These days, introversion is often looked at as a negative personality trait, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Introverts aren't limited in what they can do, however they may struggle to succeed in job interviews. It's hard for a quiet person to simply "turn it on" for an hour-long job interview.
If you're an introverted job seeker, consider these tips and tricks:
Use the internet to your advantage
Networking plays an important role in today's job market, but you'll likely have better luck finding a job online than at a cocktail party. Professional resume writer Joni Holderman recommended joining professional groups on LinkedIn and participating in discussions there. Holderman also suggested writing short, helpful articles of your own - these will show off your knowledge and encourage audiences to recognize you as a thought leader in your field.
Make a list of your strengths
Being an introvert is often seen as a weakness, but many positions are uniquely suited to people who prefer less company and commotion. Nevertheless, there are few jobs where teamwork is not an expectation. Chances are you'll be expected to participate on group projects and work toward a common goal.
One way to boost your confidence and develop a few talking points in the process is to make a list of your strengths, noted consultant Susan Cain. If you are not a strong public speaker, perhaps you are a more competent writer. Or perhaps you're good at developing visual content for presentations.
List out each of your strengths, then rank them. For each interview you attend, adjust the rankings based on what you know the employer is looking for. This will help you formulate your answers and make a positive impression.
"Preparation is key," says Kristen Rodriguez, Recruiting Manager of Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Indianapolis. "Showing personality and enthusiasm in the interview process is important. Practice makes perfect. There are few people who are naturally good at interviewing so be sure to practice the day before the interview. Know your resume, answer online practice questions beforehand, and have good specific examples ready. Always dress professionally, research the company thoroughly, and don't forget to smile!"
Bring printed materials to the interview
If you struggle for things to say at interviews, consider bringing a few prompts to jump-start the conversation. Your resume and cover letter are perfect examples. In those documents, you should highlight examples of skills you have developed as well as scenarios in which they made an impact on your professional life.
When you're stuck for an answer or if there's an uncomfortable lull in the conversation, turn to these documents for support. If you think you'll point to your resume quite a bit during the interview, bring multiple copies so that you can share them with the interviewers. Likewise, practice your answers at home so you already have an idea of what to say.
"As an introvert, you may be more concerned that the company is a match to your personality," says Todd Games, Division Manager of Beacon Hill's Financial Division in Bellevue, WA. "These questions can help in opening the conversation during the interview, while also providing useful information to determine if the company and position is right for you:
- Please describe your company's culture and team?
- What's important to you as you evaluate prospective candidates?
- What are the biggest successes/challenges facing the company?
- Why did you choose this company?
- Is public speaking a requirement of this position?"
Enlist the help of a professional recruiter
A professional recruiter is trained to speak on your behalf before the interview process begins. Your recruiter will contact employers in his or her extensive professional network and serve as a living, breathing resume - an advocate for your skills and expertise. But that's just the beginning. Recruiters can give you personalized guidance on how to ace your interview and land the job.
If you're an introvert in need of some more job search tips and tricks, reach out to the recruitment specialists at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.