  Have reviewed other potential questions I might be asked and even if I’m asked a variation on the theme I should hopefully not be caught off guard by anything.  The demo I’ve gone over a few times and will do so a couple more before I leave.  Got my backup handouts in case technology fails me and my clothes laid out.

There is absolutely nothing else I can do.

My aunt yesterday said to trust in God, to hand it over to God.  My family doesn’t know that I don’t believe in God, not the way they do at least.  Still, there’s a good point to it.  I can’t do anything else and all I’ve got now is this anxiety holding my body hostage.  Deep breathing isn’t doing a thing.  Distracting myself with inanity isn’t helping.  I can’t sleep.  I can try to imagine handing this over to something or someone bigger than myself, put myself in that mindset that all I can do is my best and whatever happens, happens.  The outcome is going to affect us big time, one way or the other and that’s a lot of the fear, but to sit here and ruminate definitely isn’t helping.

That’s not going to take away the anxiety but maybe if I can put myself into the moment, it’ll keep me from visibly shaking.  All I need is to remember that I’m an excellent candidate for this job, that this is something I really want to do, and that I’m just as worthy as the other interviewees who are going to be there.

I’ve dealt with massive insecurity my entire life and all I can see are the shortcomings of what I’ve done, yet if I lay it out there, it can certainly sound impressive.  That’s where I need my head to be.  Use my shortcomings as lessons and everything else is my strength.  Answer the questions honestly and don’t sell myself short.  Go into the demo confident and try not to get sidetracked.  There’s not a single thing more I can do and I’m going to have to be okay with that.