In today’s competitive employment market, you need to stand out from other job candidates starting from the moment you walk in the door. You want to make sure you get the interviewer’s attention for all the right reasons.
If you’re an introvert, job interviews can be daunting. Introverts, when faced with an unfamiliar situation, tend to be thoughtful and deliberate before speaking. This is a great quality in general, but during an interview it can come across as unprepared and indecisive. Don’t let this create the wrong impression in the first minute. You don’t need to try to copy the mannerisms of an extrovert. Instead, use your introverted personality traits to your advantage.
How can you do this? Here are a few tips to help you impress during the interview:
- Beforehand, do some research on the company and the position being offered. Preparing ahead of time will make your more comfortable in this situation. On the other hand, don’t over-cram at the last minute on facts that you won’t remember during the interview.
- Go to the meeting well-rested and with the right attitude. Whatever little habits and rituals help you stay calm, do them before the interview. Some people have had success with meditation, light yoga, a morning jog, or a cup of coffee from their favorite barista.
- Make sure you dress in clothing that is appropriate, comfortable, and makes you feel confident.
- Figure out ahead of time how to get to the interview site so you won’t get lost and arrive late.
- Introverts tend to connect best with people one-on-one. Try to take a few seconds to make that personal connection with each interviewer there, for instance by smiling and making eye contact.
- If you aren’t good at off-the-cuff small talk, have a few things prepared ahead of time. Great topics may include an anecdote about your journey to the place or a complement about the office or lobby.
- When you’re asked a question that you’d like to think about, don’t let an awkward silence drag on. Instead, buy yourself some time by asking them to clarify or restating their question.
- One question that a lot of introverts gets stuck on is: ‘Tell me about yourself.’ This is an invitation to give interviewers a glimpse of your personality, education, and experience, ideally in under a minute. Practice your response ahead of time so you don’t get stuck or ramble on. Some good things to include are: where you grew up, where you went to school and what your major interests were, your last job, and what made you interested in the company you’re interviewing with.
- You want to communicate to the interviewer that you balance thought with action and take pride in your accomplishments. Some people can feel very uncomfortable ‘bragging’ about what they’ve achieved. One way to combat this is to state in a matter-of-fact way what you’ve done, reflecting on challenges you overcame and its long-term effects. That will let you segue into discussing how you can use your skills and ingenuity to help the company itself.
- At the interview’s conclusion, make sure to thank them for their time and wish them luck in finding the right candidate for the job. Remember, final impressions count, too.
Acing the interview is up to you, but a staffing agency like Ad-VANCE Talent Solutions can help. Ad-VANCE can connect you with in-demand positions that match your personality and skills.