Interviewing can be a nerve-wracking experience, and if you’re an introvert, there may be an added level of complexity. It can be challenging to figure out how to do and say all the right things in an interview without presenting a forced, extroverted performance.
Here are a few tips to help you present yourself in a comfortable and honest way at your next interview. Hopefully, keeping these tips in your tool belt will make it easier to find a great fit for your work style.
Don’t hide it
You may actually find it liberating to simply state that you are introverted.
Being upfront about your introversion may help you feel more at ease, and anything that you can do to proactively deal with those interview jitters will make for a more positive experience.
Informing the interviewer of this important part of your personality can offer more context about you as a complete individual. You can even use this as a segue and take the opportunity to highlight your strengths as an introvert and why you think they give you an edge. In response to, “What are your strengths?” your response could go something like this: “As an introvert, I appreciate the details, which is why I take great care to keep thorough records, organize deadlines, and always double-check my work.”
Pro Tip: Be prepared to respond to an interviewer’s concerns (and potential misconceptions) about whether you’re up to the specific challenges of the job. If the role you’re applying for involves a lot of public speaking, help paint a realistic picture of your abilities. An aversion to speaking in front of groups is one of the biggest misconceptions about introverts. Don’t be afraid to let your interviewer know if you actually love public speaking (or anything else that most people assume is a challenge for an introvert).
Be engaging, but don’t feel pressured to perform
During an interview, you have the opportunity to show the interviewer exactly why you’re a great fit. And as an introvert, there are plenty of ways to showcase your confidence without putting on a show.
Start by being mindful of your body language to demonstrate engagement and attention. For example, you can be vigilant about avoiding too many hand gestures or crossing your arms. Here are some tips:
Keep your arms in a relaxed position
Make eye contact, and smile naturally
And beyond body language, here are two more ways to bring your authentic self to your next interview:
Allow your personality to show, which could come in the form of including a bit of flair in your interview outfit
Find a way to weave in a story about a common interest
Trust in your abilities and you can be a memorable interviewee by bringing your introvert superpowers—attention to detail, preparedness, and relationship-building—to the table.