For some people, talking comes naturally. They’re gregarious, social creatures who are perfectly comfortable talking about any subject – including themselves. Others, however, aren’t as comfortable with social situations and self-promotion. For these introverts, job interviews – where the whole point is to talk about themselves – can be difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to turn that perceived weakness into an asset and ace any interview.
The Strong, Silent Type
You can say a lot about yourself without actually saying anything. A professional, organized approached – clean, professional clothes, a well-groomed personal appearance, and calm, confident body language will make a positive first impression. Lean forward, make eye contact, smile, and offer a firm handshake.
What you’re trying to convey is a presence of calm, steady competence. That you, to steal a line from Rudyard Kipling, “can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” You’re never going to outtalk those social butterflies, but what you can do is make all their talking seem frivolous, while making your quiet confidence in your abilities say as much or more about you than your words.
Substance, not flash
You’ve established yourself as a man or woman of few words, so make the ones you do use matter. Prepare ahead of time and practice answers to common interview questions. When you do speak, make every word count. Often, more reserved people will speak too quickly or too softly, which can make them appear overly nervous. Be calm, clear and deliberate, making eye contact with the interviewer.
It’s often the case that people who talk less are more attentive to the world around them and better listeners in conversation. If you’re like this, and more comfortable listening than talking, turn the interview into a conversation. Ask the interviewer about the types of challenges you’re likely to face in the job, then relate those to your past experience. This not only shifts some of the talking burden from you, it reinforces the appearance that you have a cool head on your shoulders.
After your interview, make sure to send a quick note of thanks, preferably handwritten, to everyone who met with you. This will help keep you at the front of their minds, and underline your position as a thoughtful, thorough person.
No matter what your personality type, we can help prepare you to land a great job that fits you. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you make the best impression in those all-important interviews.