Whether you're applying for a part-time, temporary, or full-time job in Malaysia, job interviews always seem to be scary. Especially if you’re an introvert. But don’t be quick to think that you’ll be quick to fail the interview just because you’re an introvert.
Much like extroverts and ambiverts, introverts who don’t ace their job interviews are usually guilty of a few mistakes. Here are some of the common mistakes that introverts make during job interviews:
1. Terrible Body Language
Stressed out or anxious introverts are not the masters of disguise. Introverts are some of the most modest people you will ever meet. And at times, this modesty can be misconstrued as lacking self-confidence. Modest introverts tend to shrink into their chair and tend to not maintain good eye contact.
Instead of concentrating on the content of the interview, try to focus on how you’re presenting yourself to be during the interview. One way to faux self-confidence is by talking slightly louder than usual. Other things that show you’re confident include:
Try not to fidget as best as you can. Fidgeting is a tell-tale sign that shows that you’re nervous. One way to calm your fidgety hands down is by clasping them together on the table or on your lap. Just try to throw in a few hand movements as you’re talking so that you look less like a serial killer.
Make eye contact with the job interviewer. The lack of eye contact is another classic sign of nervousness. Candidates who look down and away from the interviewer might be giving out the wrong signals as opposed to those who make an appropriate amount of eye contact with the interviewer.
If you find it hard to make eye contact, focus instead on the spot in between the interviewer’s forehead. This makes it seem like you’re giving them enough attention and eye contact. But don’t forget to take a few breaks or blink in between. Constant eye contact can make you look extremely creepy.
Don’t ramble. Sometimes when we’re nervous, we ramble. Which is a dangerous trait because we can always go off topic whenever we ramble. To curb yourself from rambling, try to convey only one idea at a time. Don’t worry, if they’ll want you to elaborate your answers, they’ll ask you.
Just be sure to keep your tone as sincere as possible, so that you don’t come across as being dismissive or rude.
Too much pressure or distraction might make you distant. When introverts feel overwhelmed in busy or stressful situations, their natural response is to distance themselves from the situation. Whilst there’s not much you can do to avoid this, one thing you can do is to calm down when you’re finding yourself getting stressed out.
Nipping the feeling in the bud before it gets worse is a good way to avoid dissociating during the interview. Additionally, if you’ve missed out part of the interviewer’s question because you were distracted or unfocused. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat their question. Try asking them this sentence instead, “Sorry, but just to clarify, did you mean….”.
2. Lack of Confidence
Many introverts are confident people. However, in a world filled with extroverts, common introvert traits might be seen as a lack of confidence. Someone with an introverted personality might find it hard to engage in conversation with new people. Others might find extended job interviews (or social interactions) draining.
This might be seen as shyness or “lack of confidence” to extroverts. Since it’s hard for most of us introverts to figure out which of our traits might be seen as “shyness” by extroverts. We recommend having a practice job interview session with a friend. That way, they’ll be able to pin-point out problematic parts of the interview.
3. Avoiding Small Talk
Small talk is inevitable before, during, and after job interviews. Most job seekers don’t realise that employers want to work with people that they can get along with. Employers tend to judge whether or not they get along with a possible job candidate when they’re making small talk with their interviewee.
Learn more about how to succeed in an interview as a twenty-something millennial here.
4. Not Spending Quality Time Alone Before the Interview
All introverts find social situations draining. Some introverts find it comforting and restorative to their energy levels when they’re able to spend time alone before a social event. This self-preservation session doesn’t have to take long. You can take five minutes off before the interview to practice a quick yoga or meditation session. Find a private space, like the office bathroom and practice a few quick poses such as the mountain pose and the tree pose. Just make sure that the bathroom floor isn’t slippery for you to fall on!
If you fail to spend quality time alone before the interview, you might risk feeling drained and tired during the job interview.
5. Failing to List Their Accomplishments
Have we mentioned that introverts are modest people? We dislike bragging and some introverts might consider failing to list their accomplishments as we’re afraid of looking like we’re “full of ourselves”.
But job interviewers are always on the lookout for job accomplishments. You should think of job interviewers as a market to sell your skills. Let them know about your skills. If you’re finding it hard to describe some of your skills, you can back them up with some physical evidence such as a portfolio of your accomplishments. Not only will this help you “show off” your accomplishments, but it will also exhibit your organizational skills.
Your Power As An Introvert
Introverts have the upper hand when it comes to job interviews. Interviewers and hiring managers are great at connecting with individuals and often personable people. This is a strength that you can demonstrate during the interview.
Introverts are also skillful listeners. This is a trait that will come in handy during the interview process. Because it means that introverts have the upper hand, providing great answers that only those listening skillfully can answer.
As an introvert, you have the option of controlling the outcome of the interview. Remember to stay calm during the interview and tap into your fun, personable side. You’ll be able to land a job soon enough.
Did you enjoy this article? We have more articles for introverts and those interested in personality types below!