Many people mistakenly label introverts as “shy” or somehow handicapped, compared to their extroverted peers. The reality is that many incredibly successful people, such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Meryl Streep are introverts. Surveys have shown that about 40% of our population are introverts, but many people don’t understand their strengths.
Most people don’t think of introverts as capable of making memorable first impressions. Introverts carefully process their surroundings before responding to it. This can be a liability in an interview where first impressions really matter.
Introverts are not shy by definition, but they are very thoughtful. Introverts are extremely capable of making memorable first impressions and of acing their interviews. Here are a few techniques that I’ve suggested with my own introvert clients that have gotten positive results and helped them to elevate the impression they make so that they become the candidate that gets the job offer.
1. Preparation and Practice is Key
Everyone benefits from strategic preparation and practice before an interview, but for introverts, it is an absolute necessity. Introverts can be challenged in responding to interview questions that they were not expecting. Understanding and practicing responses to likely interview questions will help you to have the confidence necessary for you to confidently respond during the interview. Even if you get a question that you were not expecting, you will be able to handle it better if you have thoroughly practiced before your interview and and you understand your success stories that reflect how you made a difference in each of your jobs that you talk about. Understanding your success stories enables you to talk into the interview with a strong foundation to leverage for most questions.
2. Build your self confidence before you enter the interview
As an introvert, you want to do everything possible to make a strong first impression. In addition to preparing for interview questions, you want to feel as good as possible about yourself. Exercising before your interview can elevate your mood and enable you to feel less anxious when you arrive at your interview. Consider investing in a new interview outfit that makes you feel fantastic. You are worth it! Avoid excessive caffeine as you already will have plenty of adrenaline on the day of your interview. If coffee is offered at the interview, ask for water instead. Use “positive affirmations” or consider doing “power poses” to strengthen your confidence.
3. Leave your shortcomings outside the interview
You may have left your last job under stressful circumstances. Tell yourself that you are not bringing those bad feelings into the interview. You need to be able to speak in a neutral way about your past job, even if you had a very difficult exit. Your interviewer will not feel a need to probe if you are able to stay cool while talking about it. Focus on what was positive and how you made a difference. Leave your negative feelings about a past boss or job to a conversation with a trusted friend.
4. Bring curiosity into your interview
Go into the interview with curiosity. After all, you are interviewing them, too! You are also on a fact-finding mission to determine if this job is right for you. With this in mind, focus on what you could bring to this job, and forget any of your perceived deficiencies. If you feel deficient, your interviewer is sure to pick up on it. Don’t let them.
5. Consider hiring a seasoned interview success coach to help you prepare and practice
In my work with clients, I am here to identify your strengths and successes and to help you learn how to communicate them during your interviews; this will help the company interviewing you understand your value proposition. Many introverts are uncomfortable selling themselves for fear that they will come across as arrogant or insincere. In so doing, they risk making a vague impression which, unfortunately, will lead to rejection.
When we work together, I will help you to craft a customized message to put forth the value you can bring to the position for which you are interviewing in an authentic way that positions you as the candidate that can best perform the job. I don’t use a cookie-cutter approach that sounds cheesy. I partner with you to create an authentic value proposition that will land the job offer.
I offer a free introductory session to give you the opportunity to find out more about my services. You can schedule it by clicking the link below:
I look forward to our conversation. Why wait? I can help you dramatically shorten your job search time by teaching you how to go from interview rejections to landing great job offers.