Pre-Interview Strategies for Introverts

6 minutes


Interviews are one of the most nerve-racking parts of the job application process, especially for an applicant who’s also an introvert! The small talks with the interviewer can get us really nervous and end up getting awkward, but there are ways to avoid that. In this episode, I’ll be sharing some tips for the introverts to help them ace this interview and make a really good impression!

Hello and welcome to the Traveling Introvert. Today I'd love to talk about strategic ways to get through and interview, and prepare for an interview more than anything. So, this is the before you get to the interview stage in person, these are a couple of things I think will be really, really helpful.

Now, one thing is to arrange your day strategically. The thing is, normally we're rushing rom place to place, and we get to the interview and we're a little overwhelmed already and we're nervous. And stuff is going on, and you're thinking about what to say and how to say it. I highly recommend that you plan to have a cushion of alone time, recharge time, balance time, both before and after the interview. So, you can recharge. You'll be better if you're fully charged for the interview.

So, I highly recommend you do that. Even if it's just 30 minutes alone, where you can meditate, where you can read a book. Not going over your notes. What you should be doing is nothing that involves the interview, or gets you worried about the interview. It's just whatever it is that you need to stay calm and focused, and to recharge. This strategy ensures you'll have maximum energy during the interview, which, you know, is crucial when you're speaking to people about yourself.

The next thing I'd say is small talk. We don't like it, but we know we have to do it. And so in an interview, or even just before an interview, it's really important to set the tone and vibe with your interviewer, so you will have to make that small talk. What I've learnt is that I've come up with a couple of questions in advance so you're not thinking and scrambling. Maybe you can ask about seasonal activity, or discuss hidden gems in the area that they're in, like a good place to eat, or something of that nature. Don't use normal ones like, "Oh, so how was it to get here?" Or the weather. Don't do that.

Use it as a way of maybe figuring out something about your interviewer's personality. It's a good idea to remind yourself that the ultimate purpose of the interview small talk is to build a rapport with your interviewer, and make them like you. So, it's not a waste of time, you just have to be strategic about it and plan what you're going to ask and why.

And the other thing is we all know first impressions are key, but also the last thing you say, the lasting impression is also key. So, think about it in advance. Smile, the handshake, the body language that you use is really important when you're first meeting your interview, along with those key questions that you're using for small talk. Because normally they're like, "Oh, how was it getting here?" And you can answer, and engage in conversation. But make it a little deeper. That will work in your favor.

Similarly, you want to end on a high note. So, most interviewer's try and summarize their thoughts quickly, so that after you leave the room, they can figure out exactly what they're thinking. And they're less accurately going to remember what you said at the start, unless it as a clanger. So, you want their last impression of you to be as awesome as the first, because that's normally when they're taking notes, or having a conversation.

Make sure you have a big smile, say it was great to meet you, great for the opportunity. A firm handshake, end on a high note. That's what I recommend. So, those couple of things that you need to think about when you're thinking about the interview.

Now, the other thing you need to think about is you should mirror the body language of the person who's interviewing you. Of course they're going to know you're doing this, because that's what they're trained in. Don't go overboard. But you want to match the interviewer's tone. And the reason I say that is because a lot of introverts can come across as standoffish and bored, distant, unenthusiastic, and lots of other negative words. And that might not be the case. We might just be internally thinking and scrambling, and look that way.

So, to make sure that your interviewer doesn't have this impression of you, just subtly copy the interviewer. If they use a lot of gestures, also use gestures. Think about the tone. Is it professional? Courteous? Telling jokes? Whatever it is, try and meld with that.

So, those are my tips on sort of pre-interview techniques to stop you getting too nervous and too worried about what you're going to say. Have little notes in advance as well, of things you could talk about, as well as the highlights of your career. Thank you for listening, this is Janice from the Career Introvert. I look forward to helping you with your business and your career moving forward, along with your introversion. Thanks for listening.

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