How a Failed Interview Caused Me to Seek Out Help

Silence hung in the air as the interview committee waited for my answer, but I was frozen.

35 seconds passed, but it felt like 90 minutes. Nothing came out of my mouth. I could feel my face turning red.

My brain was stuck.

I felt embarrassed & ridiculous.

One of the committee members graciously said we could come back to this later, but the damage was already done.

How could I let this happen? I was interviewing for a job I thought I had locked up. How would I get a new job without being able to think on my feet and answer questions? I had to get better.

I researched ways to practice spontaneous speaking and discovered Toastmasters.

I decided to join my local Toastmasters club.

Toastmasters is an incredible organization that helps people practice prepared and spontaneous speaking.

There are local chapters all over the world where you can work on presentation skills, reducing filler words, speech writing tips. One particularly useful (and stressful) portion is called Table Topics, where you speak off the cuff for 1–2 minutes.

This was the ideal way to practice for my future interviewing success.

I eventually returned to interviewing and felt confident in my spontaneous responses, which has led to successful job changes.

It pays dividends not to wallow in the embarrassment, but to use it as fuel to seek out practice to get better.

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Dave Wentworth

Dave Wentworth

Interested in self-improvement, productivity and human potential.