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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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.

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Marietta Gentles Crawford

Speaker | Personal Brand Strategist

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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