For the introvert, the challenge is heightened because the process plays on many of the issues that they have to deal with to function in an extroverted world, the biggest being a sense of exposure. They don’t like to speak to an unknown audience. Introverts can be successful in job interviewing if they include the following tips in their preparation:
- Recognize your strengths
Let’s face it; going to a job interview is not going to be comfortable for you. But consider it as an investment in a short period of discomfort that may be worth it for your future. Examine yourself and list all of your strengths. Get to know them well so that you can keep your focus on your strengths during the interview. This is often a question you will be asked so be prepared to answer it with conviction!
- Success is your goal
It is helpful to be single-minded in a job interview. Focus on your successes in work situations. Go back to your list of strengths and choose three relevant ones. Then craft three stories of your job success that the interviewer may find interesting, each highlighting one of your strengths. These will be the stories that you practice (see below). Insert one or more of these stories early in the interview, and you will be setting the tone for it, rather than the interviewer. It will be less work for him/her and that will increase your favor in the interviewer’s eyes. Also focusing on your strengths, rather than your weaknesses will make you feel stronger.
- Practice, practice, practice!
The more prepared you are for the interview, the less anxiety you will feel and the better you will come across. The key is to practice speaking– in front of a mirror, in a selfie-video, and with a trusted friend. Just tell your interview stories to the mirror several times. You can also notice if you are frowning and correct that. A smile on your face goes a long way. Afterwards you can repeat the process on your smart phone and make a selfie video for your personal use only. Finally, when you feel more confident, try it out on a trusted friend who can support you. Repeating the process will reduce your stress level and give you the appearance of confidence, while building your self-confidence to a higher level.
- Positive Self-Talk
Most introverts over-analyze themselves in every situation, worrying over every perceived mistake or faux pas due to their self-consciousness. It is important to continue the positive focus even after the interview. Avoid sabotaging yourself by thinking of the moments that made you cringe. Focus on what went well and tell yourself that you did a good job because you were well-prepared. Give yourself a small reward in celebration of your accomplishment.
One thing that will help you stand out from the crowd is sending a thank you note. Thank the interviewer for his time and use the opportunity to give him/her another piece of information about your suitability for the position that you did not use in the interview. Tell the interviewer what you learned and that you are looking forward to the opportunity of working for the company.
Finally remember that being an introvert can be a positive force in any company and that you have a lot to offer. Interviewing skills can be learned. There are also many techniques that can help you master your anxiety. It is a good idea to find a coach who specializes in helping introverts and shy people to be successful. For more information on how I can help you, contact me at ConnectedLifeJerusalem@gmail.com.
November 19, 2015