An Introverts Guide to Acing the Interview
By Taylor Varco
Anyone seeking employment knows, job searching can be a job in and of itself. And just like a typical job, some aspects are more enjoyable than others. There’s the administrative side of researching positions, polishing your resume, and applying. Then there are social activities such as job fairs, networking events, and finally the interview. Extroverts tend to find the administrative tasks draining but shine in front of others. Introverts will likely excel at the administrative side but find themselves fear-struck when it comes to an interview. The reality is, no matter how good you look on paper, if you can’t give a good interview you are less likely to be hired. This means, to land the job you can’t let your resume do the talking for you. While this isn’t impossible for most introverts, it often doesn’t feel as natural. Here are some tips:
Before the Interview
Give Role-Playing a Try
As with any skill, the best method to improve is to practice. One effective way to do this is to get friends and family involved with role-playing. This will help you identify your strengths and improve your ability to think on your feet in an uncomfortable and unpredictable situations.
Do Your Research
Study the job posting and memorize 2-3 examples from your experience that can align with the organization’s needs. You may not need to provide the examples, but the exorcise will keep you prepared and relax anxiety. In addition, find out as much other information as possible. Research the interviewer, the company, online reviews, and anything else you can find to give you a competitive advantage.
During the Interview
Change Your Perspective
It’s very common for interviewees to feel like they are on display and being judged. This perspective can lead to anxiety and interfere with your ability to give a good interview. Instead, flip your perspective. The hiring manager has a need to fill a role. Think of yourself as more of a partner to this person. You have the skills needed to support the company and help this hiring manager achieve their goals. This is a much more powerful perspective and will put your mind at ease during the interview.
Play to Your Strengths
Everyone has their strengths, and even introverts can use them to excel in social situations. Many introverts are observant, thoughtful and extremely good listeners. Use these traits to your advantage. Focus on the interviewer to get a true understanding of what they’re looking for and respond to that.
After the Interview
Summarize Your Pitch
Good interviews often involve a strong beginning and a strong finish. Most people focus on their entrance and forget about the last impression. When the interviewer has finished answering your questions, take a moment to give a recap. Use this time to reiterate why you’re interested and why you’re qualified. This way, if you were coming off shy or uninterested during the interview, the hiring manager has a clear understanding of where you’re at.
If you want the job and the interviewer invites you to meet other coworkers or some other type event after the interview, the answer is always “Yes.”
With thoughtful preparation, anyone can approach interviews with confidence. When the interview is over, you’ll be exhausted, but you’ll have a much better chance of getting the call that you’ve been hired.