There are many strengths that employers appreciate and even admire in introverts. They provide in-depth insight to issues and generally keep calm under pressure. Plus, the majority of gifted people are introverts (about 60%) and having an employee with a high IQ is good news to any company. Even though introverts may not be comfortable hanging out with the rest of the team, qualities like taking time to formulate creative ideas and strategies – for example, in IT sales jobs – can be a very desirable trait that could otherwise limit an introvert’s career and job search.
Unfortunately, job searches will inevitably involve a job interview. The thought of interacting with a complete stranger during an interview may be extra daunting to an introvert. “Will I need to make small talk?” and “Will I come across as unfriendly if I don’t want to smile so much?” are some common worries introverts face before heading into the interview room. As a result, they may feel the pressure to be more extroverted and talkative during job interviews. The truth is they can be themselves and still ace the interview confidently.
Here are some tips introverts can use to deal successfully with job interviews:
Avoid cramming too many activities on your interview day Having lots of things to do back-to-back is tough for anyone, but for those who need a little more alone time to recharge themselves, it can turn out to be pretty stressful. Whenever possible, introverts should give themselves a large buffer period between activities to take time to reflect, rest and collect their thoughts.
Research on topics to talk about Initiating small talk can be a challenge to introverts, and can make networking or interviews difficult. However, doing a quick online search about the company and planning out conversational starters or questions for their interviewers beforehand can help build rapport to eliminate any misconceptions about being shy or unfriendly. Pre-interview rehearsals can also smoothen out fears of the unexpected and address any issues that an introvert may be the most afraid of facing.
Tailor job searches to energise, not drain you With the previous point in mind, it is a given that the majority of introverts may not take too kindly to a sales executive or training development job. For this reason, job hunting can become more successful if they explore jobs that are more introvert-friendly. If the job and company are a good fit to their intrinsic skill sets, not only will the job be healthier for introverts, they may become great employees for their organisation.
Let your passion lead the way When given the opportunity to speak about their passions, introverts are anything but quiet about matters that mean most to them. Look for the instances in your interview that will give you the chance to voice your interest and enthusiasm in work. If the interview isn’t veering towards your pet topics, plan your conversations so that they will eventually touch upon them. Do not refrain from seizing the opportunity to verbalise your accomplishments at this instance – it’s not bragging; it’s essential.
Confidently face the phone Communication can be scary for an introvert, especially when it’s through the phone. Most prefer to text or email rather than to speak on the phone but see it this way: it is an advantage – no one can see what you’re doing behind the phone. You can read your prepared script and do research without being caught, but make sure the caller can hear your enthusiasm when you talk. Practice talking with a smile to add more inflection that conveys interest to your voice.
Improve on your skills Just because you don’t have the skills that you want, doesn’t mean you can’t have them forever. Notable introverts like Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs are generally happier to take a back seat in terms of facing the public, but they still excel at public speaking and media interviews, even if they don’t love doing them. There are hundreds of books out there in libraries and on the web about communicating, public speaking, networking, marketing and other essential extrovert skills, so an introvert would have no excuses to not to improve on his skills. If you are doing courses to brush up on your skills, remember to mention the various classes on your resume so that potential employers will know that you’re aiming to improve.
Introverts do not have to change themselves to suit the extroverted world; it is simply unnecessary as introverts have many talents and skills that may actually put them in a better place in their chosen field of work. Simply make the effort to prepare yourself, and turn a job interview to your advantage.
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