Interview issues

Discussions relating to jobs and working, including finding work, interviews, the work place etc.

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caronr1
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Interview issues

Post by caronr1 »

Hi there. I am sure I am dyspraxic although I have not been diagnosed. As a child I had co ordination issues and as an adult I still struggle with instructions, physical tasks, clumsiness, map reading and any quick thinking on my feet. I had a job interview recently which I felt went rather badly because I was asked a few questions about the procedure by which I do things or how I would approach a task. Tasks (researching and writing) that are natural and intuitive to me and yet I have no idea HOW I actually do them. I feel I came across badly because although I am usually articulate, I struggled to explain intelligently how I do things. I wondered if this is a dyspraxic thing? I find I can explain for example how I would handle a PEOPLE situation - as in previous job interviews where I was interviewed for support worker jobs and was always successful - but when it comes to procedural memory I am stumped! I am wondering if its worth getting a diagnosis now so that I can put it on application forms etc. I know there is limited awareness of dyspraxia but not having a diagnosis won't help.

SPT
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Re: Interview issues

Post by SPT »

I can relate to this.

I work in an industry that is FULL of processes, forms and procedures. It's also a very sociable and creative industry too which I enjoy and I am good at. I constantly worry and get very anxious about the administrative part of the job. People ask me about procedures and processes at work and I draw a blank. My mind get's foggy and thick like a sludge, I freeze. I just can't explain procedures and find it really difficult to think in that way although when it comes to doing them, like you say, it's fairly intuitive - just can't explain HOW. Over the past 5 years I've left 3 good jobs because I've made big mistakes, struggled to be consistent and have not got good attention to detail/concentration. It's been really frustrating. Really frustrating. Sometimes I think I'll never be able to hold a job down or progress in my career. All I can suggest is practicing and rehearsing the answers to those questions again and again. Because it doesn't come naturally it will be a real chore, I know I find it really difficult.

It would be interesting to hear about putting dyspraxia on application forms. I've never spoken about dyspraxia really until recently as I've decided to face up to it, not shy away from it. I will say, that since speaking about it recently openly at work I have been very surprised at just how many people actually do know about it (or at least have heard of it). So I can't imagine it would be a bad thing at all to put it on an application form.

SPT
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aurum
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Re: Interview issues

Post by aurum »

I am quite good with interviews just because i have learnt the procedure. I have also attended couple just purely for training purposes and was offered a job! Now i struggle every day but thats another story. In 5 years i have changed quite a few roles within the company, at the moment doing two partimes as i cant get one proper fultime. I do admin/coordinator jobs, thats what i most enjoy. But i found it hard even i put 110%effort and i really like the job. But everywhere is based on how cool you are and how well you get with others in a team. I struggle. As i cant speak clearly, not always catch the joke, i am not a story teller and i prefer true friends so only got a very few
Sometimes, real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.

Tom fod
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Re: Interview issues

Post by Tom fod »

caronr1 wrote:Hi there. I am sure I am dyspraxic although I have not been diagnosed. As a child I had co ordination issues and as an adult I still struggle with instructions, physical tasks, clumsiness, map reading and any quick thinking on my feet. I had a job interview recently which I felt went rather badly because I was asked a few questions about the procedure by which I do things or how I would approach a task. Tasks (researching and writing) that are natural and intuitive to me and yet I have no idea HOW I actually do them. I feel I came across badly because although I am usually articulate, I struggled to explain intelligently how I do things. I wondered if this is a dyspraxic thing? I find I can explain for example how I would handle a PEOPLE situation - as in previous job interviews where I was interviewed for support worker jobs and was always successful - but when it comes to procedural memory I am stumped! I am wondering if its worth getting a diagnosis now so that I can put it on application forms etc. I know there is limited awareness of dyspraxia but not having a diagnosis won't help.
Hi Caron and welcome

Obtaining a formal diagnosis can be a bit of a struggle as you will see from a lot of posts here. Disclosing that you are affected is a thorny subject. In theory an employer is not allowed to treat you less favourably and make 'reasonable' adjustments. A decent employer should be looking to employ you for what you can do and make the investment in you as an employee to help you achieve and develop your potential. Unfortunately you will meet some employers/managers who are not understanding and are unwilling to accept your difference. These people are unfortunately a sad fact of society so it may be better to take your talents elsewhere and/or better still prove them wrong in a positive way.

Explaining dyspraxia is especially difficult, even more so for those of us who are affected by it. This link may be useful

https://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/ ... ce-adults/
Tom
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Auron
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Re: Interview issues

Post by Auron »

A handy little tool I use is, finding a way of telling the interviewer what you would tell the Lehman, and then letting them imply the answer to their question for themselves.
If you do it just right, you'll leave them with the impression that you're gland they asked the question, and that you're more then capable of doing whatever it is they asked if you could do without needing to get tangles up in formal procedural jargon.

That sounds complex, but essentially what it means is, you answer the questions as if they are a 4 year old asking the question, and (providing you actually know what you're talking about), your understanding will be implied without you having to literally map it out, or trip over Jargon.


Here's an example of it in action, (lets see... make up an "interviewey" sounding question)

...so Mr "Auron" how are you with using "Microsoft word"?

Me: "Very good, I use it all the time.
I remember once showing it to a friend and telling them that Microsoft Word is like your "serious ledger". If you were jotting something down quickly you would use a scrap of paper or whatever's handy and the digital equivalent to that is opening an RTF or a note pad on the desktop. But 'Word' is your serious ledger. You have your work organized in folders, edited correctly with your writing tools, spell checking, word count etc.
Word is for your serious writing; your formal letters and business reports and so forth"


Now, I just blew this answer "out my ass" (if you'll excuse my english) but looking back, this explanation implies probably everything the interviewer was probably looking for without outright saying it. It also has the bonus of making me look potentially like a good instructor, a neat and tidy worker and probably also relate-able and down to earth.

Notice that after directly and formally answering the question ("very good, I use it all the time") I immediately redirected all the nitty gritty parts of the answer towards the context of "telling a friend" i.e., Immediately into Lehman's language where it's easier for me to be myself and not trip over formal jargon. You'd never say to a friend "Microsoft word is my preferred Document processing software for both business and private formal document editing"

All this, when in fact all I've really done is explain to them what 'Word' is and let them imply the answer they wanted. If they wanted to detect basic PC literacy, it's there; If they wanted to know if I was the type to diligently prepare reports, it's there; If they just wanted to know if I had a preferred programme for writing documents, that's there too.

This is ofcourse simplified as an example, but I've often found myself using similar explanation tools to great success even in very specialized interviews. Always find a way to bring it to the Lehman; it will let your actual understanding shine through without the lexicon tripping you up and making it look like you don't have a clue.

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