Being Too Reserved During an Interview

A reserved manner can be an advantage in some situations.
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Whether you've been on the job market for a long time or have just begun a job search, if you're introverted or are not always comfortable in social situations, you may wonder if you're also too reserved when you interview. Although introverts can make excellent employees, interviewers don't always give a reserved interviewee the same consideration they might to someone who's more outgoing.

Troubleshoot Your Performance

    If you think you're not being given the same consideration a more outgoing interviewee would be, role play with an honest friend to engage in a mock interview scenario. She can help you figure out in what areas you're most reserved. Perhaps it's your overall manner, when you're answering questions or when you talk about your work experience. If you know where the interview process you seem less engaged, you can work on improving.


    With that same trusted friend, practice a number of different interview situations. This may involve rehearsing your answers to specific behavioral questions, working on how to better explain your work experience or how to answer difficult questions such as explaining gaps in work history or why you lost a specific job. You might even want to rehearse the parts of the interview that aren't actually part of the interview, like making small talk with employees who greet you.

Physical Considerations

    One way to mitigate being soft spoken or more reserved socially is to have a slightly less reserved appearance. Make small changes in your makeup or clothing. Bright colors are usually considered less reserved. A bright red dress made for clubbing is overkill, but you could switch from a navy blue to a royal blue power suit. Unless you're applying for a job at a funeral home, don't wear all black to an interview.

Address Concerns Directly

    If you are feel you're not making as strong an impression as you'd like or the problem seems to be an ongoing problem when you interview, you can address concerns directly. You could say, "Sometimes I'm not the best interviewee because I'm shy, however, it doesn't mean I can't be a great employee." Point out areas where you've been successful in jobs despite this limitation and point out that a workplace with many different types of employees is an effective workplace. You can remind the interviewer that being a good listener is an especially important trait in today's work environments.

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