A job interview involves face to face interaction, something that is very difficult for introverts. The success of the interaction and easy conversation is what often leads to clinching the job and for introverts this can be a huge challenge.
Lead career expert at Flex Jobs Toni Frana says, “On our career coaching team, one of the most common questions we get from job seekers who self-describe as ‘introverted’ is how to confidently talk about themselves, their skills and career achievements during an interview.”
“In general, introverts are thoughtful listeners who often need to think carefully about what they’re going to say before speaking,” says Frana.
Muse Career Coach Yolanda Owens says, “Being an introvert is actually a strength because they do take that time to process and filter their responses. And they tend to be better active listeners and strategic thinkers. I always tell them to leverage that to their advantage.”
Owens said that if you find yourself faced with a challenging question during the interview, “lean into your introverted nature. While silence can be scary in an interview, don’t be afraid to take the time you need to build strong answers by saying something like, ‘That’s interesting, let me take a second to think about that, before responding.”
“Know that curiosity, being a good listener and having the ability to work alone are coveted skills – and all common traits among introverts. Be confident in owning that you’re an introvert by explaining how these skills are advantageous to your professional capabilities and in achieving your career goals,” said Owens.
Another method to help with interview anxiety is to reframe the conversation.
Introverts – Tips at Interviews
“Think of it as a getting-to-know-you session. Many people are used to doing that on a day-to-day basis and that feels comfortable. They can do that in their sleep.”
Owens also said that one other method is to pretend you already have the job. “It doesn’t feel like an interrogation. It feels more like a conversation.”
Thinking about questions that are often asked in an interview is another prep method. “Be as prepared as possible before your interview and that includes small talk, which can trip up unprepared candidates and cause them to overthink and feel overwhelmed.”
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