7 Job Interview Tips For Introverts

By Maddie Lloyd
Jul. 18, 2022
Articles In Guide

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We all know that interviews are super stressful, but when you’re going into one as an introvert, it gets even more nerve-wracking.

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.

This article will cover interview tips for introverts before, during, and after the interview.

Key Takeaways:

  • Preparation and practice, like going over things you plan to say and ensuring that you know the route to the location of the interview, can be incredibly helpful.

  • Even if you’re an introvert, stay engaged and responsive during your interview to show your interest in the company.

  • You can use other tools and techniques, like dressing professionally and sending thank-you notes after the interview, to help make good impressions


7 job interview tips for introverts

What Is an Introvert?

An introvert is a person who is quiet, reserved, and drained from social interaction. They are the opposite of extroverts, who are more outgoing and gain energy from being around others. Here are some of the most significant attributes of an introvert:

  • Social interaction drains you. Introverts still like spending time with people, but they’re mentally and emotionally drained by social interaction.

  • You prioritize alone time. Because social interaction is so draining, introverts really value their alone time. This can extend to your professional life as well, as you prefer individual assignments over collaborative efforts.

  • You keep a small inner circle. While extroverts love having connections in different spheres of their lives, introverts like having a more tight-knit support network. Introverts typically prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to friendships.

  • You’re thoughtful. Introverts aren’t always the most empathetic and compassionate people, but they generally have an easier time putting themselves in the shoes of others than extroverts. Introverts are big on reflection and thinking things through rather than making quick judgments and decisions.

  • You shy away from presentations. Given the choice, introverts will almost always prefer a written communication rather than an in-person presentation. You might be anxious about saying the wrong thing, and writing gives you the chance to phrase everything just how you want.

At first glance, you may think that extroverts have a serious advantage over introverts in the professional world. However, introverts thrive in a number of professional situations where careful analysis, foresight, and reflection make the difference between success and failure.

Without further ado, let’s get into the seven interview tips for introverts.

1. Give Yourself Time to Prepare

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 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.

2. Brush Up on Your Small Talk Skills

It’s natural for introverts to hate small talk. After all, it’s pretty much everything that introverts, as a species, hate. There’s forced happiness, talking about unimportant topics, 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 themself, 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.

3. Know Where You’re Going and How to Get There

Another thing that could be extremely draining before an interview is 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.

If you arrive any earlier than 15 minutes prior to your interview, wait before entering the office building. Being way too early for an interview is almost as bad as being late.

4. Prepare to Answer Common Interview Questions

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?

5. Follow the Interviewer’s Lead

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.

You can record yourself performing a mock interview beforehand to get insight into how you present yourself. If you notice you’re fidgeting, saying “um” a lot, or not maintaining eye contact. work on those things.

6. Sell Your Introversion as a Strength

Let’s be honest — a lot of people are introverts. Heck, your interviewer might even be an introvert. 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 — use them to your advantage.

7. Focus on Making Good First and Last Impressions

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 for 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.

After the Interview: Tips for Introverts

After the interview, be sure to send out thank-you emails to everyone you met with during the interview process. Send your follow-up within 24 hours of the interview, but not right after the interview ends. If you’re sending multiple thank-you emails, personalize each one.

We’ve got a whole article on how to write a thank-you letter after an interview, but here are the basics:

  • Start with a thank you. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time and briefly mention a positive moment from the interview (“I enjoyed discussing X with you” or “I was happy to learn more about Y”).

  • Express enthusiasm. Enthusiasm might not be your strong point, but it’s easier to fake in written communication. Talk about why you’re excited for the opportunity.

  • Highlight accomplishments. Reiterate your top qualifications and accomplishments in a couple of sentences. Don’t be afraid to brag a little — we know it goes against your nature, but it’s important in these situations.

  • Wrap it up. Now that you’ve mentioned how you can add value to the company, start wrapping things up with a simple call to action like “if you have any questions about my candidacy, feel free to contact me at [email address/phone number].

  • Thank them again. One last thank-you and close your letter with a sign-off and your name and contact information.

Once that’s done, you can relax and recharge from all that high-pressure social interaction.

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Maddie Lloyd

Maddie Lloyd was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog focused on researching tips for interview, resume, and cover letter preparation. She's currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University's department of English concentrating in Film and Media Studies.

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