An important job interview is a stressful experience for anyone. However, the pressure on an introvert is even greater. Introverts rarely enjoy being the center of attention, and the idea of selling yourself and talking up your qualities usually goes completely against the grain.
An interview might initially seem like a hassle and an experience out of your comfort zone. But luckily, taking the right approach will help you get through the challenge — and acknowledging your qualities as an introvert can actually work to your advantage. To align all the elements in your favor, the Future Path Program can help you make use of your skills and leverage them in ways to guarantee a win.
Interview preparation is essential for any candidate, but an introvert needs to be even more thorough than usual. You're probably not too comfortable with improvising, so do everything you can to avoid the need to do so.
Try to predict the questions you'll be asked and prepare for them, and practice your answers with a helpful friend so that you stay calm rather than become flustered. More importantly, knowing that you've prepared properly will boost your confidence and reduce your anxiety.
Prepare for small talk
There's no getting away from it. Even in a formal job interview, you'll need to engage in a little small talk. Your interview panel will see this as both a way of putting you at ease and of assessing how you may interact with your future colleagues.
If spontaneous chat isn't your forte, put together and memorize a few topics you can bring up, even if it's something as mundane as your journey to the interview location. Also be prepared to talk about aspects of your life unrelated to your profession, such as your hobbies and interests. Once again, preparation will boost your confidence and make the small talk flow more freely.
Plan your route
Well ahead of your interview, plan your journey to the venue in detail, and even practice making it there in advance. Knowing exactly how much time you'll need will give you one less thing to worry about as the day approaches.
During the interview
Once the interview has begun, it's important to stay calm and in control, even if your mind and heart are racing. Focus on making eye contact with each member of the panel. This will project confidence, and will help you feel like you're being proactive rather than reactive.
If you find eye contact difficult, try looking at the bridge of the person's forehead instead. It's difficult for someone to tell that you're doing this, but you may find it easier.
Deal with tension
If you feel tension rising, then help break it by looking upwards and to the side when thinking about your next answer. This gives you a short break and shows that you're thoughtful rather than impulsive. Making small, expressive hand gestures when appropriate can also ease your feelings of tension.
Take your time
Don't feel the need to rush through your answers. The interview panel will positively notice when you're carefully considering your response, rather than see it as a sign that you have trouble forming your words.
Don't be afraid to ask for clarification
If you don't understand what the panel is looking for with a particular question, don't be afraid to ask for clarification. Again, this will show that you're careful and diligent rather than hurried and reckless. It also gives you a moment to gather your thoughts before you answer.
Use your attention to detail
Lastly, as an introvert, you'll usually pay more attention to detail than those who are extroverted. You'll tend to listen more carefully during the interview and analyze the reactions of the panel more closely. You can use these character strengths to your advantage.
At the end of the interview, when you're asked if you have any questions, don't just reel off a few queries you've prepared earlier. Use your ear for detail to reference a previous part of the interview, and ask if the panel could expand on a point covered earlier.
This will prove you've been paying attention, and will make a strong impression on your interviewers.
Being prepared, focusing on staying calm, and using your character traits to your advantage will give you the best possible chances to succeed.