“I love you”

You may have heard these words in countless movies. What almost always precedes these simple three words is the hero’s (or heroine’s) struggle to actually spout these out – just convert thought and emotion to sound.  Well, sometimes whole movies and romantic novels are constructed on this very struggle. Why is saying this so difficult?  The top few reasons usually are :

  • The stakes are high (the hero’s happiness for the foreseeable future depends on this)
  • The hero has a past that hangs over him like a dark cloud – he believes it threatens his future
  • He has  had a failed relationship earlier and can’t shed the  bad memories
  • The chemistry makes every interaction with his lady love exciting, but stressful. He’s a tad nervous in her presence
  • Has a rival, another suitor vying for his lady’s hand
  • Fear of rejection

And thus, our hero, a very deserving character in every way, who can compose eloquent songs and speeches in his head, stutters and stumbles when he has to say it aloud.

And now think of an interview situation for your dream job. Almost all of the reasons our hero is struggling with apply here. You really want the role, the stakes are high and you are deserving but you may have had a less than perfect relationship earlier, you may have something in your history you feel slightly on a backfoot about, and you fear rejection despite being totally deserving.  And well, of course, there are other suitors, I mean candidates in the arena.

So, my relationship, pardon me, interview advice, is this – Practice.  Practice speaking your answers. At least your opening pitch, and talking about the area you are on the backfoot about (if any). Think/write down your perfect answer and say it out aloud a couple of times so that words can roll comfortably off your tongue.

It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have, how senior you are, or what a rockstar performer you are. When it comes to love (or interviews), we’re all a bit vulnerable.

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