Normally you wouldn’t expect that extroversion is something that could possibly hold you back from landing a job during an interview. However there are aspects to every personality type that need fine-tuning from time to time. Being an extrovert is a great quality when it comes to job interviews because you’re likely to feel comfortable with the social interaction with a stranger. Because of this you can get complacent and end up making some really obvious mistakes. Here are my tips for utilising your extroverted personality in a job interview.
Avoid excessive chit chat
Small talk is an essential part to every interview. It fills the gap between you meeting an interviewer and either being led to the interview room or waiting to get a drink. This is all part of the first impression stage, and you obviously want to build rapport with the interviewer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, being an extrovert means you may go overboard on the small talk. Small talk is just that – small. Keep your responses or questions short and sweet. Don’t go on and on about your journey to the location or what you saw on TV last night. It’s not important conversation and you may come across as rambling and unfocused before the interview has even begun.
Don’t reveal too much personal info
On the same note as the small talk, you need to avoid showing the interviewer too much about your life. The purpose of the interview is for you to show that you’re a good fit for the company and to find out more for yourself too. You don’t want to start delving into a stressful time in your previous job then start talking about your personal relationships and how they were affected by work related matters. Once again it’ll only demonstrate that you can’t focus on a question and you’ll also come off as being slightly unprofessional. You want to establish that you can keep personal matters to yourself when you need to – especially if the job you’re going for involves dealing with confidential information. You could be the best secret keeper around, but being an extrovert may contradict that in your interview. Another interview tip regarding professionalism is to (at all costs) avoid moaning about your current or previous employer. It only looks bad on you, and the company won’t want that negative energy in their team.
Interviews aren’t all about your personality
Well, personality is a key factor in an interview, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about then no amount of extroversion or introversion could possibly sway the interviewer. You have to research and prepare as much as possible the evening before your interview so you can showcase your knowledge and expertise. If you have a portfolio, then take it with you and have it as a taking point (great if you tend to go off on a tangent in interviews!) As well as your previous employment know-how, get to grips with possible questions you may be asked, any statistics you can give (i.e. you improved sales by 67% in the last quarter) as well as any knowledge you have about the company you’re applying to. All of this knowledge mixed with a measured extroversion will ensure you’re on the shortlist to land the job.
When you’re an extrovert, it’s really easy to get over-enthusiastic about a topic and end up inadvertently interrupting or speaking simply because it’s your turn to reply to something the interviewer has said. Most of the time, you will have the answer to the question before it’s even out of the interviewer’s mouth, but if you start hastily replying you might end up missing out on some key points that you could’ve mentioned. Think about your answers; have a one or two-second gap between the end of their question and the beginning of your reply. If there is a natural silence in the conversation, it could be the interviewer thinking about something. Read their body language and don’t talk just for the sake of filling a silence. You may accidentally say something that costs you the job.
Finally, use your superpower to your advantage
Extroversion is a fantastic skill to have, especially in an interview situation. You’ll be comfortable and open with the interviewer and you won’t shy away from any awkward questions. It makes you a team player who usually says what’s on their mind and won’t mind asking for help when they need it. However you need to highlight that you have the same set of skills a more introverted person would possess. For example, you want to let them know that you’re capable of working independently when needed and you can make well-informed decisions. If you can demonstrate an awareness of your personality type and highlight how it can make you do your job better, that can only be a good thing.