How do I succeed in a job interview if I am shy, introverted, and without experience?
Confidence is the key. A plus point in interviews is that there are not more than 3–4 persons in the room. Introversion is not a disease but a way of life. So, you need not worry. Actually, I being an introvert can understand our main issue is confidence. We don’t want to open up easily and feel the risk of being mocked at any time.
How can I prepare for an interview as an introvert?
As an introvert, I know I can kick ass in interviews. The odds are stacked against us, as most recruiters and managers make judgements based on first impressions. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t have social skills or that you are inarticulate or incapable of holding a conversation.
An interview, well a good one anyway, is a conversation. Introverts can converse as well as anyone.
Managing your energy prior to the interview will help and doing things to get you in the right state physically and mentally will all help e.g. see Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on this.
But when you try to gain confidence (I do so by thinking the person in front of me is good and is there to help me rather than rejecting me
Being an introvert doesn’t have to limit you or define you.
Use the knowledge you have about being an introvert to inform your development rather than as a reason to fail or limit yourself.
But I still endeavor to be memorable. Here is what I have gathered from my (successful) interviews:
Be humble and not arrogant:
- That’s got to be easy, right? We are used to being in our shells. The inability to brag might be seen as a good thing.
Spend time relaxing:
- This probably goes for everyone, not just introverts. But we need just a bit more time to wind down. Remember that interviews are a two-way street. I like to call them ‘conversations’ and it makes me feel more at ease.
Be prepared for small talk:
- The recruiter might ask a semi-personal question like your background and, ‘What are your hobbies?’ In return, don’t ask about the weather. Ask about what a typical day looks like, or what the recruiter enjoys about working in the company.
Sell your introvert qualities:
- Introverts are typically detail-oriented, creative, and thoughtful, and work well both independently and in a team. Make a list of your accomplishments.
Mention that you are an introvert:
- This will depend on the context. You can’t just throw it out there! I have used it in many interviews, saying that it is my key strength. Being an introvert allows me to be a natural listener and observer.
I find that interviews are hit-and-miss. Sometimes I think I do well in the interview and don’t get the job. There have been instances where I have thought I have completely bombed it and I get the job. If you don’t get it this time, it’s just a lesson learned.
All the best!