It may seem that extroverts have a natural advantage over introverts in job interviews. Extroverts are generally outgoing, talkative, and persuasive – qualities that convey confidence and generate interest in themselves. Introverts tend to be more reserved and reluctant to share a great deal of information during an initial meeting. Unfortunately, the saying is true: you only get one chance at a first impression!
If you are an introvert, don’t fret. Here are some tips for harnessing the strengths of your introverted personality to succeed in your next job interview.
Introverts are often detail oriented and have a thirst for knowledge. Dedicate time to thoroughly research the company and familiarize yourself with its mission, history, and direction for the future. Create an outline that matches your specific qualifications and experiences to the requirements listed in the job description. This will prepare you to present yourself as the best candidate during the job interview.
Observe and Listen
Introverts tend to be good at picking up on subtle communication cues and “reading the room.” Use this skill to your advantage in the job interview. Pay attention to how your message is being received. If the interviewer perks up when you hit on a certain topic, ask if they would like more information. If you feel that you are losing them at a certain point, close that line of discussion and move on. In addition, listen carefully. Interviewers may reveal qualities of their ideal candidate that may not have been delineated in the job description. This is another opportunity for you to explain why you are the right person for the job.
Being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean you are shy. However, introverts usually feel more comfortable communicating one-on-one or in small groups. They are drained by small talk but enjoy communication with a purpose. In this way, a job interview is well suited to the introvert’s style of communication. Also, many introverts have developed excellent writing skills. Strong written communication displayed in cover letters, thank you emails, and other correspondence will certainly give you an edge throughout the recruiting process.
If you are an introvert and fear this is a disadvantage when it comes to interviewing, guess again. Your state of mind makes the biggest difference in an interview. Realize your strengths, look for opportunities to use them and go ace that interview!