The 2 qualities that set introverts apart in job interviews: They're 'actually a strength'
The job interview is a social endeavor. Yes, its underlying objective is a professional one — to be offered the role you've applied for. But the success of the interaction itself comes down to chemistry, ease of conversation and a general feeling of fit on your side and theirs.
While some people thrive in social situations and love meeting new people, others find these interactions stressful and anxiety-provoking. For introverts, for example, the job interview can be especially taxing.
"On our career coaching team, one of the most common questions we get from job seekers who self-describe as 'introverted' is how to confidently talk about themselves, their skills and career achievements during an interview," says Toni Frana, lead career expert at FlexJobs.
But while the act of being around new people and trying to make a good impression might be tough, introverts possess a few qualities that give them an edge over everyone else.
'Introverts are thoughtful listeners'
"In general, introverts are thoughtful listeners who often need to think carefully about what they're going to say before speaking," says Frana.
Especially in a situation where what you say matters for your professional future, this is a huge leg up. People who are inherently comfortable in social situations might think out loud instead of taking a minute to internally consider what they're going to say, says Yolanda Owens, career coach at The Muse.
"Being an introvert is actually a strength because they do take that time to process and filter their responses," says Owens. "And they tend to be better active listeners and strategic thinkers."
When it comes to interview advice, "I always tell them to leverage that to their advantage," says Owens.
'Lean into your introverted nature'
If you identify as an introvert and you find yourself faced with a challenging question or if you simply need extra time to come up with an answer, says Frana, "lean into your introverted nature. While silence can be scary in an interview, don't be afraid to take the time you need to build strong answers by saying something like, 'That's interesting, let me take a second to think about that,' before responding."
Plus, she says, "know that curiosity, being a good listener and having the ability to work alone are coveted skills — and all common traits among introverts. Be confident in owning that you're an introvert by explaining how these skills are advantageous to your professional capabilities and in achieving career goals."
Introvert or not, it behooves anyone to listen carefully during interview and consider what you're going to say before saying it.
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