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  > I certainly think part of my problem is the how I'm saying it.
First of all there's a chance you might not be coming across as awkwardly as you think you are. You know how it is when you're nervous - our perceptions (and our perceptions of how others see us) can get skewed.

If you truly are coming off awkwardly, what's the real problem there? The problem is this: the interviewer is wondering, "How is this guy going to interface with the rest of the team here if he's this awkward? Does he even know he's awkward?"

So... you can address both of those unspoken questions head-on. Mention that you tend to get nervous in interviews and when meeting people for the first time and that it's something you overcome fairly quickly and that you tend to develop really good working relationships with coworkers. (Because that's certainly true from what you've said)

  > I wish I had somebody who could do this for me!
If you live near Philadelphia I'll do it for a beer haha. Is there anybody non-technical that might help you? Siblings, parents...?

  > In fact, I had provided multiple recommendations on bug-tracking software, 
  > to include setting up demo servers for several different packages (because of 
  > those demos and related discussions, our interns started using both bug-tracking 
  > software and GitHub for their projects - so that was a definite win).
If I was interviewing you I'd find this impressive. You offered a constructive solution and, even more importantly, your solution got traction. Kudos!

Thank you so much for the advice and offer!

> ... you might not be coming across as awkwardly as you think you are ... I have no doubt that I am.

> ... you can address both of those unspoken questions head-on ... I honestly never considered this, but will in future interviews!

> If you live near Philadelphia... Unfortunately not.

> Is there anybody non-technical that might help you? Siblings, parents...?

Unfortunately I tend to have family and friends that are overly critical in a really bad way. The last time I asked my mother to look at my resume I was berated for 30 minutes for being so stupid, not using my god-given-skills, etc (i.e. nothing useful but lots of hurtful). I don't even bother asking the guys in my family, they're far worse than my mother. My friends really are great friends in many, many different ways, but tend to be truly lousy at giving constructive criticism. For example, I told one friend that I was going to be building an JavaScript application. She instantly went off on the evils of Java, how Apple won't run Java, and didn't let me get a word in. When she finally finished her anti-Java tirade, I tried to let her know some of the many differences between JavaScript and Java, but until a couple of other friends started quoting from wikipedia entries and intro tutorials, she wouldn't believe me that they really are two different languages. (I promise, she has been a really good friend in other ways!)

I do participate in a ton of meetups. Would it be appropriate to ask a peer from a meetup group to be a proxy for an interviewer?

Yeah that sounds like a great idea!

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