Interviews are hard work, especially for those of us who hate being the center of attention. Here are seven things you can do that will make your interview less miserable and help you make it out alive.
We all know that interviews are super stressful, but when you’re going into one as an introvert, it gets even more nerve-wracking.
For people who tend to be more quiet, thoughtful, and reserved in nature, the idea of being the center of attention and performing like a trained monkey sounds is a complete and utter nightmare.
Here’s the deal:
Even though we’d probably rather get our teeth pulled than go into a stressful job interview, it’s an inevitable part of life — but there’s no need to panic! With a little preparation beforehand, you can survive your interview and come out on top.
Here are seven tips for interviewing as an introvert to help you land the job:
For an introvert, spending time interacting with others can be super draining. When you pile on the fact that you’re going to be operating on all cylinders trying to show off the best version of yourself, you can expect for your energy to be low after the interview.
If you can, arrange your schedule so that you have a decent amount of “me time” before and after the interview. Having some time to yourself before the interview will help you mentally prepare, and taking some solo time afterward will give you the chance to recharge.
If you don’t have the luxury of spending time alone before and after the interview, try to give yourself a few minutes of alone time before your interview is set to start. Leave your office a few minutes early and walk around the block, or try to work somewhere in your office where it’s quiet.
It’s natural for introverts to hate small talk. After all, it’s pretty much everything that introverts, as a species, hate. There’s the forced happiness, talking about menial things that are unimportant, and having to pretend to be excited about the weather.
Even if you hate mindless chatter, you’re going to have to slap on a happy face and pretend you love it. The ultimate purpose of an interview is to make a connection with the hiring manager and be memorable. It’s going to be pretty hard to make a good impression if you can’t even make lighthearted conversation.
Ditch the generic topics and instead make observations about the company, ask the interviewer questions about themselves, or bring up a shared interest — like your mutual love for coffee! These topics aren’t quite as painful as talking about traffic, and your interviewer will surely appreciate that you’re not being deadly quiet.
Another thing that could be extremely draining before an interview? Stressing about not knowing where you’re going or how to get there! Plus, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make a bad first impression if you show up late, and there’s no coming back from that.
A few days before your interview, make sure you know exactly where the company’s located and the route you’re going to take to get there. Keep traffic flow in mind so you can give yourself plenty of time to show up with 15 minutes to spare.
A great way to give yourself peace of mind (and avoid panicking) is to take some time before your interview to research and prepare your answers to the most common interview questions.
As an introvert, being put on the spot and forced to answer challenging questions can be anxiety-inducing and exhausting. On the plus side, most interview questions are pretty predictable, and therefore, easy to plan answers for.
Check out this list of the most common questions you can expect to hear during an interview, do some research, and practice your answers in the mirror or with a friend. You should also have some questions in mind for when the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for me?”
For an introvert, interacting with someone you’re trying to impress is exhausting, especially when a job is at stake.
Because introverts typically are thoughtful in nature, it’s easy for us to come off as bored, distant, unenthusiastic, etc. Even if we’re just listening and thinking things through, some people perceive it as being stand-offish.
Don’t let this be the case for your interview. To avoid coming off as bored or rude, subtly imitate your interviewer. If they use lots of gestures, go ahead and throw some in while you’re giving answers. If they’re using jokes, go ahead and laugh — yes, even if they’re not funny. Copy your interviewer’s tone, and they’ll see you as engaged and courteous.
Let’s be honest — a lot of people are introverts. Heck, your interviewer might even be an introvert themselves! Be honest about this aspect of your personality, and talk it up as a selling point.
Mention the strengths that come along with being an introvert and how they make you a better worker. You could say that you’re a natural listener and observer, which helps you to make informed decisions. When the greatest weakness question comes up, you could mention that you’re challenging yourself to be a better communicator in person, rather than just online.
Being an introvert isn’t all bad. In fact, many introverts possess qualities that employers seek out in their ideal candidates. So use them to your advantage.
The first impression you make on an interviewer will determine how the rest of your interview goes, so you’re going to want to make sure it’s a good one.
Lucky for you, making a good first impression isn’t as scary as it seems. Walk in with a warm smile, show that you’re confident, and give a solid handshake. Make sure you’re dressed the part and that your odor isn’t overwhelming. If you can manage these simple tasks, you’re sure to make a great impression — even as an introvert!
Don’t think that just because you made a great first impression means that you can slack off for the rest of the interview. Your final impression can have just as much weight on an interviewer’s final decision as your initial impression.
Confirm that you’re interested in the job, remind them of your qualifications, take the steps to follow up when the interview is all said and done, and you’re sure to leave a great lasting impression on the hiring manager.
Interviews are tough, there’s no two ways about it. They can get even more challenging when you’re a naturally reserved person, and the thought of interacting with strangers sounds like a very specific brand of torture.
Even though interviews can be stressful, it’s easy to make it out of one alive. Just make sure to prepare ahead of time, show that you’re enthusiastic, and be prepared to sell the strengths that come along with being an introvert.
If you follow these tips, you’re sure to make a great impression and get the job!
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