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Help! Feeling too unmotivated and depressed to prepare for an interview......


Conviction
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Hi all,

 

I am accepted to one of the programs. But I'm still anxiously waiting to hear back from my #1 and #2 schools. The #1 program might invite me for an interview (they said they interview strong candidates whose first language is not English.) I'm an international student. I didn't even to study in the US. People don't speak English in my country. The fact that I am not a native English speaker makes me feel so insecure. Part of me hopes I get an interview invitation because that would mean that I'm so close to the acceptance. Another part of me hopes I don't get an invitation at all because I'm so afraid to have an interview in English. Honestly, my speaking is not too bad. It's not like I have a problem studying and working in English. But I know I make mistakes and use awkward phrases. My area of study requires A VERY HIGH level of English fluency, so mostly only the internationals who did their BAs in the renowned US colleges get in this top program (that's why it's a top program, right). So I kinda want to give it all up and prepare for nothing. But on the other hand, I feel like I should be still preparing for the interview. When I pull up the blank Word document to write something, I freeze. I edit and edit and edit, but still don't feel confident. I feel like my answers - including the SOP I've already submitted - suck, compared to the native speakers or internationals who have lived in the US for like half of their lives. I've done job interviews in English many times - but this feels different because they are the "professors". Being correct must be so important to these scholars.

 

Plus, I'm working full time. So the only time I can prepare for the interview is after work, like from 7pm. Work is so stressful these days, so I get so unmotivated and depressed to prepare for the potential interview. I do nothing and go to sleep. Go to the office, get stressed, and repeat.

 

If they do start sending out invitations for the interviews, it'll be from next week. I really have no time. But I'm doing nothing. I write some scripts; they sound so childish. I hate myself.

Edited by Conviction
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@Conviction It seems like a classic case of "imposter syndrome."

"Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be."

Essentially, you've convinced yourself that they will catch you lying about your English capability and that you're nothing compared to your peers.  The feeling of being caught as a fraud.  Sounds to me like that's why you struggle to convince yourself you will do any good at this interview because you're going to be talking to "professors" who you expect will know your English strength is some sort of lie.  You should really read about how to deal with imposter syndrome.  I could be off base, but that is what it sounds like to me. 

I think the thing you need to realise is that we all suck at English.  English is a hard as fuck language to master and is often ranked as one of the hardest languages to learn.  I've been speaking English for over 30 years and I still fuck it up all the time.  I've also been exposed to a diverse international culture most my life and the truth is: people who don't speak native English always screw up their words and phrases, literally all the time.  Anyone in here that has a friend, family member, or coworker that was not born speaking English knows that they often say things in weird ways or skip articles and particles when they talk.  We aren't, like many languages' native speakers can be, too often bothered by it.  There are so many damn rules in English that we break them all the time.  Honestly, most of us who aren't racist, self-righteous cunts often find it endearing that people from different cultures speak the language and are quite fine with their small mistakes because we are aware of how difficult it must have been to get as far as they have in language fluency, especially since, in America, most people can't speak more than one language and, if they can, it is often Latin American Spanish or whatever language their parents or family speak (run-on sentence, yay!).

Even looking back at what I've written so far, I'm sure the journalists and English majors are ripping their metaphorical dicks off looking my use of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and my flagrant over use of "literally."  And, I feel I can write and speak a bit more eloquently than average (esp people on the internet).  We all have a lot to learn.  Hence why some people here are making a career out of and literally getting PhDs in English. 

The fact-of-the-matter is, everyone sucks at English.  And if you're expecting your professors to expect you to speak fluent English with an American accent and everything, you are soooo very wrong. 

 

Edited by Ternwild
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4 hours ago, Conviction said:

Hi all,

 

I am accepted to one of the programs. But I'm still anxiously waiting to hear back from my #1 and #2 schools. The #1 program might invite me for an interview (they said they interview strong candidates whose first language is not English.) I'm an international student. I didn't even to study in the US. People don't speak English in my country. The fact that I am not a native English speaker makes me feel so insecure. Part of me hopes I get an interview invitation because that would mean that I'm so close to the acceptance. Another part of me hopes I don't get an invitation at all because I'm so afraid to have an interview in English. Honestly, my speaking is not too bad. It's not like I have a problem studying and working in English. But I know I make mistakes and use awkward phrases. My area of study requires A VERY HIGH level of English fluency, so mostly only the internationals who did their BAs in the renowned US colleges get in this top program (that's why it's a top program, right). So I kinda want to give it all up and prepare for nothing. But on the other hand, I feel like I should be still preparing for the interview. When I pull up the blank Word document to write something, I freeze. I edit and edit and edit, but still don't feel confident. I feel like my answers - including the SOP I've already submitted - suck, compared to the native speakers or internationals who have lived in the US for like half of their lives. I've done job interviews in English many times - but this feels different because they are the "professors". Being correct must be so important to these scholars.

 

Plus, I'm working full time. So the only time I can prepare for the interview is after work, like from 7pm. Work is so stressful these days, so I get so unmotivated and depressed to prepare for the potential interview. I do nothing and go to sleep. Go to the office, get stressed, and repeat.

 

If they do start sending out invitations for the interviews, it'll be from next week. I really have no time. But I'm doing nothing. I write some scripts; they sound so childish. I hate myself.

Hey there! I'm just lurking. I'm in a different department than you (English) but I wanted to just tell you it's gonna be OK. I've worked in and interacted with a half-dozen grad departments, and there are always so many multi-lingual students, faculty, and colleagues. Not to mention students! They are used to this. Especially in STEM, there are so many international projects going on where everyone has a different native tongue. Think of your background as an asset, not a problem.

If they want to interview you, they are 99% positive they want to admit you. They just need to make sure that, you know, someone else didn't write all your essays or something. :)  

Also, unsolicited advice: just relax now. Get some sleep, eat well. Take care of yourself! This whole process is VERYSTRESSFUL. Once you have the interview scheduled, then start prepping. 

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