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Shy/social anxiety getting a job...

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How do you land a job if you are really shy, have trouble starting conversations that get anywhere with just about anybody? How do you get past the interview part of getting a job? Do you have to fool the boss or whoever is interviewing you into thinking that you are social-able? I know there have to be some really shy/socially awkward people here with jobs that don't involve being alone and typing things up endlessly or whatever. Does it suck for you though being shy and having to be out there dealing with people or co-workers? Do your co-workers treat you differently for not being able to get along with them?

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I've had a lot of problems with this over the years. I've actually been turned down by jobs because I'm 'too shy', and they want someone more outgoing. And I was fired from a job because of 'shyness', which I thought was a load of crap.


That being said, try finding a job where you don't have to work with the public. Like unloading trucks, working as a security guard, working in a public library, etc. Unless your goal is to get over your social anxiety, in which case you should probably work in the most public position you can (even if it makes you uncomfortable.)

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Yes, you do have to fool the hiring manager in to believing that you are a social person. You do not have to come accross as the most extroverted person in the world, but an interview is not the place to showcase your social introversion and shyness. I can't think of a single job where a reputation for being shy would be a selling point for a job candidate.


Your best bet is to study hard for the interview, If you have any sense you will realize that a high percentage of questions asked in an interview are questions that you should be able to anticipate and plan an answer to accordingly.


Also, be sure to have two or more "small talk" conversation starters for the awkward walk to the interview room with the hiring manager or the awkward pauses at the beginning of the interview. Don't worry if they are lame convo starters, it's better then sitting there silent. Even if it's something like "it sure is beautiful/terrible weather today" or "this is a very convenient location"....stuff along those lines.

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Shyness isn't a permanent condition. I gained loads of social skills by taking jobs that dealt directly with the public. I'd previously hidden in a cubicle farm with a computer. You may as well learn to socialize and discover how easy it can be. I wish I'd been this comfortable in my youth.

Baby steps!

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First off, I just want to say that I personally think there's nothing wrong with being shy. If you're happy with the way you are, don't feel like you have to change - there are plenty of jobs that don't require you to be the life of the party, so to speak. While it's important to have basic social skills, you don't have to be the most extroverted person to succeed in life.


That said, I find that I am a lot more sociable and a lot less anxious when I am talking about something I am truly passionate about. I'm not particularly looking forward to an office environment where I constantly have to interact with my co-workers, but if I'm passionate about my job and the work that I'm doing, I'm not anxious about speaking about it. The thought of future interviews doesn't really worry me because of this.


I would look into careers/jobs that you care about rather than look for a job where you can avoid as much social interaction as possible. Hopefully that made a little bit of sense

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I'm not happy about being shy. I'm actually depressed about the way my life is right now. I see my uncle who just works and come home all day and wonder how he is not like me. I worked a office job before where I chose to sit in a small room with a computer towards the back of the office because I was afraid to interact with the 2 other co-workers there and the boss and his wife who is there a lot. I didn't have to interview for this though, it was given to me because my dad knows the guy. I hated it though, the work was stressful, and walking in the office and saying hi or good morning was hard to do too...


I can't find my passion though, no hobbies, etc. Don't think I have a passion. I have no job, didn't go to college this semester, just sitting home being depressed out of my mind.


How do I prepare for a job interview? I left a pretty bad impression at the career center at my college with my social awkwardness. Some months after that, there was a career fare and a drawing for a prize. Another month or so later, I found out I actually won the random drawing and had to go to the career center to get it. They remembered me: "It's that guy". The head guy there handed it to me and talked to me for a while about it. I was awkward there too. They wanted me to take a picture at first for their website I guess, but then they didn't. I don't want to go back!!

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You do have to fool people into thinking you're social, yes, definitely. Here's a site I recommend: link removed

There's also a book that is very popular right now, How to make friends and influence people? They give very obvious tips, but good tips nonetheless. Obvious, but sometimes you miss it or at least, I do.



Also, look into toast masters. I'm planning on joining a club this summer to better my people/speaking skills.



The thing is, with interviews, it's even easier to fake your social skills. It's just you and him (or her). You have a topic that you know well and can prepare for to discuss (that's you!) and you only need a little bit of small talk (how are you, you look great!, etc). Listen, it's a skill. You can still be shy but you have to be able to work through it. I'm terribly shy but when I'm at work, I put it aside and just do it.


If you have the time, getting a part-time retail or customer service job will help.

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