If the very thought of a high stake conversation with a stranger makes your palms a little sweaty, and you place job interviews among life’s most necessary but utterly dreaded tasks, you aren’t alone. There are plenty of places for shy people in the working world, even in positions of leadership. But in order to make your way up the corporate ladder, you’ll have to work a little harder to express yourself and share your passion when you’re meeting face to face with potential employers. Here’s how.

Don’t wing it.

Before an interview, some relaxed, confident extroverts just get a good night’s sleep and then saunter into the room and speak from the heart. But in your case, there’s nothing wrong with a little planning and rehearsal. Or a LOT of planning and rehearsal. Draft your elevator pitch in writing and then practice it as many times as you need to in front of a mirror, your cat, or a willing listener. When you get nervous, your training will take over and you won’t be caught staring and stammering like a deer in headlights.

Think about the things you love.

Before your meeting, honestly assess what you love about your work and why you really want this job. Look past superficial details like your need to pay the rent. Dig deep and focus on the original passion that drove you into this field. Remember the conversations and events that first lit the fire in your heart, and be ready to envision or talk about these things as you speak with your interviewer.

Own the space around you.

It won’t do to simply instruct a shy person to not be shy. If tips like “be bold” or “speak loudly and confidently” actually worked, you wouldn’t be worried. But here’s one simple tip that really can make a difference in the message you send: occupy and own the space around you. Take over the entire chair, don’t just perch at the edge. The chair belongs to you as long as you’re in it, so use the armrests, use the back rests, and make yourself at home. A confident posture speaks louder than any words.

Don’t get flustered.

Your interviewer can—and probably will—present you with a few challenging questions that suggest you don’t belong here, you don’t deserve this job, or even that you’ve done something wrong. If you start feeling defensive, cornered, uncertain, or anxious, stop talking. Just take a slow breath and count out two full seconds (or more) before you speak. This pause and this commanding silence can reset the conversation and remind you that you deserve this opportunity and you’re great at what you do. Remember, this conversation belongs to you. Take all the time you need to make this clear.

For more on how to show confidence and passion even if you’re not comfortable during your interview, reach out to the staffing team at Expert Staffing.

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