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Dear Theo or anyone who has got a job/been called to interview after recovering from stress related illnesses

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by anon1069, May 13, 2012.

  1. Dear Theo
    I've briefly posted on here about my situation under a different username with regard to applying for jobs after recovering from a stress related illness I had last year. The advice (to refer to it in my personal statement and declare it at interview) worked like a dream. The reaction to this was received very positively by the college BUT I didn't get the job because for some reason, I still get 'agitated' shall we say, when dealing with unfamiliar situations (because my brain thinks ding ding, stress omg and kicks back into 'illness' mode for some reason). In this case, I got stressed about the fact that I had to do a 10 min presentation at the same time as planning a SoW and lesson plans for my other part-time (holiday) teaching job I had. In short, I walked into the interview room and became mightly peed off with myself for not doing it the way I intended (even though I HAD done a mock run with a friend beforehand) and then it all went downhill from there with regard to answering questions. Consequently, I didn't put myself across in the best way as I used to do before I became ill (I'm normally one of those people who is calm in things like interviews and exams) and I felt very down afterwards.
    The interview panel was very kind and didn't give me any nasty feedback or anything. In fact, the lady I spoke to agreed with my interpretation of matters (agreed that I was nervous, could have given clearer and more specific answers that she was suprised about the way I came across on the day as it was very different to how I came across on my application form and on the telephone when I contacted the college with some queries before applying) and encouraged me to reapply to the college if a job came up there in the future.
    Sorry for rambling here but other than preparation, time and meditation (preparation and meditation are things I already do, including reading the tes clickables etc-I find them very useful) is there anything else I can do to avoid a repeat of this in future interviews (my current employer also commented that I was very nervous on interview day-at the time I was still ill and on meds but I came off them in February, so thought I'd be ok this time)?
    Also, has anyone else had this problem, and if so, what did you do to make things easier for yourself when this happened to you?
    Any practical strategies would be appreciated because, as I said, I really feel like what I described is not 'me' if that's any sense (I'm actually a level headed person or at least I was until last year-now I feel so vulnerable every time I do anything that requires a degree of 'mental discomfort' on my part) but what's left of my illness and it's a potential barrier that I want to overcome as soon as possible, so that I can move on from the bad work experience which triggered (I won't say caused because the reaction was mine) it in the first place.
    Btw, if anyone wants to respond by saying fgs woman give yourself a break, some time and keep trying, then I'll also welcome that type of response too!
    Hope this post isn't too rambly or nonsensical!
    ajbfan
     
  2. Dear Theo
    I've briefly posted on here about my situation under a different username with regard to applying for jobs after recovering from a stress related illness I had last year. The advice (to refer to it in my personal statement and declare it at interview) worked like a dream. The reaction to this was received very positively by the college BUT I didn't get the job because for some reason, I still get 'agitated' shall we say, when dealing with unfamiliar situations (because my brain thinks ding ding, stress omg and kicks back into 'illness' mode for some reason). In this case, I got stressed about the fact that I had to do a 10 min presentation at the same time as planning a SoW and lesson plans for my other part-time (holiday) teaching job I had. In short, I walked into the interview room and became mightly peed off with myself for not doing it the way I intended (even though I HAD done a mock run with a friend beforehand) and then it all went downhill from there with regard to answering questions. Consequently, I didn't put myself across in the best way as I used to do before I became ill (I'm normally one of those people who is calm in things like interviews and exams) and I felt very down afterwards.
    The interview panel was very kind and didn't give me any nasty feedback or anything. In fact, the lady I spoke to agreed with my interpretation of matters (agreed that I was nervous, could have given clearer and more specific answers that she was suprised about the way I came across on the day as it was very different to how I came across on my application form and on the telephone when I contacted the college with some queries before applying) and encouraged me to reapply to the college if a job came up there in the future.
    Sorry for rambling here but other than preparation, time and meditation (preparation and meditation are things I already do, including reading the tes clickables etc-I find them very useful) is there anything else I can do to avoid a repeat of this in future interviews (my current employer also commented that I was very nervous on interview day-at the time I was still ill and on meds but I came off them in February, so thought I'd be ok this time)?
    Also, has anyone else had this problem, and if so, what did you do to make things easier for yourself when this happened to you?
    Any practical strategies would be appreciated because, as I said, I really feel like what I described is not 'me' if that's any sense (I'm actually a level headed person or at least I was until last year-now I feel so vulnerable every time I do anything that requires a degree of 'mental discomfort' on my part) but what's left of my illness and it's a potential barrier that I want to overcome as soon as possible, so that I can move on from the bad work experience which triggered (I won't say caused because the reaction was mine) it in the first place.
    Btw, if anyone wants to respond by saying fgs woman give yourself a break, some time and keep trying, then I'll also welcome that type of response too!
    Hope this post isn't too rambly or nonsensical!
    ajbfan
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Well done for getting that interview, sorry it didn't pan out.
    Try reading this thread:
    Dear Theo and all- Get to the interview, but nerves always get the better of me. What to do?
    You might find some useful tips there for next time.
    Best wishes
    ________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
    I shall be contributing to the Moving into SLT or Headship seminar on Saturday 19 May.
     
  4. If you think your response in the interview is due to your medical history then perhaps your GP is the best person to help you with this.

    I'll be honest with you though, it sounds perfectly normal for a first interview. You should have seen me in my first interview for 4 years about 2 months ago. I kept forgetting the question and starting sentences and forgetting where I was going with them. At one point I asked them to be more specific about the question and irritated the HoD who asked the question. It was a complete disaster. They didn't even offer me feedback and I didn't pursue it, I didn't need to.

    Good luck for next time!
     
  5. Hi Theo and ICatherinel

    Thanks for your suggestions and honesty.

    Funnily enough ICatherinel when I got home that day and told my parents (I still live at home for financial reasons) what had happened, they reminded me, like you did, that it was the first formal interview that I'd attended since my illness. At the time, it didn't occur to me.

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience, btw. The HoD's response sounded awful. As a former HoD, I think it was dreadful that she got irritated with you for asking the question to be rephrased, as I would have recognised that either I wasn't clear enough or that you were nervous and wanted thinking time had I been interviewing you when I was a HoD. I have learned from the many interviews that I've attended in the past though that some interviewers also need to refine their techniques just as we do as interviewees (hope that sentence didn't sound too pompous, btw).

    At the time, I also thought to myself, omg, do I need to go back to my GP or go on the meds? Noooooo! However, my parents (I still live at home for financial reasons) said the same thing as you. It was the first formal interview (my previous job is for a revision company in the holidays, so the process was a lot more informal in the sense that I didn't have to do a presentation, formal application etc that I did for the interview I just described) I'd had since recovering from my illness. As you say, my next interview elsewhere will probably be better, so I'll cut myself some slack and concentrate on doing well in my current job and taking time to find another place where I fit in nicely. In a few months time, I should be further down the road of recovery and less anxious over the whole business of interviewing.

    Thanks to you and Theo for taking the time to answer my previous post. I shall definitely use some of the suggestions that I've read!
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Very best wishes, ajbfan.
    Best wishes
    ________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
    I shall be contributing to the Moving into SLT or Headship seminar on Saturday 19 May.
     

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