Job Interview Tips for Introverts
Large amounts of stimulation from the outside world, including in-person socializing, can feel draining to introverts, and the prospect of job interviews often reinforce that feeling. In job interviews, introverts must put themselves in the spotlight, beat their own drums and engage in small talk. For extroverts, those activities are second nature. Introverts, however, have their own strengths which are equally important and which can help them succeed in job interviews. Are you an introvert? These job interview tips for introverts will help you take stock of your strengths and consider how they can help you get hired.
Research Your Prospects
With the internet, you can learn a great deal about a company online. Introverts tend to be good at research. So put your excellent research skills to work. Before interview day, learn all you can about the company for which you want to work. By the time you're finished, you might know more about the company than do some of the people who actually work there. The knowledge you gain from your research will help you feel more confident during the interview.
While extroverts enjoy in-person networking, one of the best ways for introverts to network is online. If the company you want to work for has a presence on social media, then follow them on Twitter and fan them on Facebook. This can be a great way to interact with the company and, from an introvert's point of view, break the ice before meeting a representative of the company in person. You'll further your goal of learning more about the company, and you might form connections with some of its employees along the way. On interview day, you'll feel a sense of familiarity with the people with whom you hope to work, and this feeling of familiarity will help you relax and be more comfortable.
Prepare and Rehearse
Introverts like to think about what they're going to say before they actually have to say it. In job interviews, however, you are often required to formulate quick responses. Again, you can use your strengths as an introvert to help you. Instead of winging it or relying on speedy talk, spend plenty of time before your job interview preparing and rehearsing. Based on what you have learned about the company, imagine questions the interviewer might ask. Think about your responses, then speak them out loud. Practice giving your answers in front of a mirror. Doing so will help you feel more relaxed when you're with the interviewer.
Make Peace With Surprises
Sometimes, despite all your preparation and rehearsing, a job interviewer will ask you a question you could never have anticipated. Introverts tend to dislike verbal curve balls, but if one is lobbed your way, your best bet is to be honest and tell your interviewer that you need to take a moment to think about it. Give your answer as quickly as you can, but keep in mind that if the company considers fast speech more important than careful and considered thought, then it might not be the best place for you to work anyway.
Focusing on your strengths is the common denominator of job interview tips for introverts. Feel confident in the value of your introvert traits: your preference for depth over surface, your ability to think things through carefully. Project confidence in these strengths to your interviewer and emphasize, in your understated and non-pushy way, how those strengths can be assets in the position you're seeking. Your interviewer might well agree that those traits are desirable enough to hire you.