A job interview is tough for anyone buried deep in the throes of unemployment. This is doubly true for individuals who are less comfortable or even panic-prone in social situations. Here are some interview tips for introverts, who despite the insensitive, ignorant opinions of Type-A demagogues, are capable and valuable to the success of any business.
Glances, questions and handshakes? Oh my!
The common job interview is a gauntlet of judgment that could not be more uncomfortable for the intensely introverted. Greetings, glances, questions, handshakes and more are all subtle tools used to weed out the unworthy. Keeping one’s game face on for a couple of hours in a job interview setting is tiring for an introvert. Some companies conduct all-day interviews, depending upon the complexity of the job in question. Whatever the case, here’s how an introvert (or any job applicant, truly) can prepare.
Before you apply
Before an introvert applies for any job, a spoonful of realism is necessary. Is the job suitable for their emotional tenor? Consider the required duties the job will entail, and whether the requirements of the job interview and particularly the day-to-day grind of the job itself won’t grind the spirit into fine powder and blow it to the prevailing winds. The emotional stress of a unsuitable job is not a badge of honor to be worn, but a fool’s compromise.
Pre-planning the interview
Practice is a good idea for introverts who are pre-planning a job interview. Consider the questions you may be asked, as work out responses ahead of time. Practice them before a mirror. Don’t forget to research the company and even the person who will be interviewing you, too.
“Research like mad,” says introversion expert/coach Nancy Ancowitz. “Google everyone you’ll be meeting with, go to libraries — knock yourself out. Find out where [the interviewer] went to school, what organizations they belong to, their quotes in the press, etc. Learn as much as you can about the organization, its management structure, philosophy, products and services, and competitors.”
What to do on interview day
An introvert must accept that there will be unknown elements during the interview process.
“While it’s possible to prepare for an interview and, to a certain degree, predict questions that are likely to be asked and the format to be followed, an introvert still faces that ‘unknown’ element in any interview,” says career counselor Pamela Braun.
A few areas where introverts can gird themselves against the unexpected are as follows:
- Small talk – Introverts may hate it, but it is a social requirement. Practice a few topics with friends and family first
- Map the route – If you have the way to the interview down cold, you’ll have one less thing to worry about
- Bring notes and portfolio – You won’t have to worry about whether you’ve forgotten something