Going in for a job interview when you’re an introvert is a challenge at times. These days, if you don’t step inside the party and disrupt the whole scene, you frequently get misunderstood. There are those who assume that our general silence and avoidance of small talk suggest some Mr Darcy-esque complex of aloofness. Then, there are the people who assume that precisely because we don’t say much, we must be concealing some sage level of Yoda-like wisdom.
The truth is neither is quite right. But I’d always panic and think people would assume one way or the other, especially in a job interview situation. I got my job at Debut following a couple of interviews, which showed I had nothing to worry about. But for those who still do, doing a job interview when you’re an introvert needn’t be a disadvantage. In fact, you can even turn it in your favour.
How being introverted can help you in an interview situation
Let’s get one thing out of the way, first and foremost: being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean you’re nervous, shy or anti-social. But you are, most likely, a very deep thinker. When confronted with new situations, introverts will often take a minute to process all the stimuli they’re being confronted with before making a carefully measured response.
Now, in a world obsessed with making yourself a brand and being an ‘impact player’, an introverted person might worry that someone a little bit louder might jump into their spot. But honestly, taking time to think is more to your benefit. You’ll come up with a more considered answer than most and that, more often than not, is enough to get you the job.
Introverts also tend to want to form deeper connections with people, whereas extroverts are more likely to play to the room. This means when you get in front of a panel, you’re more likely to give each interviewer time and attention to their enquiry – a trait which most would be after in a potential colleague.
These are just a few of the many quirks introverts possess, but how do you make the most of them?
Using your powers
According to Undercover Recruiter, following these tips is a must for an introvert that wants to make sure that they get their point across in an interview. Here are the most important ones:
- Get your body and mind right. Do the basics like getting enough sleep, doing research and making sure you know your route, but also do things like mindfulness exercises to get mentally prepared.
- Plan ahead for the social aspect. If you need to, prep a little bit of small talk ahead of time in case you get hit by the initial shock of meeting recruiters. Show you’re engaged by asking questions and make sure to make eye contact with your interviewers.
- Take time to think. If an interview questions stumps you, be honest with the panel and tell them you need a moment to think it over. Not only will this result in a better answer, but it will show your interviewers that you’re a thoughtful person who makes carefully considered decisions under pressure.
- Don’t brag – share. If you’re not used to talking about yourself, trying to big up your accomplishments can feel weird. When doing this in an interview setting, think of it as telling a story to close friend. Focus on the situation and how the achievement made you feel. (Pro tip: if you can bring a physical portfolio, definitely do. Not only does it look good, it can help you control your nervous hands.)
So there you have it. Introverts have a very particular set of skills, skills that make them a dream for most interviewers. You just have to do what you can to unlock them.