Job interviews are a beast, but introverts can be downright scary. Many times we find social interactions suck the life out of us and make being the center of attention challenging–but those situations are exactly what an interview requires from applicants. If you find that you’re more introverted, Here are some tips on how to present your best self while also emphasizing the positive aspects of introversion.
Have Key Points in Mind, and Practice Saying Them Seamlessly
Being prepared with answers to common interview questions and having personal examples at the ready is crucial for nailing any job interview. Being able to recite your answers perfectly in your head is one thing, but being able to say them fluently and under pressure is another introverted struggle. However, practice makes perfect! By saying your responses out loud beforehand, you will make a world of difference. To become more comfortable with speaking, try rehearsing with a friend to get used to making eye contact and having conversations. If that’s not your style, you can rehearse by yourself until you have the answers perfected. The goal is not to recite robotic answers, but rather to be so familiar with discussing your experiences that you come across as confident instead of tense during the actual interview.
Create a Robust List of Questions To Ensure That You’re Never Caught off Guard
If you’re an introvert, it’s especially important to prepare more questions than you think you’ll need. In the past, I have interviewed mostly unprepared people, so I ended up having to ask most of the questions and keep the conversation flowing. If you’re like me and would rather avoid social interactions, this may sound dreadful. However, if you arm yourself with a list of questions, it can turn out to be not so bad. During the interview, avoid talking as much as possible. Instead, focus on listening and demonstrating how much research you’ve done. Whenever your interviewer is answering a question, pay attention and try to think of follow-up questions to ask them. In no time at all, the interview will feel more like a two-way conversation!
Utilize Strong Body Language Communication
Creating a great first impression is not only about the words you use, but your nonverbal language as well. Although it may be difficult, refraining from fidgeting and making solid eye contact goes a long way in demonstrating confidence.
Most people are unaware that they can use body language to feel more self-assured. Body language starts the moment you walk into an interview room. In Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” The author argues that your body language can change your mindset – that is, if you adopt powerful body language, you will start to feel powerful (it’s a chemical reaction). Before your next big interview, try this quick and easy “life hack” to boost your confidence in just two minutes. All you have to do is find a private space and strike a powerful pose.
Keep Your Enthusiasm High
Being interviewed for hours on end, one right after the other can be tiring and draining. To maintain my energy levels, I always bring a small bite with me when I travel–energy bars and chocolate-covered nuts are my go-to snacks. You’ll want something sweet and rich in protein that won’t stain your clothes or teeth, and that you can eat rapidly if you have some time to yourself between interviews.
Share Your Talents and Strengths, and Don’t Let Yourself Be Discouraged
Though you may think being introverted puts you at a disadvantage during interviews, these tips will help ensure that you ace your next one. The key is to not overthink it; remember that you can do well in an interview, and remind yourself of all the assets you would bring to the company. If you’re introverted, don’t worry – this can be an advantage in a job interview. You’re probably already a great listener and detail-oriented, which are both key qualities for many jobs. Just make sure to sell yourself to the interviewer by giving specific examples of your strengths and why you would be the perfect candidate for the job. And as always, remember to express your enthusiasm!