As Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, rightly summarises, “The most effective teams are composed of a healthy mix of introverts and extroverts and so are many leadership structures.” but the interview process can be a daunting prospect for introverts and they may need to prepare in a slightly different way in order to be successful.
It’s important to be true to yourself and avoid trying to be someone that you are not. Introverts have many strengths that are valuable in the workplace, for example, they are self-motivated & independent, thoughtful, excellent listeners and are truly great creative thinkers. So, focus on demonstrating your strengths during the interview. And remember, as Mahatma Ghandi said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
Below are some of the most useful interview preparation tips from Big Interview for an introverted personality:
Find out where the interview will be ahead of time – Knowing where the interview will be held will help reduce a bit of stress and you won’t have to worry about being late.
Find out who is interviewing you –See if you can do a little background research on this person by checking the company website for information or by glancing at their social media profiles. This will make it much easier to engage with the interviewer – something that is often a challenge for introverts.
Do research on the company – This will help you to align your personal goals with the company’s during the interview. It will also prepare you if the interviewer asks you what you think about the company – or why it is you want to work for them.
Write out potential small talk questions – Introverts are bad at small talk. That’s just the way it is. However, hiring managers will often use small talk as a way to get comfortable with the applicant and to judge their personality.
Familiarise yourself with your own resume – One of the drawbacks of being an introvert is that you probably have a hard time bragging about yourself. Look over your resume and remind yourself of your accomplishments – you should bring these up if asked about them.
Schedule your day out strategically – Interacting with people tends to take up a lot of energy. This is different from extroverts, who seem to gain energy from social interaction. As such, an introvert needs to have time to themselves between social interactions. This means that you will want to make sure that you schedule your day around your job interview.
You won’t want to meet up with a group of people right before the interview, as you’ll have no energy left to speak with the interviewer in an enthusiastic manner – and it will show. If you can, give yourself 30 minutes or an hour before the interview to yourself so that you have some time to gather your thoughts and prepare yourself.
One of the problems with being an introvert is that people will often mistake you for being shy or antisocial. This isn’t necessarily true. In fact, introverts can be just as social as extroverts – it’s just that introverts don’t tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves.