Introverts possess many skills that make them excellent employees, especially in roles that don’t require them to be interacting with people all the time. And for an introvert, many aspects of a job search are right up their alley. Their creativity and knack for detail can make for top notch resumes and cover letters. Their strong research abilities allow them to track down job opportunities that may be an excellent fit, and complete the online application process with flying colors. But then comes the biggest hurdle of the job search process for an introvert: the job interview.
While many introverts are highly capable of interacting with people in a pleasant manner, interviews or any situation that involves heavy socializing and public speaking can be very draining. If you aren’t fully prepared, things such as answering questions and making small talk may not go so well. But there are ways you can use your special introvert talents to nail any interview and get the job you deserve. Here are some helpful interview tips for introverts:
1) Spend a lot of time preparing
If you are an introvert, a job interview will be much easier if you know a large part of what you are going to say and how you will respond to interactions. One of the most helpful interview tips for introverts to follow is doing a lot of online research about the company, its products, its mission and its history. Try to find out the people you will be interviewing with at the company and research their backgrounds as much as possible. This will make it much easier to make conversation.
Jot down some notes of important points you want to make and key aspects of your skills and experience that you want to make known. For an introvert, one of the most stressful parts of a job interview can be asking and answering questions. Make a list of questions you would like to ask and keep them with your other notes. Bring a notebook or binder with you so everything is on hand to glance at if you need to. Then, ask a close friend or family member to help you practice answering common interview questions so you won’t be so caught off guard in the interview.
2) Know where you are going and what you are wearing
You want to walk into the interview as calm and collected as possible. One of the most important interview tips for introverts that will minimize last minute stressors is to know what you are wearing, and make sure you feel comfortable in it before the day of the interview. Make sure you won’t be too hot, too cold, and that you can sit and stand with ease in your outfit. Double check for wrinkles, stains and other outfit mishaps that you don’t want to be stuck dealing with at the last minute.
Make sure you know exactly where the interview is located and how long it will take for you to get to the location. For an introvert, a job interview is stressful enough, so dealing with traffic and other issues such as tricky parking situations and detours will only heighten your anxiety. If you can, travel to the location sometime before the day of the interview so you are fully aware of what you are dealing with.
3) Pay close attention to body language
One of the most important interview tips for introverts to help combat appearing nervous during an interview is remembering to use appropriate body language. Make eye contact, and sit up straight to appear self-assured. Make sure the interviewer can see your hands, since hiding them can indicate anxiety or untrustworthiness. Figuring out what to do with your hands can be a challenge for an introvert in a job interview. Try to use controlled hand gestures while talking, and avoid wringing your hands, touching your hair or biting your nails. And appear open and engaged in the interview by sitting up straight, nodding and smiling.
4) Play up your positive qualities as an introvert
Don’t forget that while being introverted makes certain things such as interviewing challenging, it comes with assets that are the very reason you are a candidate for the job. One of the best interview tips for introverts to focus on is embracing who they are and playing that up in the interview. Give examples of how your abilities have helped you excel in other jobs. Your comfort with being alone may have allowed you to be given a lot of independence on certain work assignments. Your ability to think deeply may have resulted in impressive creative projects such as graphic design and copywriting.
5) Go to a lot of interviews
The best way for an introvert to expect what will happen in a job interview is to go to as many interviews as possible. Even in situations where the job may not be a great fit, that is an even better chance to make mistakes and learn from them. You will learn more questions that are commonly asked, and have better answers prepared for next time. Practice makes perfect.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.