Being an introvert is not in any way a bad thing, it is a personality trait that falls somewhere on a spectrum with extroversion on the opposite end. An introvert is simply a person who is more reserved, someone who gains more of their energy and focuses internally as opposed to externally. In general, introverts find themselves exhausted from excess exposure to other people, which can be a real challenge for the interview process.
Aren’t sure just what defines an introvert? There’s a helpful infographic here. In general, introverts are self-aware, prefer smaller more manageable groups of close friends, and internalize their thoughts, problems and challenges.
Sound like you? There’s no need to worry; introverts are very successful – they just need to be prepared for the people-centric process of job seeking. Study results vary, but most indicate introverts make up one-third to one-half of all Americans, which is a strong percentage of the workforce. However, interviewing will most likely be more difficult for introverts in comparison with those gregarious extroverts who love talking to people.
To help you ease your troubled mind and get you ready for the hiring process, we at Masiello Employment’s offer the following interview tips for introverts:
- Schedule the interview for your most energetic part of the day. We don’t mean to imply that you must ramp up your energy levels to “wow” your interviewer. Rather, by interviewing when you’re at your most energetic, you won’t feel quite as drained during and after the interview. Not a morning person? Try to plan your day around your prime time, whenever that may be.
- Be prepared. Familiarize yourself with the interview location, find out what you can about the person you’re interviewing with. Do as much research about the company as you can. Since introverts internalize their stress, having significant knowledge packed inside your head helps to keep you calm and give you confidence on the big day.
- Plan your day around the interview. Extroverts are energized by socializing and tend to revel in the interview process, while introverts can feel depleted by the mere thought of being “on” for an hour. Recognize that an interview might leave you winded and plan the rest of your day accordingly (take an easy hike on your favorite trail or tune out with your favorite TV show). Whatever you do – don’t schedule interviews back to back, you’ll need time to step back and recharge your energy meter.
- Be even more prepared. Practice mock interviews with friends and family members, think of possible interview questions and work out proper answers, come up with a list of items to ask (like the dreaded “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses” question) and review your resume so you can effortlessly share your accomplishments and qualifications during the interview.
- Don’t masquerade as an extrovert. You’ll want to get hired for being you, not for being someone else—especially if that someone else is fundamentally different—so don’t try to act like an out-going, attention-loving extrovert. You might even want to identify yourself as an introvert, and then mention the many benefits of hiring an introvert, like introverts tend to be better listeners and less distracted in the workplace.
Want more interview-acing advice and job-finding insight like this? Of course you do! Give Masiello Employment a call; our recruiting team is available for a free consultation.