Introverts often feel especially challenged during job interviews. They meet new people out of their element and, given the level of importance attached to an interview, this can increase their nervousness and prevent them from performing at their best.
If you’re an introvert who wants to do your best in an upcoming interview, or just an extrovert looking for some extra interview help, apply these 13 interview tips!
Before the interview
3. Train… Well, you get the idea.
Excessive preparation will give you a sense of control which can calm your nerves and improve your confidence and performance. Know the company, the job, your resume and your career goals inside and out. Write down the questions and answers you want to practice and edit them with a critical eye to get started. Then practice with someone else playing the role of the employer (mock interview), even if it’s only on the phone. You may need to do this multiple times.
Before the interview, conduct a dress rehearsal in your interview attire and in person, if possible. If you can afford it, hire a professional: the investment is worth it. Otherwise, train with someone you trust.
4. Prepare notes that you can refer to during an interview.
Usually, it’s perfectly normal for you to have a few copies of your resume, along with a pen and paper, perhaps in a portfolio or folder. Don’t write full sentences and keep your notes on the first page of your notebook. Leave enough space to take notes with different colored ink so they are easy to spot. You can write questions for the employer on the next page.
5. Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing.
Consider the décor and your personal style and take your attire up a notch. We recommend that you dress one level above the company dress code. Make sure your clothes fit you well and are comfortable to wear while sitting, standing, and walking. It should also look good from the front and back. Ask someone else’s opinion. You’ll be nervous enough already – no need to add to it by letting your mind wander to your outfit!
6. Visit the location early so you can visualize the scenery.
It will also ensure that you are informed of any construction or other anomalies that may impact your arrival time and can react with a calm and cool attitude. If it is a public place, a quick reconnaissance will bring you additional information to increase your level of comfort and limit the fears that the unknown can feed.
During the interview
7. Breathe instead of say uh, uhetc.
As an introvert, you can get particularly nervous when you have to speak in a public or unique situation, like an interview! Instead of filling the silence with random syllables, inhale. Usually we stutter when we try to find the right words and feel the pressure. Focus on inhaling once, then exhaling as you reflect. This is usually enough to save you time finding your language.
8. Strike a pose.
As introverts (or even extroverts!), we sometimes worry that the interviewer will wonder if we’ve “spaced out” or “lost” each other if we take too long to talk. If you have a pose that you usually take when thinking (a hand on your chin?), do it. You can also rephrase the question while searching your mind for the perfect words.
Sometimes the introverts I work with feel comfortable saying something like, “That’s a good question, I’m processing it as we speak!” Of course, a combination can also be used.
Really, remember to smile! When I worked as a telemarketer many years ago, I learned that people can hear you smile when you talk. It’s true. Well, if people on the other end of the line can react to a smile, doesn’t it make sense that a smile in person would make an even more positive impression? Take the interview seriously, of course, but also show your humanity.
A recent introverted client felt comfortable sharing that he was introverted during the interview. It works great as a prelude to your answer to the question, “What stitch do you need to work on?” or “What is your greatest weakness?”
10. Keep your answers positive.
You don’t have to give your best during the interview. Unless you’re specifically asked about a weakness or a project gone wrong, keep your mouth shut. Even then, always put a positive spin on it and emphasize what you’ve learned and how good you’ve become at planning and avoiding X, Y, and Z (use the “Experience + Learn = Grow” model to answer questions). behavioral interview questions).
If you’re introverted, you might be harder on yourself than on others. The last thing you want is to give your mind something to chew on while you try to be “in the moment” during an interview.
11. Ask questions.
To prevent an interview from looking like an inquisition, ask questions. Approach the interview as if it were a conversation: you listen, you respond, you interact and the interviewer does the same. If you manage to push the interview in this direction, you will feel much more confident and comfortable than if the interviewer asked all the questions!
12. Watch your body language.
Leaning forward shows you are interested and alert. Going through anything sends the message that you are closed and negative. Leaning back in your chair can give the impression that you don’t care or that you are arrogant. Be careful not to fidget, scribble or make faces while the interviewer is talking or thinking.
After the interview
13. Prepare for next time.
When you are safely out of sight, but before you go home, write down a few notes about anything you might want to include in a thank you note, ask at a follow-up or next interview, or could improve the next time you interview for a job or need to speak in a public or unusual situation!
Interviewing as an introvert doesn’t have to be that hard. We hope these 13 interview tips were helpful and that you now have the confidence to ace your next job interview!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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