Post # 1
Hi Bees – The title of this post is a joke, but here’s the backstory:
I am so happy that I have a job interview set up next Wednesday in PA. This is a great accomplishment as I had not been receiving any calls at all. I currently live in NJ and will be able to move in with DH in PA if I receive a job offer. Well…the background story here is that I have a very distinct NY/NJ accent as I grew up in northern NJ. DH grew up in northeast PA and speaks very differently than me.
On the phone tonight he was saying that I really should watch how I say things during the interview. I asked him to clarify what he meant. He meant my accent. He said that my accent could make a difference in the job offer and that I should try to talk more like them in that area. I said: “Yeah, ok…”. I kept trying to ask him how he thinks I could just lose my accent. During the interview I will be focused on answering the questions to the best of my ability, not my accent. He said, in a sarcastic, snarky tone: “I’m just trying to help you and you keep dragging this on and on and on and you won’t drop it. You know what, I don’t even want to hear about your future job searches if this is how you are going to be. I know you don’t care what others think about you, but you should care about what the interviewers think of you.”
I literally didn’t know where this came from…but he said something else and I didn’t catch it all and asked him to repeat himself. He got upset and I explained that my phone cut out. He said that’s just an excuse. He hung up very upset. I know he’s a diabetic and that mood swings can be rampant, but still…
My DH hates NJ and makes fun of how I talk and makes fun of where I live all the time. But you know what? I am not going to try to talk differently. This is me and if they don’t like it, well then that’s their loss. Thanks for letting me vent.
Post # 3
Just a bee from PA… who understands… I’m sure it’s just that he’s worried that you won’t get the job because the jobs are scarce locally, and he doesn’t want a silly thing like accents get in the way of you being with him. Who knows your distinctive language might just be an advantage! Good luck on the interview!
Post # 4
This is me and if they don’t like it, well then that’s their loss.
good for you! i never had much of an accent but when i first moved to new york people thought i had a bit of a southern drawl to the way i spoke. i think it’s just because i said y’all a lot. after 10 years in new york it’s totally faded and it makes me feel like i’ve lost something of myself! FI’s new york accent comes out when he’s on the phone with his dad and i love it! i think accents tell a story about who you are and where you’ve been in life .
Post # 5
Be proud of that Jersey accent! I’m from the South, so I totally get people thinking you’re dumb, uncouth, etc. because of the way you speak. It’s really unfortunate! Just be yourself and you’ll win ’em every time.
Post # 6
I agree, who cares how you talk! I know how you feel though, I grew up in South Jersey and everyone always asked why I didn’t talk like people from North Jersey/NY and I hated people assuming that would be how I talk. Really, I doubt there is much you can do. Just be yourself and hopefully they will love you for your personality and not really think about the accent. Good luck!
Random thing: I haven’t lived in NJ for over 5 years now but one of my new coworkers could pinpoint where I used to live based on how I talk. So I don’t think it ever goes away!
Post # 7
I was born in NJ and grew up outside of Philly. I’ve been living in NC for 9 years. I now, according to FI, have a “southern accent, with bits of Jersey when I get pissed”. Makes sense! When I have to discipline my students, it really slips out. I scream “Knock it AWF” and they all mock me – and I still say wooter (water) and cawfee. I’m too “Jersey” for here, and too southern for my family up north. I just can’t win! But I like it – it means people are listening to me.
Post # 8
I don’t know…down playing an accent is sort of like covering up a tattoo or taking out a nose piercing. If an accent is commonly perceived as unprofessional, you’d be better off toning it down during the interview. I know when I’m tired my Os get long and ‘boat’ becomes ‘boot’ but I certainly go into all interviews as accent-free as I can. To some extent I think he’s right. Depending on what they’re looking for in a candidate, a strong accent is more likely to be a deal breaker than a boone.
As for accepting you the way you are….the place for that is after you’ve got the job. Just keep in mind that an interview is you selling your best self to a potential employer. You win them over first, then you do what you’re going to do.
Good luck in any case!
Post # 9
@artichokey: i have a weird obsession with the minnesotan accent. my college roommate was from there and i spent all of freshman year perfecting my imitation of it, and when i went to visit her over the summer i was ridiculously proud that i managed to pass myself off as a minnesotan to other people in her super small town.
wow sorry for the rambling this is what happens when you’re on weddingbee at 2 am
Post # 10
@artichokey: oh and now i remember the whole reason i started writing was to say that you have a good point about toning it down a bit for an interview
Post # 11
I have no solutions, but this reminds me of that episode of “King of Queens”. Wasn’t Carrie trying to lose her accent?? lol.
Good luck on your interview!!
Post # 12
I’m from Toronto, and I remember going to Buffalo when I was little to go shopping (which Torontonians do a lot). I had a conversation with an employee at the GAP. I handed her the shirts I wanted to buy, and the conversation went as follows:
Her: Do you want a backs for that tap?
Me: Sorry….um….. a back? (Thinking to myself, “A cardboard sheet to fold my shirts on?)
Her: Ya – do you want a backs for them?
Me: OOOHHHH!! A box! Sure! I’ll take a box!
It was sooo funny. Accents are CRAZY!! We’re each looking at each other like, “What is she talking about?!”
@SM1982: Sorry that your DH gives you a hard time about it. I’m all for a bit of lighthearted joking around, but it sucks whenever it goes sour…
Post # 13
Ah man.. I would find it tough losing my aussie accent.. one aussie sounds like another aussie here and I cant tell the difference if there from a different state or not!
It sucks he told you tone down your accent. you are who YOU are… not what someone forces you to be! Like if you get the job.. do you keep your played down accent? or do you go back to who you are?
embrace it and be proud of your accent and who you are!
*gets off soap box* I think im sounding like a motivational coach here! sorry!
Post # 14
DH and I live in LA right now. he is from North Carolina, I’m an immigrant from Taiwan. he has a southern accent, and me, go figure! we make fun of each other’s accent all the time!
Post # 15
Thanks everyone! I’ll be preparing over the next week so I know I’ll be ready when next Wednesday comes along. I’ll keep everyone updated.
@bunnyfoofoo: lol at the AWF! That’s exactly how I talk!
Post # 16
I would tone down the accent as much as possible, much like you would not use slang in an interview. I never knew I had an accent until I went to college and then when I moved to another country to teach English I had to quickly learn how to lose it. Suprisingly, speaking slower than normal makes it really easy for me to lose it. Americans I meet abroad never guess where I’m from and when I’m home I love to hear the accent so much that I pick it back up. Good luck on the interview, putting your best self forward does not mean you are changing who you are.