Bit of a set back

So, you may have seen my previous post today regarding the phone interview - well thats had some developments. Just a heads up i'm in a very bad way at the moment and this is likely going to be a very negative and down in the dumps post.

So I read everyones kind advice on my earlier post and thought you know what? I can do this! At least i don't have to worry about going red and i can have written notes right in front of me!

But then i looked up the interview process of this company, and after the phone interview if you're successful you get invited to an assessment the following day. This assessment is basically a group interview, one of the tasks is to choose a product and create a presentation to showcase this product to the team. At this point i just completely lost it. I had a full blow anxiety attack and I simply don't know what to do.

Presentations are my worst fear- I physically can't do them. They petrify me and I almost put myself in hospital once just to get out of one during school time. Since finding this out I have been non stop crying, throwing up and my body is in agony where I've stressed myself out. It sounds very over the top i know but i really cannot deal with presenting in front of crowds. It's only a shop floor job at a DIY store! I know i would be able to chat and help customers out fine, i'm okay when talking to people, say if a large family came in looking for help i could easily deal with that! It's just i cannot deal with presentations because it's just me talking to people staring at me instead of a two way conversation.

This has just massively hit me. Ive decided to go ahead with the phone interview on monday just to get an idea of what theyre like, and my mum has suggested to talk to them about the presentation at the end of the phone interview and mention that i wont be able to do one, and so if they are able to look past this and see i would still be great with customers then great! But if not then id understand. But i'm just a little wary as this was the first job ive managed to apply for and it's been a bit of a bad experience, what if all jobs are going to want me to do a presentation? What if no ones ever going to hire me?

I'm just getting so upset because i feel so stupid and to be honest very embarrassed too! I just want to be normal, everyone else will have general nerves but theyll be able to do it and theyll be able to get a job meanwhile i'm here being an idiot and not even being capable of doing normal things, i'm just sick of it, i'm sick of GETTING sick over stupid little things like this. It just makes me think whats the point as i'm going to get blooming no where in life as i'm always going to hold myself back, and if i'm always going to live in fear like this then i don't consider that a very nice quality of life. I'm sorry guys i know i sound incredibly negative and feeling sorry for myself right now but i'm upset and i just needed somewhere to write down my thoughts.

8 Replies

  • Hello MaisyMay, first of all - a big well done for applying for the job and being offered a phone interview 👏

    Now you really need to stop catastrophising - you are trying to predict what is going to happen and then reacting emotionally to it. Let us check the facts, you have recently - like today!! finished a job, you are looking for a new one. You saw something that interested you and you applied, you have been offered a phone interview. These are the facts.

    You then went online and found out that you may have to do a presentation if you are invited to the second stage of the process. You have immediately gone into panic mode, now I know it is easy to ask, believe me I have complex ptsd and panicking, I am a master at it!!, but why have you had such a strong emotional reaction to something that may happen next week? It ia almost as if your fight or flight response has been triggered and yet the threat is nowhere near you.

    You say that you hate and can't do presentations, and yet you say you could easily greet a family of five and talk to them about the products. MaisyMay, that is what a presentation is, you are presenting the store and the products to people. When it comes to your turn to do a presentation, just be yourself, smile and present the store/product. Imagine the people in front of you are the weirdest family in town and they have come into your store.

    Remember what I said earlier about checking the facts? This is your first application for a job, and you got an interview, this is a fact. Yes you are apprehensive about the process but this means you will have questions to ask the interviewer, write them down on a big sheet of paper, as they answer the questions write down the answers. It is ok to have questions, and to ask them and to get them answered.

    Now what you must stop doing is thinking of the worst possible outcome, and believing it will come true. Of course you will get another job if you really want one. Employers are looking for pleasant, reliable, approachable and trainable people. If you have these qualities you will get a job. It might take a wee while, but that is ok, best to get the job you want than find yourself in a job you hate - as you know. You have the phone interview on Monday, you really must work hard over the weekend not to stress yourself or your mum out about it. Try and have a really busy weekend, walk dogs, tidy out closets, sock drawers bedside cabinets, organise your itunes music, keep doing stuff. Don't worry, if you find yourself worrying, you must be really strong and hard with yourself and say NO!! and go and talk to people, or do something physical to get your mind off of worrying.

    By the way, you are normal, just as I am normal, and all the other millions of people who have mental health difficulties. We are all normal. I can say these things because, I believe, that I have had a lot more experience of applying for jobs, having interviews and doing presentations. But even I had to do my first one, way back in the midst of time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Yes my mouth went a bit dry, yes I stammered at the beginning, yes I went red as a beetroot (I am a gingernut), yes my heart raced, but I did it and it went fine. I ended up in my last job appearing before the high court in London to argue one of my cases, yes I was still a bit nervous, but so I should be as the matter being discussed was a very important one. What I am saying is stop being so hard on yourself, you seem to be your own fiercest critic, be kind to yourself. If this job interview doesn't work out, it's not the end of the world. Perhaps you could ask at the Jobcentre for some help with interview and presentation skills, I am sure they have some courses on offer, or try your local adult education provider, there are courses available to give you the skills you need not only for an interview, but also skills for work.

    Now take a chill pill. 😜


  • Dear,dear dear ,Maisiemay, what's so bad . You're going to get some free practise at your first telephone interview. If you fail the tel. part that's not the end of the world for your first one and if you pass that you can go on to part two. What do you mean you can't do presentations ? Have you never watched "The Apprentice" and seen how bad some of those whizz kids are? This prospective employer is not going to expect a miracle from you in an interview situation. Why don't you try it ? Do a practice presentation to your Mum at home about her kettle , or Hoover and tell her you want an honest opinion on how you did.

    Give yourself say 15 minutes to prepare to sell the world your Mum's kettle and then go for it. You're only at home and you and your Mum can have a giggle and if she's too critical get her to do one selling you ,say, her washing up brush. Get her to ask a question like is that the only colour they come in ? You say thank you Madam . They come in white, silver ,black and green. You can make anything up, Its just a game.

    As for your other questions what if they all want a tel. interview ? What if they all want a presentation ? What if the moon falls on your head ? Have you thought of that ?

    Just go for it--you might be brilliant. In fact if you have a gin and tonic first (no smell on the breath ) you probably will be.

  • This is nice.

  • your not stupid your nervous and there is a big difference. I think its a good idea to tell them on the phone that your a bit nervous of the presentation. at least they will know that your honest and human.others may disagreee with me but thats exactly what i would do if it was me.Try not to get to stressed as at the end of the day if you cant do it yet, then you cant do it. you never know, if you tell them that your a bit nervous then they may put your mind at rest and you will feel much better.people warm to honest non arrogant folks that my view. just because your nervous does not mean that you can not do the job.wishing you well. just remind yourself that you dont have to do this if your not up to it at the moment it does not mean that you will never be able to face a presentation.i feel for you i know what those nerves are like. bless you. love grace xoxoxo

  • Hello Maisy, The biggest fear people have is standing up in front of an audience and speaking. Isn't that interesting ? I had to learn to speak at school and church , women's groups . I really enjoy it now. People will want to see you succeed and if you can talk to them before you start your presentation it will help you make a connection. You are going through the worst part of the whole thing right now. Your imagination is usually worse than reality. Can you use notes ? If so you are home free. Choose your object then write several positive things about it. Tell your audience why they should buy it.You can make this a fun but informative presentation. For instance.....Hello Mrs. Costumer, I noticed you were looking at our tea kettles You know, I will never buy another one. This kettle (hold up) is so reliable , I will never have to. It is made of 100 % something. holds up to 2 qts. of water and comes in 4 brilliant colors. I'm quite sure you would be happy with its quality. What color would you like? I'm not saying you have to do something like this but you can make it show your personality and ability. You have both you know. Give yourself a chance.Pam

  • You know what Maisy, I just realized your age. Surely they wouldn't expect you to give a presentation. I certainly think you are capable of it , but I think it's a bit harsh I'm sorry if I over whelmed you. Really though I think you've got this. Pam again

  • Hi Maisy I agree totally that you are catastrophising this. Also even I am more than 3 times your age I wouldn't be able to do a presentation either. Nor would a lot of people. You seem to think that everyone would be able to and it's just you who couldn't. That's not the case at all.

    The phrase 'Don't meet trouble half way' comes to mind. You cant predict what will happen in the future so deal with it when it comes and try not to imagine the worst scenario. You are thinking much too far ahead so just concentrate on the phone call on Monday for now. That's enough to think about.

    Let us know how you get on please.

  • Just to say i had to give a short speech once at work and my body language etc before it was so nervous. I talked to my work before. They helped me. I did do it and felt proud. I would still feel anxious but it wasn't so bad.

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