So you’re shy. Being outgoing is not exactly a talent the majority has been blessed with. That being said, coming into an interview and giving one word answers will not exactly make the impression that gets you the job. Here are a few ideas to help you get over the intimidating first meeting.
1. Don’t Focus too Much On Your Nerves
You have a purpose there, to get the job. You absolutely cannot be thinking about how hard this might be for you or how you’re not going to get the job anyway. There is no room for negative thinking once you’re in. They already chose you based on your resume, all you have to do is put the cherry on top. This is your chance to not be neurotic and stuck in your own head. Learn as much as you can about your potential employer by listening. You hear that? You don’t have to talk so much anyway. If the interviewer stops talking, ask another question and listen away. People who are outgoing enjoy talking and they will gladly fill in the silence you were so nervous about.
2. Fake it ‘till You Make It
OK that might be a cliché but that does not mean it won’t help you. Let’s face it. You know no one can do the job as well as you. The interviewer has yet to find out this useful piece of information that will determine the status of your employment. Now, there are two things you need to focus getting out there. One is emphasizing your qualifications. The latter is showing that you are listening. If you are really getting into it, again, you should even ask the interviewer a few questions. To do so without stumbling, try using short sentences. Most importantly, try practicing. It would be best to do so with a friend that you have known and have no problem being open with. If none are available at the moment, try using a mirror. Or post a picture of someone you like on the wall and pretend to talk to them. Prepare your answers so they are straightforward. Basically, if someone asks: “Why do you feel you’d be a good fit in our company?” You can answer: “My previous work in such and such was very similar to the work you are doing here.” But don’t stop there, make sure to give an example. Such as “The work Magnet Corp has done with magnets is very similar to the research I have done on them. Now I would like to apply my research. Two magnets with positive charges with move away from each other. Perhaps I could prove otherwise.” Obviously that’s an example, but the point is, focus on the knowledge you are confident with and the rest will just fall in.
And Make sure to take the picture you were talking to off the wall when you’re done. A lot of questions will arise to those who didn’t have previous knowledge about your exercise.
3. Make sure your handshake is firm and you smile
When you come in and leave, perfect these basics. They will be the impressions that last without you being too aware of it. A firm handshake will offer muscle memory and muscle memory makes the brain remember you. A firm handshake lets someone know you mean business. If you smile, your interviewer will know you are pleasant and happy to be where you are. Combine the two and voilà! No one even knew you were shy.
Remember, sometimes being outgoing means that you say the wrong thing because it’s the first thing that came to mind. Just look at it from the angle that you have the time to calculate every thought before you say it. You’re taking a pause to find the courage to speak and you also have the time to really think through an answer.