Introversion and extroversion have become well known opposite ends of the personality spectrum, and although it is unlikely that anyone is one hundred percent extroverted or introverted, most of us identify with one side of the spectrum more than the other. If you identify as more of an introvert, you likely describe yourself as more reserved, introspective and drawing energy from time spent alone. Unfortunately, if you are a job seeker who identifies as an introvert, interviews can be an extreme source of stress and anxiety as the very nature of interviewing does not align with your personality traits. Rather than subscribing to the belief that your personality puts you at a disadvantage, start being proactive in how you prepare for any interview and use your introversion to your advantage.  

The following is a list comprised of skills that you should practice and hone in order to leave any interview feeling successful.  

Body Language

While interview prep typically focuses on the content of our answers, body language also speaks to an interviewer and impacts your chances of landing the job. If you are an introvert, you are likely aware that introversion can manifest itself physically and you may appear closed off or uncomfortable during an unfamiliar social encounter (such as an interview). In order to appear more confident and open, request assistance from a friend who can help you work on your eye contact and posture, while you answer their questions about your career.  

Introspective Responses

Introspection is one trait of introversion that you can use to your advantage throughout the interview process. Review the typical interview questions and think introspectively about your experiences in order to craft a thorough response. A well thought out answer that demonstrates self-awareness, accuracy and honesty will impress any interviewer. As with any interview prep, reach out to your close circle and find someone who is willing to help you practice your responses and build your confidence.

Small Talk

While the name is deceiving (there is nothing small about small talk with an interviewer), you don’t have to be. Stay true to who you are by talking about what interests you whether that is sports, local events, community outreach, or the arts. Keep a few topics in your back pocket (figuratively, not literally), that will give a potential employer a glimpse into who you are.

Selling Yourself

One quality of being an introvert is focusing inward rather than turning to outside stimulation. As such, you may not be accustomed to boasting about your accomplishments and skills to anyone outside of your small social circle. While you may feel at a disadvantage when up against candidates who have no problem boasting their skills and qualifications, remember that something about your resume, LinkedIn profile, etc. caught the interviewer’s eye and they want to get to know you. Just because your personality isn’t one that is known for being comfortable bragging about your accomplishments doesn’t mean that you can’t speak about your experience in a way that suits your personality. Again, practice lands jobs so practice selling yourself while staying true to who you are.  

As you prepare for an interview, keep in mind that even extroverted candidates are entering their interviews with anxiety and trepidation. Personality traits aside, your overall goal should be to be the most prepared candidate on your interviewer’s list.