Are you a shy or introverted person who is interviewing for a new job soon? We’ve all had moments when we were so intimidated that we were rendered unsure of ourselves and unable to be assertive, almost as if we were shy. Some of us are shy, of course and for us, those moments happen frequently. Or perhaps you’re simply an introvert. You know who you are (but you’re probably too bashful to say so!).
Being shy or introverted usually doesn’t create a major problem in life. Either can however, such as when you’re looking for a job, especially when you’re interviewing. Interviewing well means communicating effectively while being able to convey a sense of self-esteem, your belief you are capable of performing the tasks of the job for which you’re interviewing.
There are, of course, careers that can more readily accommodate the shy and the introverted. Unfortunately, even getting one of those jobs still necessitates interviewing for it. So what is the introvert to do? When the interview arrives, how can you shine if you’re shy?
Here are some tips that can help you overcome your reticence about speaking with people, especially about yourself. These are just some of the tools that can make it easier for you to manage your apprehension (if not outright fear!) and feel less awkward so that you can comfortably and confidently express yourself during a job interview.
- How do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, man, practice. If you have a web or video camera, film a practice interview session. Have someone with whom you feel at ease conduct an interview tailored to the job for which you’re interviewing. This will be of limited usefulness, however, if you don’t approach it seriously. Dress appropriately. Sit at a table or desk. When you review the recorded session, you’ll be able to evaluate your performance and identify things such as mannerisms/nervous tics that could be distracting during the interview. Do this several times or until you’re comfortable with how you look and come across. This should give you additional confidence because you won’t spend the time you’re interviewing preoccupied with wondering whether you look or sound okay.
- Practice again. Just in case you thought we weren’t serious about that.
- Who’s on first, what’s on second… . This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t actually prepare specifically for each interview or, sadly, think that they’ve prepared but simply went through the motions. Research the employer. Be certain you understand the job for which you’re interviewing. If you don’t, research that as well. Update yourself on the industry and where the potential employer fits in. The more information you have about the industry, company and job, the less likely it is you’ll be asked a question that stumps you and causes you to doubt yourself
- Any questions? No, seriously, have you written out a list of questions to ask? This can help you feel that you have some control over the process, thereby increasing your comfort level. The interviewer will know that you’re prepared and clearly interested in the position and this employer.
- Show and tell. In your portfolio/notepad, have a list of your accomplishments and any applicable visual aids that clearly and compellingly illustrate your abilities and accomplishments. This list will keep you on point and prevent you from feeling flustered because you’re worried you’ve forgotten to mention something important. Make sure you bring at least a few copies of your resume–one for yourself to refer to and a couple of copies to leave behind if more than one person interviews you.
- Give yourself a break. Between interviews, that is. Interviewing is stressful for all but the most self-assured among us. Schedule recovery time to rebuild any confidence that may have waned a bit.
Shy? Introverted? No problem. You can still be as impressive as you need to be.