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How to have a successful interview as an Introvert

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 12 Nov 2021

Introvert in Interview Hero Image

People tend to put themselves into one of two categories, introvert, or extrovert. However, as we have learnt from the previous personality type series, there can be aspects of both qualities in everyone. Sometimes, usually in social situations, one of these traits can shine through brighter than the other. Almost everyone can find interviews stressful but when you have a more introverted personality, the stressful nature can feel like too much.

The idea of meeting someone new, talking about your achievements, selling yourself and trying to make a good impression all at the same time can be overwhelming for most people. In an interview, all of the focus is on you. Being introverted doesn’t mean that you will never get the hang of interviews and it definitely doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to succeed in one. We all need time to take things slowly and although your nerves may get the better of you sometimes, we have some tips for making it through an interview as an introverted person.

To start

First thing’s first, being an introvert does not make you weaker than an extroverted person and it certainly doesn’t mean that they are more likely to get the job than you. All it means is that you think differently to them and you are not alone. Although it can sometimes seem like the people around you don’t feel the same, there are many introverted people out there dealing with the same misconceptions. Being an introvert means that you feel more comfortable and work better when focusing on your inner thoughts and feelings. They are often quiet, reserved, and thoughtful people and sometimes they need time alone to recharge. It does not mean you are not confident; it just takes a little bit more time to feel that way. Extraverts get nervous to and everyone can feel uncomfortable with interviews. Focus on your strengths, not other people’s and you will find what works best for you.

Schedule your time

If you feel nervous about interviews or you are just starting out in your job search, make sure you give yourself enough time between interviews and calls to ensure you don’t feel over stressed. It’s all about time management and understanding the limit to what you can do in a short amount of time.

Plan your time in the morning and sometimes, it’s good to have something small or relaxing planned for after the interview. This way you can have a breather and something to look forward to, kind of like a small reward. Whatever you think will work best for you.

During the interview, make sure to give yourself time to think. It can often feel like everything is going really fast, but you don’t have to speed through the conversation. Hopefully the employer will help you to feel as comfortable as possible, so take your time, breathe, and take it one step at a time.

Research is always important

The best advice I can give anyone before an interview, is to ensure that you feel comfortable with the amount of research you have done before attending an interview. Try not to overcompensate here, you can’t know or even remember every little detail about a company or employer, but you can do your best to understand what they do and if you find yourself forgetting information you would like to know more about, ask questions! They are there to ensure that you are clear about what it is they do, as well as the job description. Never be afraid to ask more, interviewers actually prefer when you have questions to ask.

Prefer to take notes? Do it!

During the interview, it doesn’t hurt to take down notes. Sometimes having something to do with your hands can not only make you look less nervous, but actually calm your nerves. Make sure you are still listening and showing your interest, but something like this may really help you feel at ease. As well as that, it can help you feel more prepared for a second interview. You can’t remember everything the interviewer said about the job, so to help reassure you for the next stages, which will make you feel unprepared for any possible second interviews with the company. Take down some notes during the interview, which will also act as a small but sometimes necessary break from eye-contact. Which can make the best of us feel slightly nervous.

It may be a good idea to bring along a portfolio or any other examples of your work that may be relevant to the job you are discussing. It gives you something to talk about if you come across a ‘give me an example of…’ question and it also shows the employer exactly what you’re capable of. Your interviewer might want to keep some of these examples, so if possible, make sure you have copies of your work or direct them to a site where you have your work published.

Give yourself time beforehand

You probably already know that rushing around before an interview, is not the best way to keep you feeling relaxed and ready. So, plan ahead of time, check traffic, double check public transport times and make sure you eat well in the morning. Don’t give yourself more reasons to feel uneasy.

If you’re still feeling nervous when you get to your destination, take a few minutes, and take deep breaths before going inside. If you have some spare time (and you should) take a quick walk around the area to familiarise yourself with the surroundings as well as getting some fresh air to calm your nerves. Sometimes all we need is just a little extra time.

It may not always feel like it but being an introvert in the workplace can be a fantastic skill, and it definitely has its advantages. There is no job that is off limits because of it and it’s probably about time that you realise this. It doesn’t mean you’re not confident – it means you think logically before making decisions and you listen well to instructions. You can also work perfectly well alone without having to rely on people to help you do your job. You’re also more likely to be extremely observant and intuitive.

Interviews are daunting for all types of personalities but if you can take elements of your personality, understand them, and make them work in your favour, you’ll keep succeeding at whatever it is you do.