For candidates, interviews can be utterly daunting, but none more so than it is for introverts. It forces them to go out there, meet people and highlight their qualifications—things that they simply feel uneasy to tackle with. It seems introverts stand less favourable chances to impress interviewers, but don’t be upset; with the right tactics and attitude even the most introverted candidates can stand out and succeed at job interviews.
Obtain a full picture of the employer prior to the interview
We always advise applicants to get a full picture of the company they are applying for. This is Job Hunting 101—to perform well on the day of the interview, you have to try to know thoroughly the background of the company you are applying for. Research as much as you can to help ease your job interview tension. This includes learning everything there is to know about the job, the company you are applying for and the field you are trying to get into. Equip yourself with all these necessary information and you’ll be gear up for overcoming dead air and other awkward interview moments.
Our fears often come from the unknown. Doing all these interview preparations will keep you out of the dark so you must “research like mad,” says Nancy Ancowitz, an expert on the study of introverts. All these effort puts you at a more favourable position, so remember, more research equals less panic!
Get to know your interviewer from head to toe
It’s commonly known that recruiters do research on prospective employees online, and now we’re telling you to do the same in return! It does no harm to try asking for information about your interviewer—doing so will put you more at ease and tame your nerves. It’s a great strategy to use so you can avoid committing bloopers like making incorrect assumptions about the person concerned. It’s also an instant rapport builder which will certainly go in your favor. For example, from your research, you might discover that your interviewer is also an alumnus of your secondary school or university. You can utilize this shared experience as a conversation topic.
…But don’t get too pressured into building a bond with your interviewer either
Needless to say, finding similarities with the interviewer is a great way to feel less nervous during the interview, but we also advise you not to force yourself to do so. The interview is already stressful as it is—there’s no need to place extra burden on yourself. It takes awhile for introverts to warm up to others and that is nothing weird. Just remember to go at your own pace and don’t be panic if you fail to secure any connection with your interviewer. The purpose of the interview anyway is for him/her to find out if you will be a good hire for the company so focus on answering the questions confidently.
Conduct a mock interview with a trusted friend
Since introverted interviewees normally take awhile to warm up to people, there is a tendency for them to look distant or aloof in social settings. Doing mock job interviews with a buddy will help out a lot in this situation.
At this mock interview, you should have well prepared to answer both standard and tough job interview questions hirers may pose at you, so this is the best time to rehearse them. During this exercise have some questions prepared too so you’ll have a few ready on interview day.
At the same time, you must pay close attention to how you respond to the interviewer. If possible, record yourself while conducting the mock interview to help you view from the interviewers’ perspectives. If you find yourself making some problematic mannerisms then make the necessary changes.
Get rid of negative thoughts
Introverts find most social interactions to be exhausting, so it’s natural for them to be wary of interviews. Having this negative attitude towards the event will not necessarily work out in their favor so what can introverts do to get rid of this mindset? It’s good for them to adopt an optimistic attitude towards the whole process. Visualize the interview as a positive event and let the Law of Attraction take hold of the process. Imagine yourself performing well in the interview while driving out negative scenarios in your mind. Create that picture in your mind and you’ll soon find yourself getting more at ease about the whole thing.
Here’s also an instance where “disguise” is a good thing. Turns out adopting “high-power poses” can boost one’s confidence in pressure-filled situations such as public speaking and job interviews. So if you’re feeling somewhat nervous or off during the interview, just fake it—pretending you’re at ease with talking and social interactions!
Quiet, introspective and independent—traits that appear inapplicable to a job interview, but these same characters are what many hirers also look for in their candidates. Likewise, there are several industries where introverted personalities thrive and flourish. Let these words bring you comfort and peace of mind: you are valued for the things you bring to the table so don’t think of these things as barriers to a brilliant career. Being an introvert is not a loser so stop worrying!