Stuttering and Job Interviews
Job interviews are among the most difficult things that we do - whether you stutter or not. I read quite a lot of posts in online groups for people who stutter asking about how to manage job interviews, so thought it might be helpful to summarise some useful ideas here:
- Being upfront is the often best policy. It will most likely make things easier for you to be open about stuttering right from the beginning of the interview. Alternatively, you may want to disclose that you stutter ahead of the interview. Once invited for an interview, you can contact the interviewers to request reasonable adjustments to be made to the interview process (e.g extra time, face-to-face interviews rather than phone interviews).
It doesn't need to be much but by telling the interviewer that you stutter you can take some pressure off yourself (as you are not spending the interview trying to conceal the stuttering). This can also relax the interviewer, who may not know a lot about stuttering and by unsure how to react.
For example, you might walk in and quite early in the interview say something like: "I have a stutter. It's not an issue for me and I am happy to talk about it."
- Make an asset of your stuttering. Think of some ways that you can relate skills that you have developed living with a stutter to the role. Discuss the ways in which this might make you an even better candidate for the job, for example resilience, patience, empathy, tolerance, an ability to focus upon what is being said rather than how it is said.
- Most interviewers will understand that there will be more stuttering during an interview than during your normal day-to-day speech. However, it may be helpful to illustrate this for them by discussing all the ways that you are an effective communicator (whether stuttering or not) and the environments that you have managed to communicate in . Discuss some situations that you have managed well, e.g. interacting with members of the public, dealing with customer complaints, dealing with conflict in the workplace.
The Stamma Wesbite has is lots more helpful information about job interviews for people who stutter.