If you’re shy, it can be difficult to let your real feelings show, especially during a high stakes conversation with strangers. But as you’re probably aware, emotions play a powerful role in hiring decisions, and the passion you demonstrate for the position can give you the edge over candidates who seem to be looking for a paycheck and not much else. Here are a few ways you can share that passion, even if you’re not naturally expressive.
1. Start with a strong resume and cover letter. Reveal a few personal details in your summary, skill section, and the body of your cover letter that will provide the manager with a starting point and a few things to ask you about during the interview.
2. Discuss what attracted you to this field in the first place. If there’s a story behind your interest, go back to the beginning. Let your interviewer know that you first picked up the tools of the trade at a very young age, or that your grandparents inspired you, or that you were led into this field by a personal experience.
3. Use your non-verbal cues. Lean your body forward while you speak, instead of back. Sit up straight instead of slumping in your chair. And take up the entire chair, don’t just perch at the edge.
4. Your facial expression can also help you make your case. Of course, if you work too hard to control your expression and you’ve had no professional training as an actor, the results can be confusing to your interviewer. But at the very least, you know how to smile politely and maintain consistent eye contact (glance at your hands or the reviewer’s hands now and then to alter the focus).
5. Before the interview begins, review some of your proudest accomplishments and get ready to talk about them. You may be asked to explain the challenges you were faced with and how you overcame them, but be ready to bring up the subject even if you aren’t asked.
For more guidelines that can help you shine during your interview, even if you don’t naturally look for the spotlight, reach out to the NC staffing and job search experts at PSU.