Job interviews are arguably one of the most stress inducing moments in anyone’s life. More so if you feel or think that you are unable to represent yourself to the best of your abilities. In a culture where articulation is heavily equated with intellect, the obsession with the appearance of skill can rob people with speech defects of significant opportunities. The employer’s concerns might be about the efficient communication between the team members. The best approach is to ascertain the practical requirements of the job and what it entails in terms of communication related issues.
Good communication is about more than just fluency. Fluency can be attained and mastered. To be able to communicate is about one’s ability to listen and empathize with people from different walks of life. It is about thoughtfulness and sensitivity in both speech and actions. And who better to understand and manage sometimes clashing personalities than someone who has learnt patience and hard work through his/her life’s experiences.
Be honest with your interviewer
Stutterers should honestly address their speech impediment with the prospective employer and discuss the various ways that might make them perform their duties better. The impact if any that the speech disfluency might have on certain areas of their job and how they might tackle it. People with speech disabilities can have varied professions including high pressure jobs in sales, medicine, public relations. One’s skills and intellect are certainly not defined by their speech defect. However, hiding one’s stuttering can create a vicious and toxic cycle to anxiety and fear that shall push back any progress made to attain fluency.
Approach the interview with confidence
Studies suggest that people who stutter are less likely to apply for a job that they think will trigger their stuttering adversely. 70% believe that their capabilities are misjudged and 28% strongly liken their not receiving a promotion to their speech defect. In moments of self-doubt, it is pivotal to remind oneself of the perseverance and diligence that you bring to the workplace. The intuitive understanding of non- verbal and emotional communication that makes stutters naturally superior managers.
Plan for the interview
While displaying your qualities and skills required for the position, an interview is also an opportunity to learn more about the organization. A chance to know about the energy and goals of the company and if it aligns with your vision of yourself in the future.
Homework isn’t just for school anymore
Research the company or organization that you are interviewing for. If possible, try to learn more about the person most likely to interview you whether it is via a phone call or an in-person interview. You will know you are fully prepared when you have a couple or more questions for the interviewer. This works as both a brilliant presentation of your attention to detail and provides a framework for your working relationship if hired for the job.
Employers who appreciate honesty and conscientiousness in their employees will find in stutterers keenly intelligent and insightful members for their team.