Scary Spoken Interviews

Interview. It’s one of those words that makes people worry and get butterflies in their stomach. Before going to my University interviews I’d only ever had one interview and that was for my part time job working in a retail high street store. It was quite a relaxed interview but gave me an insight into what they would be like in general. The interviews for my course at Uni were quite different from this as mentioned in my previous post as the majority were written interviews. However, my interview at one of them was very different to all the others. Not only did it include a written interview, but also a listening test and a spoken interview. Despite feeling extremely nervous (with the tell-tale signs of a dry mouth and clammy palms to confirm it) I actually really enjoyed the spoken interview. At this particular University, the interview was held by a member of staff from the Uni who was an ex-SLT and also present was a service user and her husband (who was her carer). The service user was a lovely lady who had suffered a stroke and had lost her speech as a consequence. With the help of many medical professionals, she regained the movement in her limbs and the Speech Therapist  helped her to begin to speak again. She still struggled some of the time but was continually improving. This lady was the person asking the questions in the interview and this made me a little more nervous as I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to understand. Even though it was quite a challenge, I found it endearing as I saw how hard the lady was trying to gather her thoughts together and also how hard she was trying to produce the sounds needed to create the words she wanted to say. I was patient with her and listened carefully to the questions she was asking, and I managed to successfully answer every question she asked; meanwhile the member of staff from the Uni and the lady’s husband wrote notes about what I had answered and my conduct in the interview. As anyone reading this will know, at the end of an interview it is common to be asked if you have any questions. Partly due to nerves and because I couldn’t think of anything to ask about the University that I didn’t already know, I asked the service user how important she felt the help of Speech Therapists had been in her recovery process. She told me that without them she would probably have given up, and her husband added that without the therapists help, he didn’t think they  would have been able to get through and he even went as far as to say he thought that his wife would have totally given up if she hadn’t have gotten that help. I was so glad that I had asked this question as it really reiterated how important the work of Speech Therapists can be, and gave me even more energy to pursue this career. All in all the interview process WAS pretty scary, but the part I was dreading most –the spoken interview- was actually my favourite one, as it mirrored more closely the work I would be participating in in the future.

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