Interviewing as an Introvert

By: Meg

Interviewing is tough. You want to make the best impression on the people who could be your employers: be friendly, outgoing, confident, and ready for the job. Sounds like an Extravert’s game. Not necessarily! Play to your strengths as an Introvert and you can have the best interview ever.

Interview tips for introverts

Active Listening

A big part of interviewing is learning what they want to hear. You can usually catch this by how they ask questions, what questions they ask, and in what order. Make it known that you’re listening and considering what they have to say. Then you can answer the questions knowing that what you’re saying matches up to what they are looking for as best it can.

Think Before you Speak

In an interview, people get nervous. They speak quickly because silence is scary. Silence is your friend. If you begin talking before you know what you’re going to say, you may trip over your words and say something different than what you intended. So don’t process out loud. Listen (actively) to the question, and then take a minute to formulate what you have to say. Once you’ve figured it out, you can say it clearly and confidently.

Know your Stuff

For anybody, the best way to ace an interview is to know your stuff. Know your strengths and weaknesses, know about the company and what you can bring to the table. Coming in prepared will help you shake off any jitters. It also lets you frame what you’re going to say in your head. Some introverts have problems “bragging,” which can be a problem with interviewing. So don’t think about it that way. Use your quantitative achievements, and state those as facts. For example: “I raised $500 by creating and managing an auction at the annual fundraiser, which was a $200 increase.” You can refer to items on your resume, but go beyond that.

Now here’s the tough part:

  • Small talk – Yes, it is necessary. Make it natural. In Minnesota, we really do like to talk about the weather. Talk about something simple that you can chat about.
  • Show your Passion – As an introvert, it can sometimes be hard to show other people my passion. Here’s the trick: The interviewers probably have similar interests. They’re here too, right? So treat them like an insider into your world, and share your passion with them. Just don’t get to caught up in it.
  • Be Confident – Something everybody worries about going into an interview: Are you good enough? But an interview isn’t about if you fit this specific benchmark, it’s about how well you’ll fit into the company and the position. It’s as much an audition for them as it is for you.
  • Ask Questions – Make sure to ask meaningful questions. Ask about the position and its development, your predecessor(s), and the office culture. Ask about the future. You want to make sure this is going to be a good fit for you.

So prepare for your big interview. Do research on the company, and on yourself. Figure out what works. And be yourself.

Stop in with any questions you have about your job/internship hunt or interviewing. You can check out Interview Stream any time and look at and record yourself answering popular interview questions.

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