Asperger Dread: The Job Interview… Arrrgggg!!

 

Do you have job interview nightmares in which you self-destruct? 

 We all have them.  Even neural typicals, I’m told!

How may we best avoid them?  By being prepared!  If it is a phone interview, here are some helpful tips.

Read and re-read the job description before editing and perfecting your resume.  Then print a copy of your resume, and keep it on your desk so you have it on hand when the interviewer calls.

Make a simple, clear list of the main requirements of the job description, along with a succinct but precise list of how you can achieve them, and keep those lists on hand, also. 

Practice stating clearly and confidently out loud how you believe your previous job experience, your type of personality and your approach to your work make you a good fit for the job.

Read and reread the instructional email regarding the interview.  Make sure you have a clear understanding of the date, time, and process.

Here is my (latest) nightmare interview:

It is 10 a.m.  I sit, waiting for the for the ten o’clock phone call.  According to the email, this is the time scheduled for a corporate interviewer to contact me.

I have been recruited for this job so I shouldn’t be so nervous.  But my back and shoulders are rigid.  I rotate my shoulders and flap my hands, hoping to ease the tension.

It is now 10:13 a.m.  My phone should have rung by now, but it hasn’t.   I check the email.

Oh no!  I was supposed to phone them.

It is 10:15 a.m.  I quickly dial the number and navigate my way through front end messaging to get to interviewer.  I apologize for being late. and explain in my Asperger way what happened.

It boils down to: I didn’t take time to read the instructions I was given.  But neither the interviewer nor I am saying so.  No doubt she is madly keying this info into her computer file!

I try to collect myself during some general discussion of my work history (thank goodness I have my resume beside me, along with the job description of the position I’m applying for printed out beside me.)  I thought I was well prepped, but I blew it by misreading the email and now, no doubt I am considered to be unreliable! 

The interviewer is rushing a bit because we’re late, and I’m just barely managing to keep up.  Still, my preparation with the job description and my resume are paying off.

Next I’m given some sample client questions.  The first one is simple, direct, uncomplicated.  I confidently answer it off the top of my head.

The second question, is more complex.  I can only answer part of it without research, which I explain to the interviewer without apology.  Third question?  I nail it!

My confidence somewhat renewed, I deflect the interview back to her by saying I think she has a great job.  She agrees, and tells me a bit about it, and about herself. From this openness I gather she must feel I am a reasonable prospect.

Do I have any questions?  I do.  Are they seeking agents who can answer the questions, or agents who know where to find the answer?  She eplies that they want agents who know the answers and can back them up with online references and put it all in laymen’s terms.

The interviewer reminds me that my next interview is at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  As I am on Pacific Time, this takes some calculation and I realize it will occur in an hour and a half.

After the first interview, I remember only what I have done wrong.  I called in late for the interview, and I was flustered.  I didn’t ask a single probing question when given the sample customer queries.  I answered her first questions about the work with only one or two word answers.

 I make certain to call on time for the next interview.

Guess what?  I did get the job!  After my intial nervousness I was able to settle down, analyze the procedures and really excel.  But that’s another blog entirely…

For information on the most commonly asked interview questions and preferred answers refer to:

https://www.agent.media/grow/most-common-interview-questions-and-answers/

You CAN do it!

Margaret Jean.

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4 thoughts on “Asperger Dread: The Job Interview… Arrrgggg!!

  1. Aspie girla says:

    The worse job interviews are nanny jobs because you’re supposed to make the parents trust you, show confidence, rather than impress with experience and knowledge. You’re supposed to act friendly and open, and I never knew how to do that and what words to use.

    I’d assume jobs like computer programmers would be easier job interviews for aspies because they don’t relay so much on eye contact and being a people’s person, but more on expertise and being perfectionists, the latter at least is an aspie trait.

  2. Raylene says:

    The Asperger’s world is kind of new for me. I say “kind of” because my young-adult daughter was just diagnosed as being an Aspie earlier this year, so in that way it’s new; yet, she’s obviously had it all along, so we’ve been living with it and just unaware. Consequently, I’m a sponge ready to soak up any and all insight I can get! Thanks, then, for following my blog, which led me to come check out yours! Looking forward to learning lots from you!

    • Raylene, I’m so glad your daughter has been diagnosed. Until my diagnosis, I felt like I was weird, like there was something wrong with me. When my grandson was diagnosed my daughter told me, “And Mom, we (her and I) have all the symptoms.” What a relief to know what the issue really was and then to be able to work on it. Wow. I’m not crazy or stupid. I’m an Aspie!

      • Raylene, my book is also a lot about issues I had as a teenager with a sexual predator. You may prefer to have your daughter read some other books about Aspergers.

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