Interviewing is difficult for everyone, but it’s particularly challenging for introverts. For many people, this can create a real barrier between you and your dream job. If it's stressful for you—don’t worry, 99% of people (introverts or not) feel the same way. But, if you struggle to talk to people in general or feel you’re not able to easily connect with people you don’t know, then you’re going to need some help. Here are 5 interview tips to help you come out of your shell and have an easier time talking about yourself:
1. Get a Morale Boost from Family & Friends
Go right to the people who know you best and ask for a compliment. If your best friend says you’re a great listener and your spouse says you’re always someone who always finishes what you start, take note of that. Finding out what others value about you is a great way to boost your confidence and it will also help you think about your strengths and how to incorporate them into an interview.
2. Prepare Ice Breaker Questions & Responses for Common Talking Points
Most interviewers will ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself, so preparing what you'd tell them is a good place to start. Keep your responses short, but include a little background on yourself and why you’re interested in the position. Making “small talk” is harder for introverts, so preparing ahead will put you more at ease. Here are a few examples of talking points and questions you may encounter: "Why do you want to work for our company? What strengths and experience do you bring to the table?" You can ask them questions like, “What are you looking for in your ideal team member? What are the immediate and long term goals for the person in this role? How can I best add value to your team?" Everyone is dealing with impact from Covid-19 lately, so asking questions about that can be a smart strategy too. For example, "Has everyone been working remotely in light of Covid-19? Are you having any new challenges as a business that I could help solve?”
3. Practice Positive Body Language & Inflection
How you carry yourself says a lot about how confident and engaged you are during an interview. Most interviews are virtual these days and it's important to remember to make eye contact and look into the camera, lean in slightly, and smile when you speak. These things are also important for in-person interviews. Inflection can dramatically improve your performance too. When you change the pitch and tone of your voice as you speak, it’s easier to display emotions and personality. If you’re prone to speaking in a monotone voice, you’ll need to work on this because coming across as personable, enthusiastic, and enjoyable to work with will help you land the job.
4. When Doing a Digital Interview, Use a Mirror to Help
Try placing a mirror directly behind your computer, right behind where the web cam is located. This will help you keep an eye on your facial expressions and make sure you’re looking directly forward, not down at the little image of yourself in the bottom corner of your screen. Your mirror will need to be at eye level and big enough to show up over your laptop, so you can look straight toward the camera and still see yourself in the mirror.
5. Do a Mock Interview with Someone You Don’t Know
Find someone you don’t know very well and ask them to help you practice for your interview. This will serve two key purposes. It gives you the chance to test out some of the above strategies, and it also puts you in a real-life situation where you’ll have to improvise and work on your rapport building skills.
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