Interviewing for Introverts: Tips for Introverts to Nail an Interview
We introverts do not exactly thrive in social situations. Some of us may put on a brave face while others simply detest being in the spotlight. Whether you're an extreme introvert or closer to ambivert, we can all agree that interviews are the worst.
To an introvert, social situations exhaust us. It's not how we gain our energy. While extroverts recharge their battery when they're around people, introverts recharge their battery when they're alone. Therefore, social situations put stress on us, and they tend to exhaust us - especially when the stakes are high. Interviews can be exceptionally exhausting for introverts, but we can't let this derail our career. Instead, we need to find ways to cope and thrive to we can capitalize upon the opportunity.
Practice, practice, practice.
Extroverts thrive when they're in the spotlight, so their confidence is typically through the roof. Introverts, on the other hand, need to find confidence in other ways, like practicing. This can include finding a trusted person to practice with, or even practicing by yourself. If that seems too daunting, break up the practice into smaller chunks by practicing one or two questions at a time.
Identify your successes and write them down.
Introverts are less likely to brag about their success than extroverts. So, introverts need a little reminder and extra encouragement for the interview. Write down your successes on a sticky note on your desk or on your desktop. This can act as a prompt, and it will be easy to read from in the heat of the moment.
Turn the tables in the interview.
Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer usually asks the candidate, "What questions do you have for me?" Be prepared to come with questions. This is a great time for you to ask powerful questions and fit back and listen, rather than talking. You might want to ask, "What's the team culture like? How would you describe yourself as a leader? What are the challenges you expect this person to overcome in this role?"
Block out time between interviews.
When you're applying to jobs, it can be easy to overbook yourself. Introverts need time to recharge. Figure out how much time you need to breathe before an interview, after an interview, and between any other social engagements. For example, block out one hour before your interview and two hours after your interview to recharge. If you'd like to end your day with an interview so you can veg on the couch watching Grey's Anatomy all evening, then schedule an interview towards the end of the day.
It's important to put your best foot forward during interviews. You need to control your environment to ensure you can bring your best self forward.