Q & A: Preparing for The Interview

Here’s the deal: I need an income sooner rather than later. IF I get into the training, it doesn’t start until September. The first session is about 11 weeks, the second session is about 10 weeks, with a week or two in between, maybe. So, maybe I’ll have earned my Peer Wellness Support Specialist by mid-late February. Then, I may or may not have a job to go into right away. That’s at least six months away. I can’t wait that long before I am earning an income.

I need to update my resume, which is slightly intimidating. Then I need to flesh out my LinkedIn . . . I’m quite intimidated, not gonna lie. These things are time consuming and brain straining activities. But, I have no doubt that I can and will get through them. However, my heart and mind are terror stricken at the thought of interviewing.

Tell me about yourself . . .

Uhmmm . . . I can’t talk about my age, my family status, or my mental health issues. It’s best not to focus on the fact I’ve been out of the job market for 7 years. So, what DO I say?

Why did you leave your last job?

Ahhhhh . . . I left because I was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, in a conflicted and dying relationship, and parenting a behaviorally challenging toddler who had yet to be identified as being on the Spectrum. But, I’m much better, now.

What is your greatest accomplishment or achievement?

Well, you see, I had such a broken relationship with my adult son that he disowned me. It was basically due to my behaviors and lack of emotional stability from incorrectly diagnosed and untreated mental illness. I’ve spent the last five and a half years in the recovery process. During which time, I’ve been able to work toward the healing and restoration of my relationship with my son. He’s calling me “mom” again.

Yeah. No. That won’t fly.

Tell me about a time when . . .

*scratches head* Ehhh, I’m thinking . . .

Hard to remember anything through a dissociated state. Which is how I’ve lived most of my life. I know things happened, I just don’t remember them, at least not the details of them.

Have you ever had conflict with a co-worker/employer? How did you handle it?

Yes. I had a panic attack, shut down, and avoided them as often as possible.

I just crashed and burned like the Hindenburg.

I could continue, but, you get the idea. My life has been so severely consumed and affected by mental health issues and parenting a child with special needs, that I don’t have any other reference points.

In Thursday’s Interview Workshop my biggest fears about this job search process were realized.

Why can’t getting a job interview be like walking into McDonald’s and using the touch screen kiosk:

Job Search Combos

Resume: Chronological or Functional?

Application: In Person with paper & pen or online with Resume & Cover Letter Attachment?

Interview type:

  • Group
  • 1:1
  • Panel
  • Working

I’ll take a Functional Resume, with an Online Application, and a Working Interview, please.


  1. Hi Lillian. It sounds like you are making better decisions and moving in the right direction. It is good to hear that you are working with some Specialists. One thought is that practice interviews may seem so artificial, but an actual interview will feel pretty much the same. The job you are looking for right now is probably not the job you will be looking for next year. Leave some time in your schedule to keep working on the training you need to qualify for your big goal.
    Go in peace, and blog on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like you’re feeling a little overwhelmed? It (probably) feels scary?

    Do you have a trusted job coach who can role-play with you?

    From reading your posts, I can tell that you’re a good writer, who can express ideas and concerns well, that you’re interested in learning and growing, that you have tackled many challenges and continue to work toward overcoming what’s in your way.

    An “I will try” attitude is valuable!

    If I could, I’d like to encourage you to reach out to someone (ask for a reference from the place where you’re taking your workshops), to work with you on the interview process! You’ve worked on so much so far – this can be something you’ll handle well also!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. Yes, overwhelm is a good description. Writing out and naming my concerns is how I manage it. I share it because I hope it resonates with and helps other going through similar experiences know they’re not alone.

      I am working with one Emplyment Specialist and have an appointment with a Worksource Employment Specialist next week.


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