Over the years, you've learned how to balance your need for occasional solitude with your need to interact and find success in a social, busy, noisy world. You value your alone time and you recharge during quiet moments, but you also work hard for a living in an industry that requires confidence and bold interaction.
But while you've learned to navigate the occasional awkward office holiday party, you still haven't learned to embrace one of the most socially complex challenges of professional life: The interview. In fact, your palms may be getting a little sweaty just thinking about the idea.
Don't worry. A few tips like the ones below can help you stay cool and collected the next time you find yourself in the interview spotlight.
1. Don't overthink. Most of the anxiety, self-criticism, and awkwardness you may feel during the interview process are generated in your own head. It may be hard to believe, but the interviewer isn't really peering into your soul. He's just glancing over you, following company procedure, and looking for someone he can trust to perform a specific job. This is just a conversation. Lighten up and turn your focus outward. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and mentally adjust the spotlight so it falls on him and the company, not you.
2. Not every job will be right for you. The faster you realize this, the happier your working life will be. The world is full of introverts who try to shoehorn themselves into mismatched roles in highly social industries because they think they should. Respect yourself, and if you're trying to "fake it 'til you make it" and plaster on a fake smile to step into a job that will make you miserable, stop and reconsider. Who exactly are you doing this for?
3. Your clothes should feel comfortable. Suits are no longer required attire for interviews, though they're rarely a bad choice. But whether you choose a suit, a shirt and tie, or skirt-blouse-cardigan combo, make sure your clothes (and your shoes) fit properly and present an accurate picture of who you are. Too many introverts suffer through blistering feet and itchy fabrics during job interviews, which can take them even further out of the moment than they already are.
4. Arrive early. The more control you have over the day, the better. Wake up earlier than you think you need to, eat a healthy breakfast, and leave for your venue at least ten minutes earlier than your GPS suggests.
5. If you feel real passion for this work, let it show. Don't be afraid to emote. Stay positive, of course, but let your interviewer know how much you care about this business and about your personal ownership over your projects. Use non-verbal cues if you can, but if you struggle with this, just use your words. If you have strong positive feelings about this company or this job, just say so. State them directly.
A Great Interview Starts with a Strong Resume
Before you even begin preparing for your meeting with a potential employer, launch your candidacy in the right direction with a strong resume. Visit MyPerfectResume for resume help that will make a great impression long before the day of your interview arrives.