I just bombed another interview. It wasn’t even for a job this time. This time, I was being interviewed by another podcast host for his show. But I could feel the same anxiety and tension in my neck whenever someone puts me on the spot with a series of questions. Each minute that passed brought a greater strain in my throat. I had to remind myself to breath and slow down and enunciate and stay interesting. But the thoughts couldn’t help but creep into my mind. Stop rambling and make your point! Is that a word? Why are you pausing…say something! Not that!
Interviews always end up feeling like a minefield for me. It is such a contrived experience. Some person across from you (literally or figuratively), asks you whatever they want, and it seems like you’re totally at their control.
I prepared. Really well in fact. The host had sent me questions beforehand. I had every answer written out. I had rehearsed — even tried out a few lines to different people. You know what threw me off? When the interviewer asked me those questions in just a different enough way that it felt like a totally different question.
I went from psyching myself up:
To psyching myself out:
In the end, I was exhausted. I wiped the sweat off my brow as I hung up the phone. I cursed at myself.
Well, I got ready for another interview. Promoting SuccessVets and getting the word out about it is important to me. I need to do it to be able to help more veterans. Going through dozens of job interviews to get a job I cared about was important to me, too. So I kept doing it. Following your passions isn’t about avoiding the things you don’t want to do. It’s about prioritizing it above all the things that resist you. A lot of people hate doing interviews. Welcome to the club. Now get over it.
What did I do after getting through this latest one? After I stopped beating myself up, I did a healthier analysis. I compared my notes to what I remembered saying. I wasn’t far off on many points, so I knew I got my message across. Sure some parts could have been more polished, and I made notes to myself to do just that. I also allowed myself a few pats on the back. As a veteran, you want to be successful in every endeavor. But it rarely is when you’re trying something new. But you can’t be discouraged by the opportunities you bungle. Keep going out for interviews. Keep networking. Keep at it! Professional athletes say it all the time — you have to have a short memory. Wallowing in defeat does nobody any good. You don’t stop taking that next shot. Rather, you have to keep taking them, to face down those demons.
About a month later, the interview went live for all the world to listen on the internet. It took me a few days before I resolved myself to listen. It's funny how we remember things when we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. In reality, it wasn’t half bad.
Let me know what you think:
Check out the full post on HighSpeedLowDrag.
And now I’m ready for the next one. Bring it on!