What is one interview tip and trick for introverts?
To help introverts best succeed with job interviews, we asked hiring managers, recruiters and business leaders this question for their best tips. From highlighting the strength of being an introvert to asking questions throughout the interview, there are several interview tips that are perfect for those concerned about their disposition as introverts.
Here are 15 interview tips and tricks these leaders shared to help introverts do well in interviews:
- Highlight the Strengths of Being an Introvert
- Use the Interviewer’s Name 2 to 3 Times During the Interview
- Stay Cool and Calm When Answering Questions
- Bring a Notepad With Some Points and Also Take Notes
- Be Yourself and Try to Control Your Emotions
- Rehearse Your Tone
- Plan Some Physical Activity Before the Interview
- Practice Your Pitch
- Talk About Your Hobbies and Interests Outside of Work
- Prepare a Mental List of 5 Great Qualities You Have
- Don’t Be Afraid to Brag a Little
- Focus on Your Values More Than Diplomatic Answers
- Do Your Research in Advance
- Go Straight After a Social Activity
- Ask Questions Throughout the Interview
Highlight the Strengths of Being an Introvert
One key strategy is highlighting the strengths of being an introvert. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy or antisocial – it simply means you prefer quiet, low-key environments and tend to get your energy from internal sources rather than from external ones. For example, introverts tend to be good listeners, independent thinkers, and highly thoughtful. These qualities can be essential for success in many jobs. Furthermore, introverts often have strong interpersonal skills, despite being more reserved than their extroverted counterparts.
Use the Interviewer’s Name 2 to 3 Times During the Interview
As an introvert who also loves connecting with others, interviews can often feel confusing, as they are personally revealing (in terms of sharing your strengths, weaknesses, challenges faced, etc.) but also feel stuffy and formal because of the power dynamic at play. One strategy that I like to use to help engage the interviewer, build a sense of closeness, as well as encourage more discussion is by using the interviewer’s name at least 2-3 times during the interview. In general, using someone’s name when chatting is a way to encourage them to like you, so doing this in an interview can build a quick sense of closeness that you may not be able to achieve otherwise.
Stay Cool and Calm When Answering Questions
Staying cool, calm, and collected is one of the best things you can do in a job interview, but it is definitely not as easy as it sounds. Interviews can be pretty stressful, and people tend to get nervous if they do not have an answer right away. Most people will do their best to avoid any silent pauses in the interview and answer as quickly as they are able. However, the best thing you can do in these situations is to take the time to think the question through before answering. Slowing down your response will allow you time to gather your thoughts for a moment and perhaps calm some of your nerves.
Remember that taking some time to answer a question properly is totally ok as long as you don’t take too long. Doing this will allow you to answer the question fully and thoughtfully. In most cases, interviewers actually appreciate candidates that really seem to consider the questions that are being asked, rather than those that seem to panic and have half-baked answers.
Bring a Notepad With Some Points and Also Take Notes
Take a notepad with some talking points written down. You can also use this notepad to take notes on what the hiring manager is saying during the meeting so that it doesn’t just look like you need it to help you think of things to say. Introverts can get nervous during interviews, so these notes can be helpful in case they freeze up.
Be Yourself and Try to Control Your Emotions
The most important mistake introverts make when preparing for an interview is stressing over it like it’s a life-or-death scenario. Most of them think that they’re good at hiding nervousness, but more often than not, the recruiter sees through the facade. If you care about the job, try to be more stoic and control your emotions. The truth is that you may be your most charming self and absolutely nail the interview and still not get the job. It isn’t all on you, and that fact alone should take at least some pressure off you.
Rehearse Your Tone
Conversational spontaneity can be difficult for introverted personalities. Try practicing your answers with a friend or family member before an interview. Rather than practicing a linear answer, try focusing on getting used to conversing with the elements of the conversation. To do this, try answering a single interview question with different wording and once you’re comfortable you can mix and match words to produce a more comfortable and natural sound to your answers. It’s really all about building up your comfort level in a safe and stress-free environment. With enough practice, you may become comfortable enough that you won’t need any specific memorization.
Plan Some Physical Activity Before the Interview
Interviews can be stressful, especially for introverts. You can prepare all your answers, practice in front of the mirror, but once it’s time for the actual meeting it’s easy to feel intimidated or overwhelmed. My best tip to get through it more smoothly is scheduling some physical activity before the interview. It’s no secret that movement improves our mood and cognitive function. It helps release endorphins in the body that help you feel more relaxed and happy. For introverted people, that can make all the difference by helping them get out of their head and adding that dopamine-fueled confidence boost. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous workout, if you’re not really a gym buff you can simply go on a brisk walk, which has the added benefit of getting some fresh air and sunshine. In the end, it’s hard to be anxious when you’re feeling happy.
Practice Your Pitch
You know that the interviewer will ask, “tell me about yourself,” so prepare for it. Introverts tend to struggle with this question; however, view it as the easiest part of the interview because you can write and practice it ahead of time. The material you use to pitch yourself will more or less be the same every time, so write it and practice it.
Talk About Your Hobbies and Interests Outside of Work
One interview tip for introverts is to be professional and have fun. Make sure to focus on your strengths and stay positive. Don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies and interests outside of work. This can help the interviewer get to know you better and see that you are a well-rounded person. It is also important to have some fun stories or anecdotes prepared to share with the interviewer.
Prepare a Mental List of 5 Great Qualities You Have
Before sitting down for the interview, prepare a mental list of 5 things that make you special. Introverts have a hard time talking about themselves. By taking some time to highlight qualities and experiences that make you unique, you will be better prepared to talk about them if you are asked to by the interviewer. Having multiple topics to talk about is great, which is why 5 items is the ideal number for this interview technique.
Don’t Be Afraid to Brag a Little
Don’t be afraid to brag a little. Introverts aren’t usually comfortable talking about their successes; they don’t want to come across as egotistical or boastful. However, a job interview is not the time to be shy about your achievements. In preparation, write down a list of accomplishments associated with the job that you’re proud of – a brag cheat sheet, if you will. Practice saying them in the mirror with an air of confidence. When it comes time to talk about these attributes in front of a prospective employer, you’ll be a lot more comfortable tooting your own horn!
Focus on Your Values More Than Diplomatic Answers
Employers mainly evaluate candidates’ value-based skills, integrity, and honesty. Therefore, you need to be prepared accordingly. Many interviewers pose hypothetical circumstances, which might be challenging for introverted candidates. In such cases, It is best to react by stating your values in that situation while preserving your integrity and being truthful about your abilities. Questions about previous jobs are pretty important; if you’ve done similar positions before, explain what you learned from them to the interviewer. It will show that you are capable of doing the task. In addition, Avoid Long and diplomatic answers because the interviewer might think you are just making up.
Karen Cate Agustin, Business Analyst, Investors Club
Do Your Research in Advance
If you’re an introvert and you’re a bit anxious about an interview, be sure to do your research in advance. This way, rather than be rendered speechless, you can quickly provide answers based on everything you’ve learned about the company. Use this information to showcase how serious you are about the role, and why you’re the perfect applicant.
Go Straight After a Social Activity
I don’t care if your interview starts first thing in the morning: Gather as many friends as you can for an early morning coffee meet-up prior to the interview. Drop in at your sister’s and make pancakes for her kids. Wake up early and join that running group that always passes by your apartment building. It might sound counter-intuitive, but those last-minute preparations are only making you more nervous. Sociability is like a muscle. Warm it up in a low-stakes scenario and you’ll walk into that interview feeling friendly and open.
Ask Questions Throughout the Interview
One strategy that has helped me to feel more comfortable with interviews has been to ask questions throughout the interview, instead of just waiting for the end. For example, if someone has been with the company a while and has held several roles, I might ask which was their favorite. An interview is just a conversation. The more I can get the manager(s) to talk about themselves, the more comfortable I feel with the idea that this is a coworker. Also, if they seem cagey or don’t want to talk about themselves, I feel like that says quite a bit about the culture of the company.