With the current economic climate, jobs are difficult to get. As a person who stutters you may be finding it even harder to get a job.

One of the main challenges, which I know from personal experience, is the interview process. Actually answering questions during an interview is one thing, the worry and anxiety before you’ve even entered the interview room is another! You may also be living in a nation where you were rejected for a job because of your stuttering.

However, there a number of things you can do next time, as a part of your interview preparation process to help maximise your chances of landing the job you want. Below are some things you can do to help you.

Know your stuff

This is standard preparation for all interviews for everyone, not just if you stutter. Find out about the organisation. Pick out all the job requirements and make a note of examples where you can demonstrate you have the competencies required for the job. Simple as this seems, it’s a great way to start your preparation.

1. Use your creative imagination

Instead of imagining how badly the interview will go, imagine the way you would like it to go instead.

Imagine really vividly, what you would do, if the interview went just like you want it to. Imagine you being confident and assertive, looking at the interviewers in the eyes and answering their questions.

Imagine the interviewers responding to your answers with interest and curiosity.

Use a couple of different perspectives. Imagine your perfect interview as if you are seeing out of your own eyes, and allow yourself to feel confident and assertive as you imagine, so that you program your mind-body to remember what being in this ‘powerful interview’ state feels like.

Also imagine it so you can see yourself in the “movie”, again to reinforce how you want to perform during the interview.

Do this type of creative imagining for 10 minutes a day for 7 days before the interview.

2. Use other times when you were successful at things to help you

So at the moment you believe you’re not going to be able to do the interview well because you stutter?

Well ask yourself if you have ever completed something else successfully? There must be something you did well. It doesn’t matter even if it was years ago. Let’s say you organised a 90th birthday party for your Nan 5 years ago. Remember, what that was like vividly.

Remember what it felt like and how you acted. Really get into the state you were in at that time, and when you feel this state strongly, apply it to your worry that you won’t be able to take an interview. Allow your concerns to transform into confidence as you now see yourself taking the interview from a position of success.

3. Reframe any negative beliefs you have about succeeding in an interview

If unhelpful beliefs about interviews continue to hold you back, it’s time to loosen up those beliefs and start to believe something else. You can do this by looking ‘outside the box’.

How long have you been trying at interviews and allowing just the thought of them to scare you to death? Have you decided this is the way you are going to live your life? Is this your final say on the matter, or can you decide to do something else?

Is going for an interview really worth worrying that much about? Surely there are worse things? What if you found out you might not be able to speak at all tomorrow, let along speak and stutter. Wouldn’t that be something worth worrying about?

If you just can’t do well in the interview, would you just be willing to consider for a moment that you can? What would you be doing differently?

Yes, talking during an interview is very important, but is this the only thing you do? Surely other factors come into play such as how clearly you are expressing yourself, the volume you are speaking at, what you’re wearing?

4. Rehearse your answers

If you stutter you can help yourself by writing out specific answers to typical questions asked and then practice rehearsing your answers. Get a friend to ask you the questions and you answer them out aloud.

There are many things such as the above, which you do to help you succeed in interviews. Once you have done all your preparation, forget about it. You have programmed your mind to do what needs to done. Go into the interview, allow your unconscious to take over, and give it your best.

Let 2012 be the year you demolish the fear that stuttering will hold you back from succeeding in interviews, and get the job you want.

Happy New Year.