How to Interview When You Are an Introvert

Episode 9- How to Interview When You Are an Introvert

Hello hello and welcome to the site hustle experience podcast I’m your host Eddiana. Today’s episode is going to be about how to interview well as an introverted person. Woo! I’m excited about this one because this is another one close to my heart. Today we’re going to be chatting all about the interview process and how to do so when you are an introverted person. Yes, I’m a huge introvert believe it or not and that means for me that I’m more of a social introvert which usually means that I love people, but they also exhaust me. This means that you know I can definitely hold a good conversation. I can be super sympathetic and I can be super friendly. But once I have a social interaction like an interview, most likely I need a week off from talking to people because I’m mentally exhausted. If you’re an introvert I would assume you are listening to this podcast or even if you’re not I think that for non-introverted people listening to this I think it would be a great way for you to learn more about us introverted people and what makes us the way we are. By no means- I am not an expert at all. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist so, just want to put that caveat out there, that I am unfortunately not self-diagnosed. This is something that I actually talk about with my therapist and it is something that I also talk to my doctor about to understand the reason why I was always so exhausted after social functions and exhausted after work. Although I love my job, being a recruiter requires you to talk to a lot of people.

Do a lot of smalltalk and sometimes my job it’s it can be training. You know it can be really draining because I’m doing something that doesn’t energize me so the way that introversion usually works is if you’re an introvert, and probably don’t know it, it’s that your energy is drawn by being alone by a long time. That’s how you recharge when you are talking to people. That’s fine. You’re truly good and okay at the moment but as soon as you’re done with that conversation, with our interaction, you feel mentally and physically drained sometimes. Even when I’m doing this podcast I feel my tongue kind of swollen and really dried out because of the talking piece again as an introvert. You’re more of an observant person you like to listen a lot more and sometimes. I think that’s why I decided to become a coach because that’s a lot what we do right? We listen a lot. We’re very good at active listening. There are so many good things that we all have that we should embrace.

Another fact is that more than forty percent of the population is introverted and the thing about that is that our world is an extroverted world, which means that it is driven and technically set up for people who are extroverted. This means that those are people whose energy comes from having conversations from interacting with people from socializing, having smalltalk. From people who like to have parties and love having people around them. For me, I’m okay with people around me but I’m gonna need a week off from that of just like retrieving to my little small place where I don’t have to do a lot of talking anyways. I went into a tangent talking about what introversion means. Again, this is just a general definition. What I understand it to be and how I had to diagnose with my doctor, but I just wanted to chat a little bit about interviews in this case because it is a huge challenge for us introverted people to do well in interviews because interviews are full of smalltalk.

Interviews, in general, can be one of the hardest aspects of job searching because, a lot of the time whether we like it or not, most of our personalities are being assessed and a lot of the skills that we have in order to demonstrate who we are and whether we’re capable of doing the job well are going to lie on our personality and our abilities to really sell our skills to that particular person who’s interviewing us. The reason I want to give you these tips is that I believe that a lot of companies, unfortunately, don’t do the best job at training their interviewers at properly assessing different personalities. They all go into interviewing people with this checklist in their mind as to who’s gonna be the purple unicorn who’s gonna be that Ninja and that perfect candidate. But in reality, there could be an amazing person who can do the job that just happens to be introverted and unable to show that enthusiasm and that excitement just because of their personality. So a lot of us end up suffering from not getting jobs because the interviewer is probably not assessing us correctly because they’re not trained properly in how to have conversations with people like us- how to phrase questions in ways that are going to make us chat a little bit more or appear to be more enthusiastic. Sometimes I see I kind of catch myself doing this as well where you know if somebody’s not smiling or…

…cracking jokes or doing small talk, sometimes I try to put myself in their shoes. Maybe they’re introverted. That’s probably why they’re not showing all of these other signs that we are looking for. But in reality, if the job doesn’t require doing any of those things, why am I assessing you on that? But unfortunately, that’s just how the world works the reason why I’ve decided I put together these steps for you if you are introverted is that I have, I think, really mastered the extroverted world. I am married to a huge extrovert. He loves having people around him. He loves it. He gets all this energy from the people around him. So I’ve learned a thing or two or how to really kind of catch on to that energy. I happen to be an empath as well, so I grab on the energies from people around me. So If you’re very enthusiastic and kind of loud and out there I’m probably gonna catch on to that. And that is something that I Absolutely recommend on the extroverted side. Just try to mirror that excitement on the other person so that you don’t get kicked to the curb just because you’re extroverted.

So these people not being properly trained on how to access these personalities can absolutely hurt people like us with introverted personalities and so even the most confident people actually when I interview interviewees can just be challenging. You know you’re meeting somebody for the first time around you really want them to like you because, at the end of the day, interviews are all about that, right? If you got the interview, it means that you do have the hard skills the technical skills to do the job, which you potentially demonstrated in your resume. But in the interview piece is of course demonstrating that but also having the person like you and picture you doing the job day to day with team members. Because at the end of the day nobody want wants to work with a jerk so they want to make sure that you are going to be a match to what are those that are looking for to watch the team. So, you know, when it comes to the reason my interviews can be specifically challenging for me as an introvert, it’s because it’s a huge social interaction. It’s full of smalltalk a lot of conversation about a lot about you. People are asking you tons of questions and sometimes just feel uncomfortable talking about us most of the time because we like to do the listening and so that can pose a whole and other sense of challenges and obstacles when it comes to the job searching process. In the interview stage. Sometimes you know as introverted we can come across as not engaged or not as excited or enthusiastic and that, again as I mentioned, can play against us. But it is just in our minds. Sometimes it’s just it can be very right in our minds can be preoccupied with the anxiety of talking to a stranger let me know if that makes sense. I’m just gonna repeat myself one more time. The reason why sometimes we don’t come across as engaged or excited or enthusiastic in these situations is because, most likely, our minds are being preoccupied and sometimes even grappling with the anxiety of talking to a stranger sometimes we honestly just want to crawl back into our little hole. I know that that sounds like, “Oh God, why are you like that?” It’s just how we are wired, how our brains work. But if you can relate, please let me know I would love to have you over at our Instagram @sidehusleexperience or our TikTok @sidehusleexperience. I would love to have you there. I am more of a real-time talker there I can chat with you. But if you can relate to that. Please let me know because I am continuously trying to find people that can relate to my relationship with how I show up in the world as an introverted person.

But mainly the reason for this podcast is because I absolutely ah think it’s so unfair for people like us to nag at the job just because we are less prone to be deemed competent. Because of the confidence delivery. Sometimes when you’re not excited or enthusiastic or when you’re too nervous because you are uncomfortable talking to a stranger or having small talk sometimes I can come across as you’re not confident as you’re not competent or able to do the job and I just think that’s extremely unfair for people to be. Judge that way in a job interview just because of their personality I mean if you’re going to be doing accounting or even recruiting for that matter I mean I recruit and I am introverted. You can do sales and you can be introverted I just don’t think it’s fair for us to be judged on our level of quote-unquote enthusiasm on a call specifically when it’s the first one when the recruiter is screening you just because of your personality. So I want to give you some tips on how to come across a little bit more extroverted because sometimes you know yeah we should change the system where you don’t get points for that. But until we get there. Let’s just give you some tools that can really help you nail the job interview so that you can. Come on top and potentially even get the job or at the next job interview. So that you can get closer to the job offer because as I’ve always said you know sometimes all the systems are very broken but sometimes all we have to do in order for us to get what we need is to play ball right? is to just kind of play the game and get along. And the way to do this is by blending in and taking some of these steps to heart and being able to implement them in the best you can.

And first of all, before we even jump into the tips I wanted to say that I am so happy and glad that you are here because this is the first step is the first battle to winning that war of preparation before you go into an interview because sometimes interviews again as I mentioned can be one of the toughest pieces of. Searching their nerve-racking and unsettling. But some of that own settlement and some of that nervousness can really go away by you being prepared because sometimes a lot of the fear that we have is because we’re not. We don’t know what to expect sometimes when it’s the unknown out there. It’s hard for us to predict what’s going to happen and that makes us uncomfortable therefore making us nervous so without any further ado, I just want to go ahead and give you some tips that I’ve been able to implement for myself and some of my other clients who happen to be introverted in how to nail your next job interview as an introvert. So number one be mindful of your schedule and what I mean by this is you know as introvert social interactions can be draining and very taxing for us and so the best tip that I have for you is to make sure that you’re ensuring that you’re not scheduling different interviews on the same day.

Because you want to make sure that you have all of the energy that you can to recoup. So if you have 2 3 interviews back to back by the third by the second interview you probably are gonna be drained and not able to even speak so just make sure that you are timing that correctly that you’re being mindful of your schedule. Try to have your interviews in the morning if possible I know sometimes this is not possible. But if it is any chance you get try to get it in the am usually eleven am is my cup of tea sometimes very first things in the mornings are not usually good for me either. I mean my mom stays with us sometimes, God bless her when my husband goes traveling. My mom is really not an introvert. She’s very much of an extravert and she’s a morning person. So the first thing she does when she wakes up is she wants to have these just long-winded conversations and I’m just like I haven’t had coffee yet. It’s very hard for me to start having conversations early on in the morning and I’m at night ow will actually but trying to work on being more in-person considering have 2 kids but you know sometimes in the very early in the AM, I’m really not there yet like my brain just hasn’t woken up. So I like to have things between 103011 am m it’s when I really start being productive with my day and when I really start to kind of form sentences that make sense to me as an introvert and so um, the reason I’m saying am as well is that they could potentially be before your work meetings. If you are working obviously. Essentially looking for another job while you have an odd job which is the best way to do it try to have it before any major work meetings where you have to do the talking and any other social interactions in your day to day in this case, you know chatting with my mom getting the girls ready and making sure I’m chatting with them as well helping them with your speech yada yada yada all of those things. So it’s best to have them in the am if possible because that’s really going to help you have all of that energy at the beginning of the day to be able to have that person get to know you as enthusiastic and excited as you can be if you are interviewing at a company that requires to have different interviews in the same day. Be sure to ask them to give you time in between. They can absolutely do that for you and in this case, gonna be the tech companies are huge are doing 3 to four interviews in one day that can be very taxing I had to happen with my current company and I asked them can I have at least 15 to thirty minutes in between I just need to make sure that I’m re-energizing I let them know that. The reason behind them and um, we’re not getting into another tip in a little bit but similar to this but they can absolutely accommodate you because you want to make sure that you’re giving your best and in order for you to do that. You need to kind of retrieve from all of the energy-sucking things that you’re doing like chatting small talk smiling.

Talking to a stranger and then just having fifteen, twenty, even thirty minutes if possible to yourself or you’re just keeping on having your own thoughts just being isolated from any other type of conversations to kind of give you that energy back so you can get your thoughts to get some energy back for the next interview trust me e will really serve you well so if you can. If you have more than one interview in one day just make sure that you’re kind of spacing them in between to give you chance to recoup that energy. Okay, tip number 2. Okay, are you ready for this? I’m making a list I’m checking it twice I will know who’s naughty and nice. And I’m recording this actually November Twenty-seventh, which is why I thought of this, but this is going to air probably March of 2022 so I might not make so much sense. But the reason I said that is because obviously Christmas is coming and Santa is coming to town and he’s gonna know naughty and nice. Get it. Oh my God, I’m making that jokes right now. But what I mean is just. Make a list of the things that you are a rockstar in. I want you to really hone in on the things that you are very good at like active listening you thrive well in a team environment. You ask very good questions because you tend to not be the one who’s. Most of the time. So really just having these things that you are rockstar really good at it’s really nice to have handy and have as a list where you can rank them from the highest to the lowest but they’re all going to be special skills that you have and have examples on why you are a rockstar in those things. Usually makes you feel more confident and it’s going to make you feel more comfortable using the list at a little bit subtle. It’s gonna be like a subtle bragging list where sometimes you won’t feel as sometimes you won’t feel as self-conscious about the fact that you are introverted to just really having a. Bragging list that you can go by but just grabbing at the moment that you’re interviewing or chatting about your career story or giving examples is really going to make you feel a lot better about yourself and he’s going to give you permission that permission sleep that you need to show up as an amazing human being that you are so that’s number 2 number 3 be prepared for comment interview questions. There’s a free list of the most commonly asked questions available for you to download. So if you go to the show notes after listening to this podcast. You’ll be able to download it. This list is a completely free resource that I’ve put together for you to really help you understand what are the most. Comment interview questions coming from a recruiter herself because again as I mentioned in the beginning, ah being prepared and have an understanding of what’s to come or at least having an expectation of what’s to come. It’s going to make you feel more confident because when you’re surprised sometimes it’s like oh how do I answer this I’m not sure I’m caught off guard and then sometimes.

Really easy questions like tell me about yourself or tell me a weakness of yours or a strength can really throw you off balance because you didn’t prepare and so for introverts, we usually don’t do well with surprises at least I don’t like a lot of surprises I like to know. What’s happening I like to be in control I need to know what to expect and that’s just I’m not sure if that’s just because of the way that I was raised but that’s just how I am and so it’s best to just be prepared with the most common interview questions that I gonna be for short asked in the job interview so that you don’t let them be on you like a surprise. Um, it. It’s better to just know what to anticipate and let things Marinate. You know, just have some bullet points and things that can really prepare you to give those structured answers. So don’t let those really easy common questions stall you and throw you off balance because sometimes they can be really easy. To answer. But sometimes when you don’t have a story and or a game plan to answer that question that can kind of throw you off for the rest of the interview because he’s like oh dan it that was such an easy. Not ac ac question but I didn’t have an answer for it, therefore, I just stumble upon it or I stalled in now I just and then you just gonna be. Thinking about that because I know you as an introvert you’re going to be having anxiety about the one thing that you could have done better while you were in the interview. So don’t let that be the thing that’s going to stop you from showing up as a rock star. Don’t let that be the thing that’s going to stop you from showing up as the skilled person that you are and tell. You disagree with this but that’s just how I feel since I make a mistake and then I’m going to have that mistake in the back of my mind which I could have done this and I could have done that and it’s gonna stop me from doing well the rest of the way because I’m just bidding myself up over something that was so small but don’t let that happen to you I’m warning you and I’m giving you the tips here. Make sure that you’re preparing and again there is a brand new free resource for you to download in the show notes. So just make sure you go and download that so that you are aware of what are the most commonly asked questions in a job interview former recruiter herself. Okay, tip number four stay cool common collected chances. Are is it that they’re going to be asking you something that you might not be prepared for because again that is the thing about interviews. You could have an idea you could prepare for the commonly asked questions that they’re most likely on to ask you but sometimes they might throw you a curveball and that’s okay, too because that’s just the nature of interviews so just make sure that you are well equipped yourself to be able to have filler answers for you so that you can store if necessary so that you can buy some time and what I mean by buying time it doesn’t mean like Minutes will go by for you to buy time I mean seconds ten to fifteen seconds and this can look like this.

So if you were asked something along the lines of “Can you tell me about a time when you made a mistake?” This can be one of the most commonly asked questions but one that trips a lot of people up because they don’t want to say something that’s gonna damage their reputation or their ability to get the job right? Obviously you don’t want to say something that you’ve done wrong and then have that be something that they actually need for the job so that can look something like in this example of being stay cool stay staying cool calm and neglected that is a great question I have many examples let me just give it a quick second to. Ensure I’m providing you with the most recent and relevant information. All of that gave you time to think about something in your mind to remember your notes your research and that way you also gave the person interviewing you some time to say oh, of course, no problem take your time. That’s most likely what they’re gonna say. no problem, take your time absolutely no problem take your time sure take your time most likely they’re going to be saying that in that interaction of that is a great question have many examples. Let me just give me a few seconds so that I can. Um, ensuring that I’m providing you with the most recent and relevant information that gave you at least 10 seconds to kind of just recoup your thoughts and you actually wouldn’t believe how quickly you can collect your thoughts if you’re really prepared so that’s my tip number four okay tip number 5 match their energy and that’s exactly what I was mentioning at the beginning of this podcast I’m a huge person admitting someone else just because I’m an empath and so I kind of feed over all people’s energies and sometimes I can sound cool but sometimes not because sometimes when you have that negative energy. You can also. So on that and you don’t want that you want to make sure you master that piece of you if you are just like me but matching their energy can serve you very well because specifically if an extrovert is interviewing you.

They’re most likely going to be talkative. They’re most likely going to be full of energy and enthusiasm. So I know that it can be exhausting sometimes we come across as boring and not- enthusiastic. But of course, it’s not intentional so you just want to make sure that it’s construed. That it’s not that you’re not excited about the job. It’s just that you’re tired from chatting with people that you don’t know and from making small talk that you really don’t want to be having right now. So it is best for you to try to match the level of energy whenever possible and do this in a discreet manner. It’s not like you’re going to make it so obvious where they’re going to notice that you’re just. Or mirroring what they’re doing. But if you’re doing it in a subtle way where it seems Natural. It’s going to really play in your favor and you can implement this through just a mirroring technique by mimicking body language specifically if you’re doing this in person or virtually via video. It’s very important that if they have their arms. Cross maybe you have your arms crossed as well. A little bit looser if they seem laid back and you know are moving their arms around when they’re talking. Maybe you can do the same if they seem to be smiling when they are chatting to you with you? Maybe you can do the same all of those things are very subtle and not as obvious that you’re just trying to copy what they’re doing but again remembering psychology when you’re chatting with people and getting them to like you is by appealing to them that you have something in common with whether these they’re saying doing or being right? All of those things can really help you all right? So tip number 6 and this is some controversy some people don’t agree with me on this 1 but it’s really served me very well in my clients as well and number 6 is to just tell them that you’re an introvert tell people that it is that you’re just an introvert this is 1 of my favorites. Although it’s super controversial because it has always worked for myself and my clients. I mentioned to it I measured into the conversation I don’t have to make a super obvious but I just mentioned it in and who’s gonna fault you for that I say something along the lines of ah I know I may not look like it. But I’m a huge introvert and then I literally just said that in this episode when I first started I just very smoothly just. Patted it up in there and you notice and people just like oh really I couldn’t have told or I would have never imagined interesting that you said that because they’re going to give me a pass now that they have that in their mind right to understand that if at the end of the conversation I just seem a little bit down. It doesn’t mean that I just. Interest about the job we meet and I’m exhausted from having this thirty-minute conversation with somebody that I don’t know okay and usually saying you know I know that it might not look like it. But I’m a huge introvert usually turns into a natural smalltalk conversation that can really make me feel a little bit less exhausted because’s something that I initiated and I’m comfortable talking about.

Is specifically important because you don’t want to end up in an office where this personality type is not accepted right? So if you want to let them know that you’re an introvert and they’re not really receptive to that or they seem to be like oh you know, like not sure if that’s going to be good for this job or this office. Maybe that’s a good thing because you don’t want to end up in a place where it’s just a bad match for you and them and you also want to be in a place where it’s not okay for you to feel exhausted and just find some time for yourself like. The reason I love the place that I’m working at right now is that, although we’re still not in the office, they know that I’m an introvert and they just get to know where my pep peeves are and just the small conversations just don’t sit well with me so they just engage with me on that type of level because I just don’t like that. Anyways, I’m going to recap the 6 tips that I just gave you so number one make sure that you are being mindful of your schedule. So if you are able to schedule interviews in the morning, that’s going to be the best option for you because you’re going to have all of your energy. Number 2 make a list of the things that make you a rockstar things that you can do or call a sort of bragging list to just let people know what makes you, you? What makes you unique. What makes you awesome aside from the fact that you’re an introvert which is not a bad thing but sometimes people think it is so it’s good to just have the things that make you feel awesome. Number 3 is to be prepared for commonly asked questionings questions which, by the way, I just prepared a list for you which you can download in the show notes after you are done listening to the podcast, you are welcome to. Number four stay calm cool and collected and what this means is that you can absolutely buy time 10 to twenty seconds by saying something on the lines of this is a great question I have many examples to give you let me just give it a few seconds to think about it to ensure that I am giving you the most recent and relevant information the person interviewing you is going to say of course no problem take your time. Oh sure. Absolutely I love that take your time they’re most likely going to give you that answer and that gives you a few seconds to kind of gather your thoughts because sometimes they throw your curve balls on purpose to see how you react and if you react erratic or nervous or upset about the fact that you don’t know the answer that’s going to play against you. So. So. It’s best for you to just kind of collect your thoughts by introducing that filler sentence there to give them information about what it is. You’re thinking number five master energy sometimes chatting as an extrovert and having conversations with strangers can be extremely exhausting and so that can play against you. So sometimes if you just match by doing the mirror technique by mimicking people’s body language, that can really help you kind of level up with them and appear to be more relatable. And number 6, which is my personal favorite, is to just tell them that you are an introvert. Sometimes you can say something on lines of like I know that it might not look like it, but I’m a huge introvert.

To put that out there in case, my energy kind of goes down at the end of the meeting just didn’t want you to think that I wasn’t excited. Um, they’re going to be understanding, and if they’re not maybe that’s not the place for you because it means that they’re not accepting of people who are like you who are not gonna be accepting your boundaries in or the times that you need in order for you to recoup. That energy that you’re kind of putting out there to do the job right? Remember a lot of people are introverted. We just live in an extroverted world. So sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s okay to be an extrovert to be an introvert but there are so many people that I’ve met online who do not. To be introverted at all, but they mask it very well because again we are just living in a world of extroverted people is like being left-handed because everything in the world is for right? handed people right? So that’s something else to kind of think about that a lot of people believe it or not are left-handed but we’re still living in a right-handed world. Goals for extroverted an inch of people and with that being said I also wanted to leave you with some amazing qualities in case, you didn’t know as awesome things that extroverted that in case, you didn’t know introvert people can be amazing. So I just want to let you know. That it is okay to be who you embrace who you are and here are some awesome things that you probably didn’t think about that can be a huge asset for a company for an office for a team that a lot of introverted people have by default and a lot of extrovert people will love to have for themselves but they can’t. Just because they have a different personality type you are detail-oriented. You’re an amazing listener. You are extremely thoughtful. You’re considerate of other people you are creative because you have a lot of time to think and to kind of leave your thoughts in your mind as opposed to just laying everything out and you’re extremely empathetic which is I think what makes me such a great recruiter because I put myself in other people’s shoes I have the ability to see their situation through my eyes and through my perspective in a way that’s going to relate to them. So in case, somebody has told you before this is. Who you are as an introverted person. You are detail-oriented. You’re a great listener. You’re and you’re a very thoughtful person. You’re extremely considerate. You are creative. You’re empathetic so in engaging need right here that that’s what makes you awesome. So sell them on those awesome attributes. A lot of people in an office need all of these skills that you cannot teach these are things that you have as a person that you happen to carry and being born with and a lot of companies and organizations would be super lucky to have you just remember that have that in the back of your mind and you can just do a little checkmark of all those things that I just told you and.

Come up with examples of where you can showcase while you’ve demonstrated these skills like where have you ever demonstrated that you can be detail-oriented or a great listener when you’re an awful or considerable people when you are creative like what are the things I’ve been able to come up with and where you’re empathetic with others. So with that being said. Go out there and kill those job interviews I have so much faith in you. You are awesome and I cannot applaud you enough for being here just listening to this podcast shout out to my amazing client Kimberly for landing a super cool job in recruiting in the tech company she absolutely Adored. So excited I certainly hope that you were listening to this episode, Kimberly! I am rooting for you and I never doubted you for a second! I am so excited for her because she has no prior experience in either the industry or specialty. So she’s never done recruiting before and she’s never been in tech before. And just with one call of our preparation, she was able to not only nail the interview but she was praised by the person who interviewed her for her research skills, how amazing she did in the interview, and how awesome she was able to really talk about her transferable skills from the previous job she had so with that being said, I hope that these served you well. And be sure to share with an introverted friend or family member that you might think of and thank you so much for all the support that you give me so far with these podcasts I cannot wait to provide more information and more amazing interviews again. Thank you so so much for being here I appreciate you more than you can know.

Top Ways to Ace Your Interview as an Introvert

Top 6 ways to score a great interview as an introvert.

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