(Editor’s Choice: A real life story from FIRST NC participant; Must read!)
After facing 16 rejections in different company here I was for another interview for getting a job (desperately). There is a wise saying “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want” and after every interview i was getting the “Experience” , which i guess many would not like to taste (as it seems to be bitter).
There was a time when i was well focused for further studies but then, it all started when everybody around me was in a race to get placed (and that too in a well paid “Good” company), this happens only in our country where engineers are raised like cattle for some sort of race!
It begins from the race of getting good marks in high school then getting into top most engineering college to getting a well paid job etc. etc. Once, I too was in this race; things got worse day by day, and by the time I reached 13th job interview failure, things were frustrating.
So here it is, what the first interview was like: the interviewer asked me several questions in my technical background and my answers were a partially incorrect, mostly correct, a bit complicated and confused (because of me trying to hide my Stutter made me stutter a lot more). At the end of my interview i asked the HR officer about the salary breakup (which was an obvious question to be asked) and when i didn’t get selected I told myself and others that, “so and so” was the reason of my not getting selected. This was the stepping stone to my wrong attitude of accepting failures and since then several interviews went by and I was just giving excuses to myself and others that , “so and so” happened this time that is why.. etc. etc.
After facing 11 of the interviews, when i was completely sick of facing another one, I just went browsing on Internet about Stuttering and (fortunately) I saw the website of TISA, which had interviews (about personal experience of being a stutterer) of several people. One interview which influenced me a lot was that of Jai Prakash Sunda Sir, this was because he resembled a lot like me (he also did engineering and was sharing some experience which I had also felt in my lifetime). There was a contact number also given on the website and as I wanted to know a lot more about him facing his job interviews and how did he handled all this things, I decided to call him up. There were some useful advice from him which didn’t felt right at that moment (basically because of my lack of awareness and knowledge) and I just let it go.
He also told me about the National Conference on stuttering, which was going to be held in Bhubaneshwar at the end of the last year and due to the immense let down of my confidence and desperateness for doing something to remove it (-stuttering, because by then i had started feeling that , my stammer is the reason of not getting a job) and I decided to go there, as it felt like there is nothing left in me to do because I am a born stutterer and nobody will give me a job due to my stutter.
During the conference, when i met with more of people like me and saw the greatness which they have achieved in their life. At that time there was some part of me which was willing to pay the price whichever needed to make it work and the price was acceptance of myself as it is. I also heard the point of views of Dr. Satyendra Srivastava Sir , Dr. Satya Mahapatra Sir, Dr. Manimaran Sir during the conference which made me realise that, stuttering is not a problem it is just the way we speak, which is dealt as a problem, so it is us who have made it a problem but in actuality it isn’t one.
After the National Conference I took a big step in accepting my biggest fear of life i.e. acceptance of my stammer and although my stammering increased after I came back from NC this was the time when i really faced interviews with confidence because then only I learnt about the importance of being a good communicator rather than being fluent for nothing. There is one thing that we stutterer always forget in our attempt to be fluent i.e. we miss the entire communication by just pretending to be fluent and be someone else.
I was also doing the same thing in all those 13 interviews, trying to be fluent rather than being a good communicator and letting my answers being understood. After NC I have faced 3 interviews out of which the 1st company didn’t select anybody from our college, then the 2nd one in which at the end of the interview, I was appreciated by the HR Officer of that company for the way i had conducted my interview (the results are awaited, as it is pending) and the last one in which I got selected.
The interview in which I succeeded was like, i was initially asked to tell about myself briefly and i answered:
“I am Mohit Jaiswal, i live with my father and mother at Kharagpur. My father is an Advocate and my mother is a Homemaker, I did my schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya IIT Khargpur. My hobbies are playing basketball and solving rubik’s cube.”
Then, i mentioned that “Sir, i am a Stammerer and at times during the interview i might get stuck, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t know the answers or i am nervous, it is just the way i speak.” They said “We are perfectly okay with it and we are here to judge your technical background so this will not be the thing to worry, but the technical areas will.”
Then he grilled me with questions on different subjects and most of the time they were satisfied with my answers, at the end of the interview one of the interviewer asked me about Dynamic Balancing and I explained static balancing to him. He answered “Whatever you have said is perfectly alright but this isn’t dynamic balancing”. After this, he said “It was nice meeting you Mohit” and then I left the room.
During the entire interview i was stuttering now and then but still, as I had confronted my stammering already at the beginning of the interview, this helped me, by freeing me from that extra effort to be fluent. So, the acceptance of stammering was the key to my good communication to the interviewers, which helped me get through with the interview of the only Aeronautics company of India and I think by accepting his/her stammering any stutterer can do whatever they wish to do in life, because the main problem is this fear of getting stuck, pulls them back constantly and when you get past this fear, there are very few things which matters.