A job interview makes almost everyone nervous. Your performance can change the direction of your career. But for introverts, interviews can be especially challenging. Introverts aren’t as expressive or talkative as extroverts, leading interviewers to think they aren’t really interested in the position. Luckily, you can use some common introvert traits to your advantage and learn to perform better in interviews. A few job interview tips for introverts:
Practice interviewing at every opportunity, whether it’s with a friend or at your campus career center. The more comfortable you become with talking about yourself, the better you’ll be at answering questions hiring managers throw at you. Real interviews are the best practice, so your time is not wasted even if you don’t get the job.
Confidence is not Arrogance
Introverts aren’t always comfortable talking about themselves. They may fear coming across as arrogant or boastful. However, talking about your skills and accomplishments during an interview is not arrogant as long as they are relevant to the position. Don’t downplay your roles in past projects or job positions in an attempt to be modest.
Introverts live rich inner lives, but outwardly can seem aloof, sad, or uninterested. This can be damaging in an interview, because a lack of expression can seem like disinterest. As an introvert, you may have to practice expressing your interest via body language and facial expressions. You don’t want to seem unnatural or forced, so practice in with a friend or record yourself as you practice greetings and answering interview questions. Ask for feedback on your interactions to see if they seem genuine.
Most introverts possess good research skills, so use this to your advantage. Research the company, including the latest news and developments. Learn more about your chosen industry by researching current trends. Look for common interview questions, both general and industry-specific. By doing extensive research, you’ll impress your interviewers because other candidates may not be as thorough.
A job interview shouldn’t be one-sided. Asking pertinent questions demonstrates both your interest in the job and knowledge of the company. Your questions should reflect a desire to meet the demands of the position and needs of the company, not your own wants. And you can use your research to ask company-specific questions. Finally, you should ask about the hiring timeline and when you can expect to hear back.
For more on harnessing your introvert advantages, read The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World