How to perform well at interviews being an introvert?

On to hacking interviews… (No, not the Sony/North Korea thing)

So, I’ve gotten a couple questions on how to “sell yourself” in an interview if you are an introvert, which I realised would be a good subject for one of our newsletter… If you’re an introvert, interviews are always going to be a draining process for you, which sucks, but you most likely won’t be able to avoid them either. Let’s try to focus on how to make this the best process for you. That’s why you need to learn how to prepare for interviews with your introvert strengths and tendencies in mind.

Remember: anticipation is the ultimate power! For interviews and problem-solving in general. Leaders are people that are able to look to the future and anticipate issues. By understanding your weaknesses and focussing on strengths you are showing maturity and deep understanding of yourself, which are usually traits that one seeks in an employee. I can stress this enough: You don´t have to become someone that you are not, you just have to remember to highlight what you already have.

Think of the interview as a conversation. A key aspect of the hiring decision is whether you’ll fit into the organization. If you remind yourself that you’re just having a conversation, you remove some of the performance anxiety.

Remind yourself that you’re there to gather information to help you make a decision about whether you are interested in this position.  You have choices. Accepting a job is YOUR choice as much as the person who is hiring you. This changes the focus so that you feel less at the mercy of someone else’s decision, and thus less fearful.

Think of your experiences in your job in terms of reporting the facts, not as bragging. You’re not expressing an opinion; you’re simply describing what happened – what challenges you faced, what actions you (or your team) took, and the outcomes of those actions.

If you are doing an in-person interview – which is becoming increasingly rare –bring a professional-looking portfolio with you with a pad of paper in it, and list a few key words or phrases as prompts to help you remember points you want to make. You can subtly glance down to the paper in your lap and get your thoughts on track.

During the interview, you don’t need to apologise for being an introvert, shy or soft-spoken. Soft-spoken people are generally considered trustworthy. Being an introvert does not mean you are not confident. The fact that you are not speaking all the time would not be considered a weakness; most people would just think you are polite. 😉

Don’t be afraid! This is the most important piece of advice. This is just a job interview. You will always have a chance to do it better. Being an introvert is not a handicap or make you less qualified for a particular job. Be confident in your skills.

Well, this is it for this week. Best of luck in your job search, life plans and keep in touch!

All the best,

Natasha Leite

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