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Interview Tips for Shy Folks
I know that likeability is one of the major factors that virtually all employers look for in virtually all employees. I’m nice enough, but I tend to be rather shy. How can I demonstrate that I’m likeable in the one situation – the job interview – that brings out my shyness the most?
Fear not. Shy people tend to be very likeable. Extroverts love shy people because they (the shy ones) tend to listen well.
Here are some other ways to show how likeable you are:
• Use your body language. Lean in, just a little bit, toward the interviewer. Keep your arms at your sides, rather than crossed in front of you. Nod and smile; say “uh-huh,” or whatever other approving sound occurs to you. Show a reasonable amount of energy.
• Do your best to remember the person’s name, and use it frequently. Most people love the sound of their own name.
• Be pleasant. This usually isn’t difficult for shy people, but showing it off might be. Smile, answer in full sentences, laugh as appropriate, behave in a friendly manner. Encourage the interviewer to believe that you’re happy to be there.
• Allow yourself to be easily impressed. Show appreciation for whatever information the interviewer shares with you. Ask questions; let the interviewer show off a little bit.
• Be willing to be a little vulnerable and to laugh at yourself; but don’t overdoing the self-deprecating humor.
• Tell stories about your successes, but throw in a couple about how you helped people (again demonstrating that niceness.)
Bottom line: Don’t allow your shyness to take over the interview. You will probably tend to want to say as little as possible, but that won’t get you the job. The interviewer knows you have the skills; now show him that you’ll fit into the company too.