Being introverted can make many situations more difficult, but one of the biggest is job interviews. It’s a high-pressure situation where you’re expected to be outgoing, charming, and at the top of your game. If that’s not something that comes naturally to you, it can seem like getting hired is an impossibility.
Thankfully, that’s not the case at all. The right job is out there for everyone, and there are many functions that introverts are even more suited to than extroverts. To make it a little easier, though, there are a few things you can concentrate on. Here are our top interview tips for introverts:
1. Think Before You Speak
One of the key things is to focus on your strengths. While chattier extroverts may seem more naturally suited to a job-interview setting, introverts also have many positive qualities going for them. In particular, they are often more thoughtful before speaking. Use this strength to answer questions thoughtfully and deliberately. It’s even totally acceptable to ask the interviewer for a minute to collect your thoughts before answering a particularly complex question—you’ll be respected for your foresight!
To avoid becoming paralyzed when faced with more general interview questions, make sure to prepare some talking points in advance. Of course, there are common questions you can prepare for, like what your three greatest strengths and weaknesses are, but you should also have readily available anecdotes and examples that show off your skills and expertise. We also think it’s a great idea to rehearse your biggest career accomplishments to date, and have a well-oiled ‘pitch’ or resume walk-through.
2. Do some reconnaissance
As a way to manage interview nerves, do a trial run. Plot your route to the interview location and then actually go there. That way, you’ll have an accurate idea of how long it takes, and you won’t be left searching for a difficult-to-find entrance minutes before your interview.
You should also look into who will be present at your interview. There’s no reason you can’t directly ask your contact at the company for this information. Check those people out on LinkedIn, the company website, Twitter, etc. Look for things you have in common such as having lived in the same city, studied a similar or relevant subject, or even having a mutual friend/connection. Getting to know your interviewers even a little bit beforehand should make you feel more comfortable around them once you do actually meet in person.
3. Schedule around the interview
It’s a common misconception that introverts are entirely averse to social interaction. Rather, it’s much more usual that they are totally fine with it — as long as it’s in small doses, with smaller groups of people, and/or with people they feel comfortable around. So, if you’re an introvert, try to keep yourself fairly free in the hours leading up to the interview, making sure you feel fresh when it’s time to shine. Try not to schedule anything too stressful immediately after the interview to control anticipatory nerves, and maybe even make a plan to treat yourself afterward in a way that will leave you rejuvenated!
Now that you are all studied up on these interview tips for introverts, go forth and conquer! If you have any other suggestions on tips for introverts to handle interview jitters, please leave your feedback in the comments section below!