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Asked by Yogita on November 22, 2015

I'm about to start applying for jobs. When I have to speak formally - like during presentations - I tend to stammer and mix my words even if I practice a lot. I believe it is because I'm stressed. Will this cost me during an interview?

Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on November 23, 2015

You are not alone in getting stressed about speaking in front of people for presentations or interviews. Keep in mind you may also think you are worse than you actually are, as we are often our own worst critics. Interviews are an important place to make a great first impression so you do want to make sure you put your best foot forward. In order to do that, you need to continue practicing, and if possible, to do it with other people whose opinion you trust. You will notice that the more and more times you practice, you will eventually stammer less and less and be more comfortable with whatever questions are asked of you. Often times, there are similar questions that are asked on interviews so you can make sure you are very comfortable with those questions. Those are the questions like; what is your greatest strength? weakness? proudest accomplishment? Once you master these questions, you are equipped to answer many others, which are usually spin offs from these main ones. You can also take notes with you in an interview that you can have as a resource if you feel stumped on a question. It will provide you with a greater sense of confidence to know that if you get stressed you can look at your notes to jog your memory for specific situations that you have been through, and how they relate to questions that are being asked. You will get more comfortable through each interview until there will come a day when you don't even remember being stressed! Good luck!

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Answered by Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, on December 7, 2015

Hello! This is a problem that most people face at some point in their career. It is very critical to continue what you're currently doing, and keep practicing. Practice in front of the mirror, record yourself, ask a friend to help you. Something else I would recommend would be going online and researching the particular topic you're presenting and seeing if there are any questions on the topic. Reviewing what others have asked and gathering answers will make you more knowledgeable on these topics.  If you are concerned with stammering and mixing your words during an interview, I would suggest going online to find popular interview questions. You can also check out Glassdoor, they sometimes provide interview questions for particular companies. What I have found to be the most effective trait to use going into interviews is confidence. Remember, no one knows you better than you; and the interview is based on you! It's always easier to be comfortable when you're the subject matter expert. You have the answers they're looking for, take a deep breath if you get into a pinch, and then put your best response forward. 

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on January 26, 2016

Great question! Interviewing can be stressful and tough so the best thing to do is to relax, be yourself and show confidence.
Practice as much as you can but interviewers do understand that the interview process can be stressful. Come prepared with questions and know the job you are applying to.
Sell yourself and explain why you think you are a good candidate for that position. Good Luck!!

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