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The introvert’s IT job interview guide: 10 tips
Are you ready to leap the interview hurdles that introverts often dread? Use these expert tips to prepare – and win that role
6. Learn to sell your successes
Some introverts are uncomfortable singing their own praises, but promoting your wins to a prospective employer is part of the process. Reframing this in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging can help introverts get over this hump. “When asked to discuss your successes, achievements or what you are most proud of, prepare in advance to frame your achievements in terms of what you learned from the experience of completing them,” says Scott. “Talk about your successes in the context of what you could achieve and bring to this new organization.”
7. Listen, pause, then answer
Those tending toward introversion like to think before speaking. “This trait is very powerful, and increasingly more important, especially as communication continues to speed up due to instant communication,” says Matt Eventoff, founder of Princeton Public Speaking, which works with IT leaders on communication and messaging strategy. “We all have sent texts, emails, or Slack messages that would look much different if we thought about the response for a few minutes, or even 45 seconds, the power of reflecting before responding immediately is valuable in any organization,” he says. There may be pressure during an interview to speak quickly, but smart IT leaders will take the time . “Someone who is quieter can really excel at this, and will stands out,” Eventoff says. “[Also], the easiest way to root out dysfluency – the “umm, ahh, like, you know” – is to follow this rule.”
8. Make the most of your own interview questions
“Make sure you have prepared a set of good thought provoking questions of your own to ask in the interview, based on what you have learned in your preparation,” says Bates. Interviewers usually set aside time for any questions the candidate has.
Also, switching roles can be a valuable tool for introverts. “It’s a two-way interview,” Eventoff says. “He who asks the questions has the power, so introverts would be better served to ask questions rather than being withdrawn. It takes the pressure off if your approach is to focus not just on the interview questions, but also on whether the job is right for you.”
9. Schedule wisely
Introversion or extroversion is ultimately about where you receive and expend your energy. Job interviews are exhausting for introverts. They should never schedule job interviews back to back. “Introverts re-energize through quiet time, so after each interview, give yourself time out to recharge,” says Scott. Likewise, allow yourself alone time before the interview – particularly if the panel comprises more than one person. If the interview will include a walk around the new workplace or an assessment center, make sure you have a few minutes apart to gather your thoughts and your strength.
10. Be honest
Introverts may feel compelled to “put their extrovert on” in an interview, but it’s dangerous to present yourself as someone else. It could land you in a role that’s not right for you. “Trying to be [too] smiley and outgoing to make a good impression ensures the hirer will incorrectly categorize you,” says Scott. It’s also important to be clear about your ideal working conditions and boundaries. “Working as part of a team full of extroverts wouldn’t be your preferred environment,” Eventoff says. “Authenticity and sincerity go a lot further than you might realize, so be true to yourself and who you are.”
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