Advertising
Advertising

5 Tailor-Made Tricks for Introverts to Nail Job Interviews

5 Tailor-Made Tricks for Introverts to Nail Job Interviews

It could be said that introverts are the new black. But that was not always the case. Extroverts always seemed to have that extra advantage when it came to things like networking and landing a great job. After all, they are more outspoken, social, and certainly not shy about communicating their personal brand. This makes it easier for them to ace an interview, right? Not necessarily.

There’s been a shift where more people are embracing the hidden strengths of introverts. Remember, being an introvert doesn’t mean that you’re one way all of the time. In fact, you may share some traits attributed to extroverts depending on the situation; you just naturally lean more to one side.

You see, introverts are not a quiet group; they can be expressive. They are not meek, but strong. They are not boring, but interesting. Unfortunately, as an introvert, you do not have much time on your side for an interviewer to figure out your personality. You have to make a good impression, fast.

Advertising

Instead of wearing a “Pardon my demeanor, I’m an introvert” sign, try these 5 tailor-made tricks to nail job interviews.

1. Clear your calendar  

It’s no secret that social activities are often challenging for introverts. Introverts charge internally when they are alone. Being around others may make them feel uncomfortable and judged — for not being the social butterfly others think they should be.

This feeling is even more amplified when it comes to a job interview.  For that reason, make sure you are fully charged the day of your interview. Keep your schedule light beforehand so that you have the quiet time needed to prepare and gather your thoughts. This will help you feel more energized so you can showcase your personality — without feeling burned out.

Advertising

2. Prepare clear talking points

Saying the right thing in an interview is important to anyone — regardless of personality type. But for introverts, it’s even more nerve wrecking. You don’t feel comfortable naturally “winging” it like extroverts, so it’s important to have key points already in your head.

It’s not to say you must rehearse until you sound like the captain of the debate team. But you should specifically focus on stories that show how your skill-set matches the job description. Why? Because you can bet the interviewer will ask you to elaborate on experience that’s related to the job. Your talking points will be a great way to easily answer questions, and show how you are an important part of your team’s success.

3. Lean on your listening skills

An advantage that introverts have over extroverts is their ability to internally analyze their surroundings and take in information. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking says, “Introverts often work more slowly and deliberately. They like to focus on one task at a time and can have mighty powers of concentration.”

Advertising

Good listening skills are the key to tapping into the expectations of an interviewer.  Use your ability to take in information as a trick to be in tune with what is being asked of you in that role.  You’ll not only be on the mark with your answers, but you will also show the interviewer that you understand exactly what is needed to hit the ground running.

4. Match your interviewer’s communication style

This trick is something that will help you stay focused on your interviewer and not your own nervousness. Take note of your interviewer’s style: Is he or she energetic? Straight forward? Laid back? Don’t go crazy being someone you are not, but use these cues as a gauge of how to mirror their style.

When you are being interviewed, your interviewer is not only testing your skills, but also wants to see if you are someone they can easily interact with. They want to know about your personality on a casual level. Many introverts do not like small talk, but it’s important that you positively engage with your interviewer throughout the process.

Advertising

Matching the way your interviewer communicates will ensure that you do not come off as overly shy, uninterested, or hard to manage. You will make a great impression and show that you are personable and adaptable.

5. Watch your non-verbal cues

Even if you’ve mastered talking about your experience, there’s one thing that can hinder your interview success: your body language. Being naturally shy, introverts shrink when in the spotlight because they prefer to stay in the background. An interview puts you front stage and center, and it brings out non-verbal cues that make you appear less confident. Not to mention, the interviewer will be watching your every move from the moment you enter the door. (No pressure, though!)

Don’t let your body language stop you from closing the deal. Work on being aware of things you do when you’re nervous. Nonverbal cues include weak eye contact, a limp handshake, and fidgeting.  Focus on presenting a confident image by dressing professionally and keeping even facial expressions. Also, be mindful of verbal cues that show that you’re nervous. Using filler words such as “umm”  “like” or “you know” are dead giveaways.

Advertising

Thinking about these things may make you even more nervous, but try not to worry. Instead, be aware of your behavior so that you can present your best image.

More by this author

Marietta Gentles Crawford

Speaker | Personal Brand Strategist

30 Best Quotes to Inspire You to Never Stop Learning 5 Tailor-Made Tricks for Introverts to Nail Job Interviews 5 Easy Steps to Refuse to Lower Your Expected Salary Wisely 10 Things Strong Interview Candidates Do That Make Them Get Hired Every Time This Infographic Will Make You Think Twice Before You Post To Social Media

Trending in Communication

1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

Advertising

Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

Advertising

Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

Advertising

Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

Advertising

This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

Advertising

Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next