The Ultimate Introvert's Guide To Mastering Job Interviews
Job interviews have always been difficult, imagine having to go through one being an introvert. I don't have to imagine it because I am one, I am the KING of introverts. Please don't praise me, I don't like people. Despite being a monarch of introversion, I have managed to master job interviews, since I have had to go to quite a few in my life.
Here's the deal:
Introverts need money and food just as much as extroverts, so we still have to go to job interviews. I know, who would have thought?
These interviews can be very intimidating and stressful situations. It's like someone is watching us with a magnifying glass looking for any flaws in us, and you can just sit there like “please give me a job!” It may seem like a field where extroverts are highly favored, as they can be eloquent and charismatic with ease, WRONG. Well, not so wrong, I'm sorry I raised my voice, don't be mad at me.
You don't really need to be charming and overly sociable to show that you deserve the position, you just have to show your worth. The problem is that tension and anxiety don't allow us to demonstrate that to the executive on the other side of the table, but with these tips, you will have an advantage in all your future interviews.
These steps have worked flawlessly for me since I perfected them. Luckily for you, I won't keep them hidden from you, nor will I charge you $ 200 for a seminar to show them to you (because I don't like public speaking). Just keep reading, take notes, and try to learn something.
Prepare as if you were going to war
I know, it sounds very violent for what it really is, but talking like that gives me confidence. It makes me feel like Brad Pitt in Troy. The most important part of job interviews will be done before the interview itself, in the comfort of your home without having to talk to people (that's basically Heaven).
You must do research. About absolutely everything. Google the company or business to which you are applying, find out who the CEO is, the director of your area, their history, their values, everything. Knowing the spirit of the company will give you an advantage, first because you will know what you are getting into, and because you can prepare based on that.
Find out who is going to interview you. Look for them on LinkedIn, on their personal social media: Facebook, Twitter, EVERYWHERE. You must go full FBI on them. If you discover that the executive who will interview you likes baseball and you were on your school's baseball team: VOILÁ, you already have an infallible ice breaker.
The more information you have about the place and who you will be with, the more prepared you will be and the less you will have to rely on your social skills.
Timing is key
We must be realistic, I am very confident in my tips, but the reality is that you probably will not get a job in the first interview. Do not despair, it is an endurance race, not speed. Only in this analogy, we are running from poverty.
You will have to go through several interviews until you succeed. However, you must manage your energy properly. Don't schedule three interviews on the same day or six in a week. This is a tiring process for an introvert. I would limit myself to one interview per day, two maximum. Organize your time so that you have enough time between interviews to prepare and recharge your social battery.
Much of the dialogue in the interviews is the same each time. There are a series of questions that every interviewer will always ask you without a doubt, start practicing the answers to those questions.
You can practice in front of a mirror or ask a friend to help you. Imagine that you are practicing the script of a play. Some of the most common questions in interviews are:
Tell me about your past jobs
Why are you interested in this position?
What are your goals in this position?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What qualities do you have that can help you in this position?
Why should I hire you?
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
Why are you crying? Are you ok?
I was only asked the last question once, but you have to be ready for any scenario.
You shouldn't have robotic responses prepared for all interviews, you must adapt them according to what each company is looking for. You will know this after you do the research. By being prepared for all these questions, you should only focus on those questions that are unique.
Work on casual conversations
Some interviewers strive so that the atmosphere of the interview is not overly formal or executive. So they try to carry the conversation more casually and not so monotonous, like a chat in a bar. That can help you not feel as much pressure, but it can also mean that you have to improvise.
The people who are in charge of hiring not only limit themselves to looking at your answers but at the first impression in general. At times they will want to small talk and at those times you can't seem too nervous and anxious, that's not a good sign for them. Luckily, some techniques will help you during those chit-chat moments. Have some phrases ready to fill the moments of awkward silence. “Can you believe the traffic?” or “the weather was nice today” have always worked well for me.
When you feel like the conversation has become overwhelming, ask for time to drink water or go to the bathroom. If you do it naturally, you will have time to rest and rethink everything.
If you must cry, do it in the bathroom but without them noticing. Don't let anyone see your tears, champ.
Show your worth
At the end of the day, you need to remember that what happens in the interview is not an accurate reflection of how you will perform at work. However, it's all the interviewers have to judge and make decisions. Don’t focus on showing yourself as someone you are not, if you are shy and have a hard time holding conversations, that's fine (unless the job is a spokesperson). The important thing is that you show what you can do and why you will CRUSH that job.
Introversion is not a disability and extraversion is not a blessing. Chances are, the person you interview is also an introvert and struggles with having conversations as well. As long as you can express your skills and strengths, people will see that.
My last tip is to be yourself, a prepared and ready version of yourself. Mastering job interviews only takes a few tries, be patient.
Oh, and my last LAST tip is that NEVER accept a job that requires: “good at working under pressure.” That just means that the work environment is hell. You’re welcome.
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