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Preventing IBS: Interview Brain Shutdown

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  • Preventing IBS: Interview Brain Shutdown

    IBS occurs when the person interviewed knows the correct answer to a question, but gives an incorrect answer to the interviewer. IBS is a “performance under pressure” issue, familiar to a student who does well on homework problems, but gets similar problems wrong during an exam.

    By analyzing recent attacks of IBS, I gained some understanding of causes, but I am still looking for preventive measures.

    IBS usually occurs when the question is too simple, and seems to have at least two kinds of symptoms:

    1. Expecting a hard question, you subconsciously rule out the more obvious answers, which may actually be the correct ones. The answer you actually give seems illogical to the interviewer.

    1. The answer is so obvious, your mind says “done!” when you have not finished expressing the answer. During a recent attack, I drew a circuit with critical components missing. Despite of the interviewer asking another question about the circuit, I still did not observe the omission. The problem seems to be a disconnect between the mind, and the concrete world of paper, pen, and drawing.


    Slow down, avoid answering right away. Repeat the question in the same words asked, then rephrase it.

    After making the drawing, ask yourself if it is complete and corresponds to the question asked.

    Answering quickly and correctly is the best, but if you are susceptible to IBS, then it is better to slow down.

    Other ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Preventing IBS: Interview Brain Shutdown

    first, you should know that ibs is the standard acronym for "irritable bowel syndrome."

    what you are describing is a straightforward anxiety problem. non-pharmacological approaches would include practicing the situation until it becomes boring, meditation, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy. the easiest and most useful [because it has other benefits] is practice. but you need to do that in as realistic a situation as possible. if you can, recruit a friend or friends to grill you, even deliberately try to trip you up. make it your game to look for any traps in the questions or tasks posed. repeat as often as necessary to feel very comfortable.


    • #3
      Re: Preventing IBS: Interview Brain Shutdown

      Originally posted by jk View Post
      first, you should know that ibs is the standard acronym for "irritable bowel syndrome."
      Somehow I read this thread backward, saw the above quote first & then
      IBS is a “performance under pressure” issue
      No idea why someone would give something the same acronym for that!

      Regularly exercising vigorously can help improve your ability to think clearly and quickly.

      There is a book called the power of habit about trying to develop habits which is a good read.