An Introverts Guide to a Successful Interview
If you’re part of the 16-50 percent of introverts in the world, you may consider yourself a disadvantage when it comes to job interviews. In fact, being an introvert comes with its own set of unique skills that are an advantage when in an interview. There’s an extensive list of successful introverts in the world, including Ghandi, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt. Just goes to show that there are a lot of assets to being an introvert- you just have to know how to use them.
13 Tips to activate you skills as an introvert before, during and after an interview
BEFORE your interview
Research, prepare and practice
In preparation, giving yourself a “knowledge advantage” is key, particularly if you’re not confident about bragging.
How: Research thoroughly and have a friend practice interviewing you.
Think of small talk in advance
Employers look for candidates that will work well with and get along with others. Thinking of topics and questions in advance will help you work past your nervousness if your mind goes blank.
How: Start with effortless topics like your trip there and asking them about their day.
Plan the route and calculate the time it will take to get there
Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination will help avoid adding necessary stress.
How: Use Google Maps and take a practice trip to your destination a few days ahead of your interview.
Take five minutes to relax before the interview. Yoga or a breathing exercise can help you clear your head and concentrate on getting your mind in the right place.
How: Find a private area; sitting in your car or standing in the bathroom. Take long deep breaths, inhaling through your nose, expanding your stomach and exhaling through your mouth. Or try the following:
Mountain Pose: Stand with your feet together and the palms of your hands facing forward, straighten you back and legs and tighten you thigh muscles.
Tree Pose: From the mountain pose, use your hand to draw your foot to your inner thigh. Imagine a flamingo standing on one foot.
Show and Prove
It’s always a plus to show-and-tell! Back up your kills by showing your achievements. It is also an excellent way to combat fidgety hands!
How: Organize and prepare a portfolio of your work and future ideas that correlate with the job. Not only will this display your work ethic with previous employers, but it was also show a sense urgency and strategy.
During Your Interview
Do you get horrified at the thought of having to sell yourself? Think of self-discussion as sharing stories and not bragging. Discuss what you know and what you can bring to collaboration rather than about yourself directly.
How: Share what you learned from your achievements and how you would like to further utilize these new skills.
Make Personal Connections
As an introvert, connecting to individuals rather than a group is more your speed. You can demonstrate this strength during your interview.
How: Switch eye contact between panel members while answering questions- looking away every now and then is normal.
Ask insightful questions
Talking in front of a group and having all eyes on you is uncomfortable for any introvert. Use your keen listening skills and turn questions into conversations.
How: Seek opportunities to close your answers with return questions to your interviewers. You turn the attention to them while showing interest to know more.
Take your time answering questions
According to studies, introverts have a more complex way of processing thoughts. The purpose of some interview questions is to make you think- if you need a moment to formulate your answers, it is okay!
How: If it takes you some time to answer a question, let them know by saying, “That’s a thought-provoking question. I need a moment to formulate my thoughts.”
Refocus when you’ve lost track
Sometimes you find yourself so focused on analyzing your last answer that you miss part of a question. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question.
How: Try saying, “Just to clarify, are you asking…..?”
After Your Interview
Thank them for something specific
It’s easy to say “thank you” but introverts can make a real impression by using their attention to detail.
How: Tell the panel something you liked about the structure of their interview process. Pick something that you can complement them on as a panel to decrease the pressure of individual compliments and wish them luck on their interview process.
Wind down right after the interview
Aerobic exercise helps reduce adrenaline and cortisol levels in the body and is said to overstimulate and make an introvert anxious. Before heading home, take a walk listening to your favorite music.
Send a follow-up email
Sending a follow-up email is a great way to continue building a positive impression, and it gives you a chance to share extra feedback or any details that you might have missed during the interview.
How: Contact them within 24 hours and refer to something unique from your conversation- perhaps the complement you gave them.
As an introvert, you have a super-set of skills to tap into during job interviews. Once you’ve learned how you utilize these strengths, you’ll be an authentic interviewing pro and have an exceptional chance at success!