Attending a job interview as an introvert might be a difficult situation if you have less routine. In such a situation one encounters challenges that make them get out of their comfort zone. This includes for example short ’small talks’, series of questions, focused attention and self-marketing of skills.
As an introvert, you probably do not like these interviews. However, there may be situations in our lives when these cannot be avoided. That is why it is especially important to prepare thoroughly and make the most out of yourself.
Our first and foremost advice is:
Learn your own resumé!
Make sure that you remember the details (for instance time spent in each position, dates)! Do not be embarrassed when you are asked about them. If you seem to be confused or you are thinking long, there is a risk that the interviewer assumes you are not telling the truth or hiding something.
Always give a specific example of personality traits and skills listed in your CV!
For instance, if you have described yourself as being an “excellent team player,” you need to have an example that proves this skill of yours. Alternatively, if you have highlighted that you “have good communication skills“, you have to provide an example how well you communicate.
I have multiple times met candidates on job interviews who had listed some brilliant skills in their CV. Yet, inquiring about the details, they were unable to mention any examples. In short, do not make this mistake in order to maintain your credibility!
Strengths and weaknesses
Despite the fact that latest recruitment trends do not support asking about weaknesses and strengths, you have to prepare yourself for this question as well. You might definitely find yourself in a situation where this comes up. Strengths can be anything that covers an outstanding skill, but the real trap lies in mentioning weaknesses. There are of course many advice available on the internet for this, but keep in mind this: do not mention that your weakness lies in your introverted personality!
Introversion is NOT a weakness at all, but a “normal” state that describes millions of valuable humans in the world. Under no circumstances tell the interviewer that you make efforts for the sake of overcoming your introversion!
Special unique skills that distinguish you from the others
Consider what special skills or experiences you might have. If you are not sure, you can ask a family member, friend or colleague.
- What is that skill of yours that others do not possess?
- What are you particularly strong in?
- Were there any case when you have achieved your aim utilizing this skill?
- Can you, for example, deal easily with difficult people?
- Are you eventually innovative and solution-oriented?
- Can you do quick math or you master in Excel?
As an introvert, it is not easy to “sell” these strengths. Anyway, it is worth practicing and thinking a bit ahead so that we can talk about these at the job interview. Remember, this time it is you who have to convince the interviewer that you are the best fit for the role!
Effective start and end
Also, the first impression is a key factor at the job interview. Make sure that you focus on smiling and show enthusiastic attitude in order to generate sympathy. This will surely help you to get the conversation started positively and to build trust. Certainly, the very end of the interview is also of great importance. After you leave, the interviewer sums up his or her impression of yourself. Smile, than firmly (but not too tightly) shake hand, and mention something like: “It was a pleasure meeting you and thank you for the opportunity!”
Be prepared and get ready for “small talk“, which is a short and polite chat with the other person before the interview starts. In most cases, introverted people usually find these kind of small talks difficult, unnecessary and stressful. These are situations when we talk in the elevator or when we chat informally while we are escorted to the venue.
Similarly to the British, a chat about weather can be a good idea. However, if you want to be more original and natural, think about topics that are more appropriate for that specific situation. These might be like: location (praise the nice office or building, if true or good access to venue), upcoming holidays (Christmas, Easter, summer vacation, skiing) or how glad you are being invited to this interview.
In conclusion, attending a job interview as an introvert should not be that frightening. Remember that the basic purpose of the mall talk is to make quick contact with others and to create a positive impression. In other words, small talk can help you to be successful, therefore it is certainly worth to invest energy and efforts.
Best of luck for your next job interview!
Still have questions? We are happy to help you! Just drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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