7 Tips to Help Introverts Feel More Comfortable During Job Interviews

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Finding a job can be difficult, even for extroverts. If you feel anxious, uncomfortable, or intimidated by the idea of discussing a job with a potential employer, it’s important to remember that most people feel the same way. However, as an introvert, that feeling is probably a little more intense, because introverts often feel awkward promoting themselves, and they may struggle to articulate their thoughts when put on the spot. Plus, there are only so many introvert-friendly jobs out there. So, you’ll need to think outside of the box a little bit. Here are seven tips to help you feel more comfortable during the job interview process—that draw on your many strengths.

1. Use your quiet temperament to your advantage. The only thing worse than people who talk too little is people who talk too much. Thankfully, as an introvert, you don’t have to worry about running your mouth, because you’re often looking to say as little as possible. Rather than being nervous about the way you present yourself, consider the fact that concise statements generally translate as professional. Don’t push yourself to gab on and on – saying the right thing in as few words as possible is a great idea.

2. Knowledge is power. You need to know more than what the company asks for in their job posting. You need to know who the company is, what they do, and when they were founded. As a result, you won’t feel stuck or confused when the company is brought up in the interview. You might even be able to confidently add to the conversation with the things you’ve learned from your research. As an introvert, this is an area in which you can shine, because introverts tend to enjoy becoming “experts” on certain topics. Use your natural curiosity and penchant toward research to your advantage. Plus, when you have a base of knowledge to draw from, you may find that your words flow more easily.

3. Rehearse as much as possible. As an introvert, you probably rehearse a lot of important conversations in your head. Before a job interview, you’ll want to rehearse them aloud. Have someone else play the role of the interviewer, and encourage them to throw some left field questions at you. You may be confronted with abstract interview questions you aren’t expecting, and while you’ll have no way of knowing what they may be, simply being mentally prepared for this possibility may make answering those questions easier.

4. Actions speak louder than words. You don’t have to be able to deliver an incredible, charismatic speech if your work demonstrates your competency. Carry a portfolio and samples of your work. Or, create an online portfolio that showcases the projects you’re most proud of. You don’t have to talk a big game if you can actually play one. Employees hire based on talent – not a game of charades. Plus, having a portfolio to show off takes some of the attention off you, and may help the conversation flow more easily, because you’ll have something else to focus on and talk about.

5. Be physically comfortable. There’s nothing worse than feeling socially awkward and physically uncomfortable at the same time. While you want to dress professionally, you don’t want to feel your feet screaming for release from tight shoes. Make sure you can breathe in what you’re wearing. You can’t take deep breaths and put yourself into the cool, calm, and collected zone when your belt is cutting into your body.

6. Equip yourself with transition phrases. Introverts are no stranger to “uhs” and “ums.” Sometimes, it takes them a little longer than extroverts to figure out the best way to say what they’re trying to say. Rather than stammering or sitting there quietly, use some transition phrases. “I would like to think about that a little more” works perfectly when you’re very unsure. You can ask genuine questions to buy yourself a little more time to think. A slow, “as a matter of fact, I was thinking…” or, “there are a few different approaches to this situation…” will show that you’re engaged while you’re piecing things together.

7. The Internet is your friend. Networking in person can lead to some great job opportunities, but as an introvert, you may not feel comfortable doing this — and that’s okay. Every company, from large corporations to small startups, has a presence on social media. Focus on making your profile as comprehensive as possible, and send emails or messages to potential employers; introverts often feel they express themselves better in writing than in speaking. You can write up a few drafts until you feel confident in what you have to say. For some great tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, check out this article.

There’s no shortage of successful introverts in the world, and there’s no reason you couldn’t be the next one on the list. It takes all kinds to make the world go round, and your introversion will complement the right workplace.

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