Cassie

Beta blocker for job interviews

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Has anyone ever taken a beta blocker before a job interview or another stressful event? The more job interviews I go on, the more anxious I get during them and I end up over-talking. I give too wordy answers to questions and sometimes jumble my words. I think it's costing me the jobs. No matter how much I tell myself to be calm and concise before the interview, I end up word vomiting all over the place and I can't seem to curtail it!

 

I have a dr. appt tomorrow and I was thinking of asking for some beta blockers to take before the interviews. I've heard they're used for performance anxiety this way. Has anyone ever had experience with one?

 

P.S. I'm not interested in anti-anxiety pills like Xanax.  I don't want to risk being mentally slower during an interview. The only time I've ever taken a benzo was Valium before a surgical procedure.

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I'm so sorry to hear this, Cassie.  I haven't taken Beta Blockers before, so I'm not going to comment on that.  But it is so hard to believe you struggle with words when, on this forum at least, you are so economical with language and erudite at the same time.

 

You clearly know your shit.  

 

It's funny - I think I interview very well.  The only time I get nervous is when I don't have my "story" or pitch perfect.  And the times I get nervous - I agree - I can see my chances slipping away from me and that makes me more hesitant, if that makes sense.  

 

Two things really have helped me before in the interview process:  practice, practice, practice (like, record yourself on your computer and watch it - it's really insightful how much you can learn (like how bad my posture is!)).  And the second, is to treat the interview like a consulting conversation.  It's as much about them as it is about you.  I know you know all this intellectually, but you have to believe it in more of a... psychological sense.  If you can't get there yourself, then pretend to be a more confident version of you... the one you have always wanted to be... just to get you through the interview.   And have lots of good questions for the interviewer.  

 

There's an old saying in the headhunting field:  "the person who talks the least wins".  If you can get your interviewer talking, you're sitting pretty! 

 

Also this:  http://www.theladders.com/career-newsletters/20-questions-you-need-to-ask-in-a-job-interview

 

But I know you asked a specific question and I don't have an answer for you.  The only thing I will observe is that you posted about this on QA, where you probably know that a bunch of us won't necessarily be in favor of you taking something/anything that will alter your mental state... so maybe that's you inadvertently telling yourself that you shouldn't, either.  

 

When is your next interview?  How many interviews have you had so far and have there been any jobs where you got really excited and it didn't go so well?  Also, just remember that it's not about how you perform in an interview that counts, it is about whether the job and the company is a fit (like I said, I interview really well but it's doing the job and fitting in to the culture where I seem to have the problems!!)...

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I was given some sort of medication for heart or blood pressure issues before doing a TV interview to help take the edge off my nerves and it was not a pleasant experience to watch or read the Star Tribune article afterward.  Lots of "umm"s, "you know"s, and unintelligible crap.  Be yourself, you don't need to go down the road of reliance on another drug.

 

 

Love the picture of "word vomit" almost as good as "diarrhea of the mouth".

 

Good luck with your interviews regardless of the decision you make; I know that you will be successful and I think that you do too.

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I'm so sorry to hear this, Cassie.  I haven't taken Beta Blockers before, so I'm not going to comment on that.  But it is so hard to believe you struggle with words when, on this forum at least, you are so economical with language and erudite at the same time.

 

You clearly know your shit.  

 

It's funny - I think I interview very well.  The only time I get nervous is when I don't have my "story" or pitch perfect.  And the times I get nervous - I agree - I can see my chances slipping away from me and that makes me more hesitant, if that makes sense.  

 

Two things really have helped me before in the interview process:  practice, practice, practice (like, record yourself on your computer and watch it - it's really insightful how much you can learn (like how bad my posture is!)).  And the second, is to treat the interview like a consulting conversation.  It's as much about them as it is about you.  I know you know all this intellectually, but you have to believe it in more of a... psychological sense.  If you can't get there yourself, then pretend to be a more confident version of you... the one you have always wanted to be... just to get you through the interview.   And have lots of good questions for the interviewer.  

 

There's an old saying in the headhunting field:  "the person who talks the least wins".  If you can get your interviewer talking, you're sitting pretty! 

 

Also this:  http://www.theladders.com/career-newsletters/20-questions-you-need-to-ask-in-a-job-interview

 

But I know you asked a specific question and I don't have an answer for you.  The only thing I will observe is that you posted about this on QA, where you probably know that a bunch of us won't necessarily be in favor of you taking something/anything that will alter your mental state... so maybe that's you inadvertently telling yourself that you shouldn't, either.  

 

When is your next interview?  How many interviews have you had so far and have there been any jobs where you got really excited and it didn't go so well?  Also, just remember that it's not about how you perform in an interview that counts, it is about whether the job and the company is a fit (like I said, I interview really well but it's doing the job and fitting in to the culture where I seem to have the problems!!)...

Thank you for your kind words. I had an interview today, my first in about a month, and I was excited about it until the word vomit came up. I am interviewing for jobs that are different from my last one so there is always so much justifying why I want to work in a different field and blah blah blah, it's exhausting. The reason I was asking about beta blockers is because from what I heard, they don't alter your mental state. They prevent adrenaline from flowing to your heart, so it mitigates the physical effects of anxiety, like rapid heartbeat, jitters, dry mouth etc...the things I tend to exhibit only in job interviews (I have no problems with anxiety in life otherwise). I know that musicians and actors use them before performances.

 

Regardless of whether I try them or not, I think the closer I get to running out of money the better I will perform in interviews because I will have desperation on my side.

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I was given some sort of medication for heart or blood pressure issues before doing a TV interview to help take the edge off my nerves and it was not a pleasant experience to watch or read the Star Tribune article afterward.  Lots of "umm"s, "you know"s, and unintelligible crap.  Be yourself, you don't need to go down the road of reliance on another drug.

 

 

Love the picture of "word vomit" almost as good as "diarrhea of the mouth".

 

Good luck with your interviews regardless of the decision you make; I know that you will be successful and I think that you do too.

Yes, that sounds like the same stuff - it's a heart medication but used off label for performance anxiety. Sounds like it was not a good experience for you.

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I've taken beta blockers once or twice. Last year I received an award which was presented to me at a conference with over 2,000 people...I thought for sure I would pass out on stage while giving my speech. The beta blocker definitely helped calm me down, my heart wasn't racing out of my chest and I was actually able to breathe. My friend also takes them to prevent herself from breaking out in hives when she has to speak in front of others. I would recommend you speak to a doctor about it and make sure you're in good health before taking them.

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Somewhat related to this topic:

 

A while back when I was talking to my husband about being nervous to start a new job without Adderall, he said, "You'll either like the new job or not. You'll either be good at it or you won't." He's always saying really simple but profound things like that. Adderall lied to us by making us think we enjoyed everything and were amazing at everything. If we don't like things or we're not good at some things, it's not a personal failing. It's life.

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I was given some sort of medication for heart or blood pressure issues before doing a TV interview 

 

You sound like a very important person!  We have a star amongst us?  (I ask, somewhat rhetorically...)  ;)

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Cassie I want to follow up on something you said about going for a job that is different to what you have done before.  I'm thinking of doing the same thing.  

 

Since I've given up adderall, I realize (kind of like our new member with the awesome video) that I've been working around the wrong people and perhaps doing the wrong kind of work for a long time.  My husband said to me last night that my "gentleness" has come back since I quit, and also since I stopped working so hard, traveling so much, being a baller, basically.  I'm thinking of demoting myself.  But I have no idea what I want to do or how to go about reworking my resume to go for other jobs.  So I admire you for getting as far as the interview stage, that's a big step -- and tough if you don't know people in the field you're going to be working in.  

 

Just wanted to say that.  And ps your husband is profound, sometimes the most obvious statements are the ones we need to hear the most! 

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In my past life I did 1000's of presentations and suffered terrible anxiety. A lawyer friend of mine told me his strategy for court was to " Over prepare and wing it".  That was my biggest weapon. I just over prepared knowing way more on the topic than I needed to.  Also a good way to burn off anxious energy.  Going through the interview process myself I've been reading

 

How to Answer Hard Interview Questions ...and everything else you need

to know to get the job you want

Charlie Gibbs

 

I have the book in pdf format if you would like it I can email it to you just pm your email. 

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I didn't even ask about the beta blockers. I'm just going to work on ignoring all my natural instincts and telling the interviewers exactly what they want to hear, while feigning enthusiasm in the process.

 

When I got my last job, I was so desperate for a job at the time I practically begged for the job several times during the interview. I got the job, so people must like that. It's like metaphorically sucking their dick. So, I think if it's hard to be enthusiastic, be desperate, and it will come across the same manic way, which the interviewer will then interpret as 'passion'. I should be an interview coach.

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I didn't even ask about the beta blockers. I'm just going to work on ignoring all my natural instincts and telling the interviewers exactly what they want to hear, while feigning enthusiasm in the process.

 

When I got my last job, I was so desperate for a job at the time I practically begged for the job several times during the interview. I got the job, so people must like that. It's like metaphorically sucking their dick. So, I think if it's hard to be enthusiastic, be desperate, and it will come across the same manic way. I should be an interview coach.

ROFLMAO

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It's just like dating. If they're desperate, they will look for desperation. If they're snobby, they will look for snobs. That's my early Sunday morning lecture. Here endeth the lecture.

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