Job interviews are nerve-wracking even for the most outgoing among us, but when you’re an introvert, they’re the kind of things that can lead to a full on panic attack.
Having to talk yourself up to a total stranger might be your biggest nightmare, but we’ve got some tips to help you conquer your self-presentation fears.
Introverts have already been proven to be more successful in the workplace, so here’s how to ace that interview and snag that dream job.
1. Give yourself some alone time before and after the interview
Being around a lot of people can drain an introvert’s energy, so do your best to schedule some me-time before the big interview. Even if you don’t have tons of free time, take a quick walk or zone out for a bit with your headphones on at some point in the hours leading up. That way you’ll have maximum energy when it counts the most, and then give yourself time to recharge afterwards.
2. Accept the fact that small talk will happen
Introverts notoriously hate small talk, and may feel super awkward engaging in it, but this is the one time when it’s absolutely necessary. Building a rapport with your interviewer is a key part of landing the job, so if you need to, prepare some “casual” questions beforehand.
No need to be boring though – ask them which pub everyone usually goes to after work, or whether they saw that crazy headline on the news this morning.
3. Match the interviewer’s tone
Being shy or introverted can sometimes come off as bored or standoffish, which is definitely not the impression you want to make. A good rule of thumb is to subtly mirror the interviewer. Are they telling lots of jokes? Let your own sense of humour shine a bit in your answers. Are they using lots of gestures? Try to make your body language more expressive as well. If they’re keeping it super professional, follow suit.
4. Mention that you’re introverted
Tons of people are introverted, and it’s a quality that could actually make you much more successful in the workplace. Hiding it could land you a job that makes you miserable (working in a team all day, for example), but highlighting the positive aspects of introversion could work to your advantage.
When asked about your strengths, mention that being introverted makes you a great listener and observer. Say that you’re very sensitive to the needs of others and aware of obstacles they may be facing, which puts you in a better position to tackle them efficiently.