Interviews can be intimidating for anyone, but sometimes it can seem as if extroverts have a natural advantage. They are often talkative, outgoing, quick to share opinions and engage in most social settings. More reserved individuals can take more time to answer questions or share their own opinions in a conversation. This is especially true when it comes to finding new employment. A large amount of pressure is placed upon the first interview, so when you only have a short amount of time to explain your background, how can you add the most value to this meeting?  We have come up with four tips to help build confidence and strengthen communication for the naturally timid job seeker. 

Be direct

Try not to over-analyze, and always tell the truth. If you are asked, “What made you want to pursue a degree in engineering?” You can say something like “I’ve always enjoyed fixing things,” or “I was introduced to engineering by my grandpa, who worked for a major agriculture company for forty years.” The more honest you are about your background and expertise, the more accurately your first impression will be. 

Give examples through stories 

If you’re asked to describe the subject area you know best or explain your qualifications in a certain skill, answer in the form of a story (like expounding even more on the statements from point number 1). Look for fitting opportunities to share a little more about who you are. Speak to the lessons you’ve learned as a direct result of specific events.   

Take advantage of the silence

Someone does not have to be speaking 100% of the time. Conversational pauses are natural spaces of quiet that add rhythm and punctuation to regular communication. When you are nervous, you can find them awkward and hasten to fill the gaps. However, these moments are probably not as long as you think. Simply relax, smile, and let the next bit of conversation start when it’s time. 

Ask open-ended questions

Candid conversations require a listener as well as a speaker, and timid people frequently excel at listening. Great questions keep both parties engaged. Ask your interviewer about the company and its challenges in the last year, inquire about the culture, or seek to understand the daily demands of the position. The right questions demonstrate respect to the interviewer and company and make a powerful impression.   

Having a more reserved personality can be a valuable characteristic. These tips are simple reminders to provide the confidence needed to make a positive impression on your upcoming interview. If you have more questions, regarding this topic or other employment needs, please be sure to reach out to us at Palmer Group. Our services are free for candidates, and our recruiters would be happy to answer any resume or interview questions you may have. We are committed to making lives better, one conversation at a time.         

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