How to Ace Your Job Interview, Even When You’re Shy

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Job interviews are an essential part of the hiring process. Apart from allowing managers to learn about the job candidate’s skills and abilities, it also allows them to assess the candidate’s character and determine if they would be a good fit for the company. Typically, outgoing individuals won’t have an issue talking about themselves. If you’re shy, you may not be as comfortable with the idea of being in the spotlight. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t ace a job interview and secure a job offer immediately.

With some preparation and the right approach, even the shyest individuals can make an awesome first impression on hiring managers. Whether you’re finding jobs in Cebu or elsewhere in the country, you can use these strategies to play up your strengths, boost your confidence, and win the hiring managers over.

Arrive Early

There’s value in arriving early for your appointment. You don’t feel rushed when you enter the office’s reception area, and you can make observations of what the company’s culture must be like based on the people that enter. Also, being early gives you ample time to calm your nerves. You can sit comfortably in the reception area and relax there. The extra time allows you to gather your thoughts before meeting the interviewer, helping you feel less nervous.

Avoid Slouching in Your Seat

During the interview, remember to sit properly with your back straight. It will help you appear and feel more confident. Slouching or sitting with your back hunched can highlight a shy demeanor and make you seem uncertain when responding to interview questions. Also, sitting up straight will feel better for your back, so you won’t exit the room with back pains.

Aside from your posture, plant your feet on the floor and lean slightly forward. The former will make your body feel more balanced, whereas the latter will make you appear more engaged. If you’re offered a choice of seats, sit on the seat with a hardback rather than on a sofa. Though a sofa may seem more comfortable, the soft cushioning can cause your body to sink into it and make it difficult for you to straighten up your posture.

Make Eye Contact

You want the interviewer to believe in you and your abilities, even if they haven’t had experience working with you yet. To establish trust and build rapport, look them straight in the eyes while talking to them. Having a level gaze shows that you are confident and inspires them to have confidence in you as well.

Though it’s typical body language to avoid eye contact when you feel nervous, doing this during a job interview can send the wrong message. The interviewer might interpret your avoidance to mean that you dislike them, are fearful of responsibilities, or have a challenging time relating to colleagues and clients. Not making eye contact can make you look disengaged and uninterested.

If you find it challenging to maintain eye contact, practice looking other people in the eyes when you speak with them so you become used to it. Start with people you feel comfortable with, like your loved ones, and eventually with strangers you interact with, like the barista taking your order.

Focus On Your Accomplishments

If you’re like most shy people, it can be challenging to talk about yourself. So when hiring managers ask about your experience, remember that they aren’t just asking about you, but more specifically about what you’ve done. Name the projects you’ve completed, ideas you’ve developed, the challenges you’ve encountered, and how you resolved them. How you handle certain situations allows the interviewer to get a glimpse of your character.

Generally, the details of your accomplishments are more important than talking about yourself. So, remember to focus on that. You may want to practice answering this particular question before the interview. This way, you feel more confident when you respond to the interviewer.

Listen Intently

While preparing responses to potential interview questions is good practice, you must be mindful of the message the interviewer is trying to convey through active listening. This is a listening process that keeps you engaged with the person you’re conversing with. When someone speaks, you listen attentively, reflect on what they said, and withhold your reactions until you’ve formulated a proper response.

Apart from hearing the message, being an active listener means paying attention to somebody else’s non-verbal cues and asking questions if you don’t understand something. Also, request clarification to avoid misunderstandings. Through active listening, you show that you continue to stay engaged even when you’re not leading the conversation, which can positively contribute to group dynamics.

So, if you get the opportunity, provide examples of when your ability to listen has made a difference in your career. Perhaps you had to deal with an upset client or co-worker. Using your active listening skills and taking the time to come up with the best solution possible can resolve the situation more effectively.

Job interviews can make anyone feel nervous, especially if you’re a shy individual. Fortunately, there are different ways you can enhance your confidence and feel more at ease during the interview. By following these techniques, you can project a more confident image and leave a positive impression that will help you land your dream job.

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