How to Prepare for a Job Interview When You're Not Outgoing By Nature

Woman on a job interview.
Treat a job interview as a conversation to help yourself relax. Getty /

By definition, the term outgoing means being confident in social settings. For most people who are shy or socially awkward, it is easy to become overwhelmed at the thought of a social setting.

Perhaps you’re moving into a new neighborhood, or starting a new job. Whatever the reason, you find yourself looking at a vast sea of uncomfortable social awkwardness, which in turn creates a sense of anxiety for you.

Tip 1: We’ve all been there. Do you think Hollywood A-listers have always been outgoing? In reality, they’re all people. And, some of them are shy, too.

Maybe you’re in high school looking at a first job. Maybe you’re well out of high school looking for a career. The first step to landing a job is picking up an application and applying.

Since the application process has generally become automated, this step usually involves little social interaction. However, the second step is generally an interview, during which  you will meet with a recruiter, HR manager, or sometimes even a panel.

While this thought may bring with it an increased level of anxiety, it doesn’t have to.

Tip 2: When it comes to interactions with others, focus on your endgame, but realize it’s just a conversation.

Instead of getting lost in the thoughts of how you’re going to get there, focus on what it is you are trying to accomplish with this interaction, but realize it’s just a conversation.

In keeping with the job interview example, the endgame is that you want to land the job.

If you concentrate on making sure all the little things go the way they’re supposed to, it can derail you if something goes wrong. You rehearse the conversation as you think it will play out, and the interviewer asks you a question that you didn’t anticipate, for example.

Instead of focusing on what the interviewer is going to ask you, simply be prepared to have a conversation.

You probably have conversations every day, even if it’s with your mom, or a sibling, or a friend (either in real life or online). And if you don't, now is the time to start!

You have easier conversations with those people because you know them. You feel more comfortable and confident with them. Take that same feeling and apply it to your interview.

Finally, the interviewer realizes that you are putting yourself out there. You both know that what you say or do during the interview will be a determining factor. And in many cases, that person wants you to succeed. She wants you to shine during the interview. She wants you to be a great candidate that she can hire, so she can stop looking.

So try to relax, and don’t view it as an interview. You’re simply having a conversation with an individual.

Know that you will be asked questions. Know yourself. Know your experience. Know how you learned about the job.

Know you want this job, and you’re the best candidate. Beyond that, don't sweat it.

In short, show enthusiasm and passion about the work that you will do and have a conversation with the interviewer.

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