Ace the interview – a practical guide for introverts

Interviews can be a nerve-racking experience, it can be even more so for the introverts amongst us. Being an introvert is to prefer not to be in the limelight, preferring to listening more than being the outspoken one. The characteristics of such a personality make them prefer solitude over socializing. Introverts do not prefer to engage in small talk and are uncomfortable in the spotlight, and job interviews require us to manage both those things with flair.

For a lot of the "quiet ones", job interviews and their introverted nature don't comport. This article focuses on various things that an introvert can work on to not only survive the interview process but to crush it.

  1. Practice, Practice, and Practice
  2. The reason we dread the interview process is that we have no control overwhat will get asked and in what order. Taking time to prepare your self can be a good starting point. Organize all your academics and achievements into short notes that you save on your phone or in the form of flashcards. This should be done with the requirements of the job in mind.

    Now, take help from someone you trust to practice for the interview. Let them ask you various questions that can come in an interview. You can research this from the internet. Another good place to look for is company pages on glassdoor and Indeed where others who have attended interviews from the organization would have posted about the experience they have had.

    You can work with your university career services or other such services that help you to prepare by giving tips as well as mock interviews. We recommend taking advantage of these because it's as close as you’ll get to the real thing — except they will give an overview of your strengths andweaknesses with ways to improve them.

  3. Make an impression
  4. It helps to find all the ways to make you feel confident in facing the interview. Looking the part for an interview is an often understated confidence builder. Generally, introverts prefer not to be seen but when going for an interview you would want to make a positive impression. We recommend business casual outfits as they show that you are serious about the position you applied for. The best part is that the dressing you choose is very much in your own capable hands and should make you feel confident and comfortable.

  5. Fake it
  6. One of the most-watched TED Talks ever is a session by Amy Cuddy whereshe talks about 'Power Posing'. Her research shows that body language not only affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. She states that standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success. The famous expression from the TED talk is "Fake it till you make it." This explains how It's possible to act more confident than you feel.

    Before your interview, remind yourself that, despite your preference for deeper conversations with people you know well, you can engage in a conversation with a random stranger for this one important time.

  7. Reference introversion as a positive
  8. Organizations are looking for capability and not your personality type. You have to look at the strengths and present the positive side of your personality to the interviewer. Once again we refer to popular TED talks and this time quote from what Susan Cain presented. She says - In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world and should be encouraged and celebrated.

    Your tendencies towards introversion can play to your favor, this can be presented as being natural listeners, better researchers, and good observers. To top it all off the interviewer may well be an introvert giving you a slight edge and better understanding.

  9. Don't give up
  10. No matter what happens at the current interview there is merit in understanding the things you learned from the experience and to apply the learning. There is no point in giving up, the job interview space is highly competitive and that is not your fault it is just one space that requires more work. Apply your self and you will get that elusive dream job you aspire for.

Learn from multiple sources, take help from people and services you can connect with, and be well prepared for the interview. Cracking that interview is well within your capabilities and don't let your natural self feel less confident about this. All the best – go ace that interview!

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