How to Overcome Shyness in a Job Interview (5 Best Tips)

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First impressions matter a lot, especially in a job interview. 

If you’re shy, it can be difficult to project confidence and land the gig. However, this doesn’t have to be a hindrance. With a little preparation and practice, you can learn how to overcome your shyness and ace the job interview. 

Even the most confident people get nervous before facing a panel. So, it’s perfectly normal to feel some butterflies in your stomach before meeting with a potential employer. After all, you’re under pressure to sell yourself and your skills. 

But if your shyness is preventing you from putting your best foot forward, it’s time to take action. This article will show you how to overcome your shyness and make a great impression on potential employers.

Why Do We Get Shy During A Job Interview?

Maybe you’re worried about saying the wrong things. Maybe you feel like you’re not good enough. Or perhaps you’re just uncomfortable talking about yourself. Whatever your reason, you’re not alone!

Here are more reasons why people feel shy during a job interview:

  1. The Stakes Are High, and We Are Afraid to Mess Up

Chances are that you’re afraid of making a mistake. 

Nobody wants to ruin their chances of getting the job by saying the wrong thing or coming across as unprepared. The high stakes of a job interview can cause a lot of anxiety and make us feel shy. But remember, you can get past this!. 

Everyone gets nervous during a job interview. In fact, statistics have shown that making a mistake during a job interview is actually quite common. And, the interviewer has seen it all before. 

The key is to focus on your strengths — don’t worry about making a mistake. 

  1. Job Interviews Can Be Awkward

Job interviews are usually formal and can be quite awkward, especially if you don’t have much experience with them. The process itself can be quite intimidating, which can make you feel shy. 

This is especially true if you’re not used to networking or speaking with strangers or new people. 

  1. You’re Nervous

When we’re nervous, it’s challenging to focus on anything else but our own fears. This type of anxiety can be quite paralyzing and can make you feel shy and uncomfortable.

Here’s the thing: You already made it past the first hurdle — getting an interview. Only 20% of applicants get shortlisted for an interview and you were one of them. You’ve got this!

So, stop worrying about how the interviewer will view you and just focus on doing your best.  

  1. You Don’t Know the Interviewers 

A recent study revealed that more than 60% of job seekers feel shy during a job interview because they are meeting the interviewer for the first time.

You’re probably worried because you don’t know whether the interviewer is friendly or if they will judge you. This type of uncertainty can be quite nerve-wracking and can lead to shyness. 

Most people feel more comfortable when they are around people they know. But in a job interview, you’re typically meeting with strangers, which can be quite intimidating.

Is Being Shy A Weakness In A Job Interview?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on the situation and how you are handling your job interview anxiety.  

If your shyness prevents you from doing your best, it can definitely be seen as a weakness. However, if you are able to manage it and still perform well in the interview, then it is not really a weakness. 

Several studies have suggested that shyness can actually be seen as a strength. This is because shy people are often seen as being more contemplative, and they may be better at listening than speaking. 

So, it really depends on your specific situation and your outlook. Generally, it is always better to be confident and put your best foot forward. However, if you are shy, but can still handle the interview confidently, then that is perfectly acceptable.

5 Tips To Overcome Shyness In a Job Interview

Shyness can prevent you from performing your best and really showcasing your skills and strengths. 

If you’re feeling shy during a job interview, here are five tips to help you feel more confident:

1. Practice Mock Interviews With Someone Else

Rather than going over interview questions with yourself, practice with another person. This is a great way of helping you become more comfortable with the interview process. 

When you practice mock interviews, you get feedback from a third party, which can help you improve your skills. Just have the other person ask you tentative interview questions, for you to answer as if you’re facing the actual panel. 

They should then give you unbiased feedback. Did you seem uncomfortable? Which questions threw you off? What can you improve on? This will give you the feeling of being interviewed, and will also help you feel more comfortable. 

Keep in mind that the more confident you feel, the less shy you will be during the actual job interview. So, take the mock interview seriously!

2. Days Before Your Job Interview, Practice Talking to Strangers on the Street 

This is a great way to get rid of your nerves. 

When you’re out and about, try and talk to as many strangers as possible. This might seem extreme, but if you are a shy person, it will help you become more comfortable with talking to new people. 

The more you do it, the easier it will become and the less anxious you will feel. Just strike up random conversations with strangers, and you will be amazed at how easy it is to do. It could be as simple as saying hello to strangers in the street or striking up a conversation with a colleague.

This will gradually make you feel more confident interacting with new people. The best part is that this confidence will carry over into your job interview, and you will be less shy as a result. 

3. Take Deep Breaths Before and During Your Interview to Calm You Down 

During the interview, if you start to feel shy, take a few deep breaths. It will help you relax and get back on track.

Taking deep breaths is a great way to calm your nerves. It helps you relax, and also clears your head. Just focus on your chest compressions as you take in deep breaths and the relief that engulfs you when you let it all out. 

Keep in mind that when you’re feeling nervous, it’s easy to forget what you want to say. If you however take deep breaths, you’ll be able to focus. 

4. During Your Interview, Sit With a Confident Body Posture

Your body posture highly determines your levels of confidence so sit upright. This will help you feel more at ease during the interview. 

If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that when you’re shy, you tend to hunch over and make yourself small. However, sitting with a confident body posture helps you look and feel more confident. It also enables you to project a more positive image. 

Avoid slouching and tucking your arms and legs in. This is weak body language, and it will only exacerbate your shyness. Instead, try sitting in a relaxed posture with your shoulders back and chin up. This will help you feel more in control, and will also make you look more confident to the interviewer. 

5. Add Some Jokes and Humor at the Start of Your Interview

When you’re shy, it’s easy to come across as being serious. However, adding some jokes and humor into the interview will help you relax, and also show the interviewer that you’re a fun person to be around. 

Jokes are a great way to break the ice. It can be challenging to open up when you’re shy, but if you can get the interviewers to laugh or smile, it’ll be a lot easier for you to relax and be yourself. 

Humor is a great way to connect with people, but it’s essential to make sure that it’s used in the right way. So, make sure that your jokes are appropriate and that they are something that the interviewer will also enjoy. 

You Can Do This!

Job interviews can be a daunting experience if you’re a shy person. However, by following the tips above on how to overcome shyness in job interviews, you will be well on your way to acing your next one. 

Just remember to relax, breathe, and be yourself. You’ve got this. Good luck!