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Want to Improve My Communication Skills Before the Interview

Questioner

M

Reply Date

Aug 18, 2018

Question

Assalam-o-Alaikum Dear counselor, I hope that you are fine. I am trying to be close with Allah. In my teenage years, I had some male friends with whom I used to have fun. I also had a relationship at that time, but it didn't work, so we broke up. That was a tough period of my life, but it was also a blessing in disguise. I came closer to Allah. In university, I had a serious crush. It made me feel bad, but I was not able to control myself. I became a good friend of this guy. I really liked him. But in the last days of the university, he told me that he has a girlfriend. I was really in pain again. Then I repented truly to Allah. I cut off all my male friends, started to wear the Hijab properly, and began to guide my modesty. My ex-boyfriend also tried to contact me again during that time, but I talked to him clearly that now I don't want any male friend or relationship. I want to purify myself. Now, I am currently looking for a job and I have a golden chance to chase my dream because I am having an interview next week. But the problem is that they require good communication skills and confidence and I lack both of these. Since I have a whole week to build me up, I asked my friend to help me through this. But she was busy so she couldn't help me. I desperately want this job because, perhaps, it will be the last opportunity to get my dream job. So, I contacted to my old male friend. He is very kind and helpful. He assured me that he will help me with my communication skills and confidence. I had a voice chat with him. Although he was also very busy in his life, he still managed to help me, so I decided not to disturb him and seek help through internet. I searched for an English speaking website. There, I tried to speak with females, but they didn't look interested in talking to other females. However, I got a lot of messages from male. I started talking to them through texting. They wanted me to speak to them through skype, but I wasn't comfortable with it. I didn't need friends, I just wanted to improve my communication. Then I met a guy who is three years younger than me. I had a secret crush on him, but I didn't tell him. We started to chat, he also asked me for my Facebook so that we can be friends there. I felt that he was being serious with me. I didn't want to hurt him. I was really obsessed with this new activity. I didn't want to repeat my past, so I asked Allah to help me. I told Him about my weaknesses and about my dreams. Then I decided to count on Allah and destroyed my ID. Now I have my interview next week and I do not know what will happen. Did I do it right or not? I don't want to make Allah angry anymore. Should I talk to my old male friend? He has helped me and now I owe him. I am really confused about all these things. Please guide me. And also please suggest me something to improve my communication skills in English. Talking to someone in English might be the best, but I don't have a female friend to talk to. My family is not educated so they can't help me either. I will appreciate your response. Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


Want to Improve My Communication Skills Before the Interview

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

First of all, alhumdulilah that you are getting closer to Allah (swt). This is the best change anyone can make in their lives as Allah (swt) is most merciful and most forgiving. By living our lives in accordance to His (swt) commands and guidelines, we can be assured that we are doing the best we can in this life. Our relationship with Allah (swt) is of utmost importance, the number one thing we should strive for in this life. All else will follow.

As you stated, you committed haram acts in the past such as having relationships. But as you are practicing Islam now, if you repented to Allah (swt) for your past sins sincerely and stopped doing them, they are forgiven, in sha’ Allah. Allah (swt) loves to forgive, sister.

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Quran 39:53)

However, in your quest to gain better communication skills, it was unwise to seek the help of your “old male friend” and talk/text boys who tried to contact you as you had repented and cut off all things that were haram or could lead to haram. However, your decision to rely on Allah (swt) when you met that younger brother who wanted to communicate through FB was very wise, alhumdulillah! As a result, you did not fall into the same old behaviors as you had indicated; thus, you should feel good about the faith you are building up!

Sister, while it is completely natural to like boys and have crushes, we must guard ourselves so we do not get hurt (like he hurt you by telling you he had a girlfriend) and so that we do not get tempted. While you were innocently looking for someone to truly help you gain better communication skills for your interview, you almost got caught up in communications and talk that could have led to heartbreak and compromised your relationship with your Lord (swt).

You asked if you should contact your “old male friend”. My advice would be: no! What for? Sister, you do not owe him anything! What makes you think you owe him? Just because he helped you with English? As sisters and brothers in Islam, we are supposed to help one another. You owe him nothing. Please, do not contact him.  It is the trick of the Shaitan. You have come too far to fall for this foolishness.

“Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying: A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your” if” opens the (gate) for the Satan.” (Muslim)

Sister, in sha’ Allah, if every time you are in a situation wherein you feel weak or unsure of something, if you always take it to Allah (swt) with prayer and du’aa’, you will surely make the right choices. You have come so far in your commitment to Islam and to Allah (swt). It is a precious gift, indeed.

As far as your interview goes, it is kind of late to worry about studying English in order to speak it with professional fluency. However, if you did write this question without the help of a translator, I would say you are doing very well! In sha’ Allah, just do your best during the interview.

As far as learning to communicate more effectively in English, I would kindly suggest looking into an English as a Second Language (ESL) school/classes near you or if they do not have them, look online for courses. Many times they are free and they are always professional. You will get all the help and resources you need. Another option is the Rosetta Stone Language CD’s which are highly rated.

While I am not sure what the job qualifications are, or what they expect in regards to fluency, I am sure they will take into consideration that your native mother tongue is not English. Perhaps, during the interview, at the appropriate time (or if asked) you can inform them you are working on your English skills and look forward to successful outcomes. It is my feeling that what they are looking for goes beyond your English abilities as they offered you an interview knowing English is not your first language.

Therefore, I would kindly suggest, sister, you focus on the core skills and requirements of the job and be prepared to discuss how you will be a benefit to the company based on your education, previous employment as well as any other special skills you bring. You do have time to go online and research the company, prepare a list of matching skill sets as well as a list of questions (not a lot) for the interviewer. This will show the interviewer that you have done your research on the company, thus illustrating your deep interest.

While only Allah knows the outcome of the interview, there are many “dream jobs”.  Oftentimes, we get the job we want. Other times we do not. In these cases, we should have faith that Allah (swt) has something better for us.

“Put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those that trust [in Him]”. (Quran 3: 159)

We wish you the best in all aspects of your life, sister. Please continue on your path towards drawing close to Allah (swt) and seeking His (swt) favor, for He (swt) is our ultimate guide in this life.

Salam,

***

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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