The interview process is not really a favorable situation for introverts due to the nature of their temperament or disposition.
While introverts can easily piece together a killer resume and a professional cover letter, they always find it difficult to deal with the exposition that comes with the interview process.
However, reports shows that an estimate of about 50 percent population of the United States, have been identified as introverts. In other words, roughly half of the American citizens struggle with the interview process.
Also, considering the fact that introverts only function effectively in the midst of familiar faces, situations like interviews which carries a lot of strange faces, can prove tough for them, demoralizing some in the process.
But on the other hand, introverts have a great advantage: they are very good listeners—a trait that will definitely help them both in the interview process and when they are hired.
The whole point is, introverts are facing quite a bit of serious problems in the face of interviews yet, it doesn’t mean they are destined to fail the interview.
And so on this one, I’ve pieced together a number of interview tips that will guide you as an introvert, through out the interview process. Also, making you overcome your struggle with fear, unfamiliarity and other elements that defines your nature.
8 Interview Tips For Introverts
Prepare For The Interview—Profound Research
The more you know about the company and the interviewer, the more you feel prepared for the interview. In such an enlightened state, you tend to feel more comfortable and confident as you walk into the interview room.
Read the job description properly and understand the duties and responsibilities that comes with it. Get a practical sense of what the job demands from you—skills and experience. Now, correlate the expected skills and experience of the company with your resume and see how you can fit in.
You can also make a profound research on common interview questions and also come up with professional ways to answer them. Practice the answers to the optimum; that way, you don’t sound rehearsed in the presence of your interviewer.
LinkedIn is a great place to research the interviewer’s background, hobbies, interests etc. If you can build extra connection on the basis of his hobbies and interests, you stand a better chance of getting hired. With all these enlightenment, you will be able to exhibit some abilities as an introvert.
The Job Must Align With Your Temperament
A key feature of introvert is: they require private times in order to help them recharge lost energy. And these private times are usually needed after they must have engaged themselves in a social situation or after going through some mental activities.
Now, most jobs exposes you (as an introvert) to both conditions—social situations and mental activities. Which means you’ll have to be careful about the jobs you choose, putting into consideration their timeframe of operation.
As an introvert, you don’t want a job that won’t provide you with time to recharge and without recharging, an introvert is likely to loose a bit of effectiveness. For that reason, be sure the job you choose is the one that honors your disposition—offers you time to recharge.
Also, observe the social disposition of your prospective colleagues and understand if you can work with them. Are they talking too much? Which is unlike you, they won’t be a good fit then. Take the hint.
In such setting, you might drain a lot of energy without having enough time to recover. Always think through every situation and decide which is best for you.
You Have Advantages. Use Them.
Today, the world is more distracted than ever. Being able to focus on a particular situation with an undivided attention is definitely a great skill.
Also in a world filled with selfish people who just want to talk at great lengths, being able to listen to people without having an internal monologue is another great skill.
And those are one of the two greatest strengths of an introvert—the ability to listen and to focus, making them very observant creatures. Exhibiting those powers in the interview process will impress your interviewer, setting you up for an advantaged position.
And because many introverts have the ability to form deep connection in a one-on-one conversation, here’s a tactic to take advantage of your introversion: assume you’ve known the interviewer for years, engaging into the conversation.
Irrespective of how awkward that might seem, it works every time and that’s because, it offers you the prospect of skipping that “strange phase” you always fear at the initial part of the interview process. Besides, no interviewer likes a shy candidate.
Have A Private Time Before The Interview
For an introvert like you, the interview process demands a lot of your energy. And since you need private time in order to recharge, there is need you stay in solitude just to get a lot of energy to deal with the interview.
Your effectiveness needs to be at the optimal level for you to perform very well. Don’t underestimate the importance of your preparation technique. Act accordingly. Besides, that’s your best shot.
Practice A Mock Interview And Record Your Performance
To improve your effectiveness, you can have a mock interview before attending the main one. Using a camera or your smart phone, record a video of your performance and see how well you are doing.
Make sure you get a tripod to help achieve a proper view of your face and shoulders, just like the interviewer would see.
After practicing, review the video and look out for stuffs like: the frequency of your eye contact (is it too poor or moderate), how you smile(moderately or excess), your body language(are you radiating confidence or shyness) etc.
As much as possible, eliminate the “um” factor from your responses. And learn to moderately apply openers like “that’s a great question” or “I appreciate the fact you asked this”. Such openers will also buy you time to sequence your thoughts and arrange your responses before you can deliver.
The greatest advantage of mock interview is: it gives you a practical gauge of your performance, mercilessly exposing your flaws while offering you a sense of correction. Without a mock interview, you won’t have an idea on how well you’re prepared, especially from your exterior aspect—body language, facial expressions, postures etc.
Think About The Aspect Of The Job You Love
Since introverts don’t really know how to express enthusiasm with words, they usually find it difficult to appear very interested in the role they are applying for and that can ruin their chances of getting hired.
As an introvert, you have to combat this. And you do it by continuously thinking about the aspect of the job you love and why you love it. After highlighting all the reasons why you love a particular aspect of the job, you’ll have a natural flow of enthusiasm in your body.
This is because, as you are highlighting those reasons, you are subconsciously internalizing them, creating a bond with the role. Even though you’re reserved, while expressing yourself in that state, you’ll come off as enthusiastic—interviewers love that.
Create Awareness Of Your Past Accomplishments
While introverts may not be comfortable talking about their past accomplishments, it can really pose a great risk to their chances of getting hired. Often times, such behavior is demonstrated as a means of not exhibiting pride—a behavior from childhood.
However, such tendency will cause more harm than good in the interview process. This is because, we all know that interviewers uses your past achievements as a metric for evaluating your future contribution to the company. That said, you should understand the necessity of making them aware of your past achievements; you have a score to beat.
After The Interview, Take Time To Recharge.
The interview is indeed an energy-draining activity and you know it. Which is exactly why, you need to have a quiet time after the process so as to recharge.
You can try having a cup of coffee or taking a stroll or even a nap. Whichever one that suits you, do it to its optimal level so as to regain your energy and effectiveness.
Introverts are very special people whom so many envy. For that reason, you don’t have to feel bad about being one of them; on the reverse, you should be proud.
Besides, the greatest inventors in history are mostly introverts. And that is because inventions only comes from deep thinking and that’s exactly what introverts are good at—research, deep thinking and profound analysis.
And just because you are naturally reserved and thoughtful doesn’t mean you won’t get to a greater extent in life or fail at interviews. You just need a bit of training and more of practice and then, you’re good to go.
In light of all these, you shouldn’t look down on your unique nature. Rather you should strive to explore and appreciate your own nature while making the most out of yourself.
On a final note, bringing all the aforementioned interview tips onboard will definitely prove fruitful to you, provided they are being practiced effectively.