Tongue Tied

Don’t let the pressure of an interview tie your responses in knots


If it’s happened to you, you’re not alone. There may not be any empirical statistics on the subject, but getting tongue-tied during a job interview is something that many, or even most of us have experienced at one time or another.

According to scientists at Texas A&M University, getting tongue-tied is common when you’re talking faster than your brain is thinking. This may be brought on by the natural nervousness of the job interview as well as elevated levels of adrenalin.

For the record, the condition, commonly known as being tongue-tied, is called ankyloglossia.

Researchers from the UK recommend deep breathing to alleviate the condition.

But what if once you’ve regained your composure, you’re not sure what questions to ask in an interview? Sure there are the basic questions about the company, the industry and so forth. But most well-prepped interviewees will ask those questions.

How do you set yourself apart? Pose questions that get to the heart of the company. Ask about their challenges, their obstacles, their concerns. Depending on their answers you can proceed to address some of all those issues and explain how you would be the best candidate to deal with them. There has to be something in those issues where you have had some experience and have been able to conquer them to a successful conclusion.

If you get tongue-tied talking about yourself, your background or the employer… realize that your nerves are not allowing your brain to keep up with your speech. So, stop. Take a deep breath (or two.) And ask them some probing questions to which you can ably provide the answer.


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