Why an article on this?
As you saw in Part I of this series around Introverts making great Team Leaders, it’s not a bad thing to be an introvert!
If you have missed Part I, I would invite you to read it HERE to understand the innate leadership qualities you already possess.
However, being introverted also means that you might want to consider extra care before showing up at an interview!
Why, do you ask? Simply because when you want to be in management you are expected to feel comfortable in public and appear comfortable in any type of situation.
This implies that you need to consciously create a connection right away that might not come as easy as it would be with an extroverted individual.
People who are not introverts (and your hiring manager, even they were once introverts, have managed to come through it in their line of work) can’t understand the challenge it is to do public speaking. And yet, this is maybe the first time you will have to interview in front of many people with different ranks.
For an introvert, that can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few tricks you can apply right now so that it becomes second nature to hide your reserve only to show self-confidence.
Therefore, in this article, I will share with you 5 tips you can use if you want to shine in a leadership interview even if you are introverted.
#1 – Come overly prepared
Just to make sure we are on the same page here, I want to be clear on the fact that I am not asking you to become an extrovert.
Being an ex introvert myself, that would be a disservice to you as you wouldn’t sound authentic and therefore would create a disconnect with your audience.
I am not asking you to become an extrovert, I am asking you to show self-confidence and create an immediate connection at the interview.
You will need to prepare more. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, although this is usually not an issue for introverts to study and absorb information anyway.
The reason I am saying that you need to come overly prepared for the interview is that as an ex introvert, I remember that I was unsettled when I was asked something I hadn’t previously studied. And unfortunately, that showed.
It is obvious in fact because your face usually displays surprise or embarrassment. Why? Because you interiorize emotions by not expressing them verbally, however, your body language and your facial expressions give you away.
I can pinpoint an introvert the first seconds of an interview now, and as a consequence, I can tell who’s done their work and who hasn’t.
By preparation, I mean:
– having researched the company
– having prepared and anticipated the questions and how you will answer
– having prepared questions to ask for at the end of the interview
Being so prepared is going to help you shine at the interview because all hiring managers love seeing serious candidates; candidates who invest upfront time and energy before showing up at the interview. It shows respect, focus, reliability, accountability.
I can only recommend my course at this stage if you want to benefit from such preparation and arrive with a winning attitude at the interview. You can have a look at the modules and see for yourself if this is something you would be interested in.
#2. Rehearse the right attitude
Let’s face it, if you are not familiar with this type of exercise, an interview can throw you off.
The first interviews were quite horrible for me. I felt totally out of place. It was very painful for me.
Then, I discovered the wonderful world of body language.
I took a course at the time and found great benefits in learning what to do with my hands, etc.
The only thing is that I didn’t have a real-life example to rehearse on and I still looked awkward at interviews.
Until I started to work abroad. This changed my world.
Look, I am not asking you to travel around in the hope you will have an epiphany and feel at ease at interviews. Not at all.
This trick is so simple that you might roll your eyes, wondering if I’ve been drinking while I am writing this article.
It’s 6.30pm here in France, so I could have a glass of champagne with nibbles, but no, I am dead serious!
Drum, drum, drum, the trick is to chat with the grocery cashier.
Er, come again? Yes, that’s it. The lady or gentleman at the cashdesk is not going to scream at you and will appreciate a little chat.
When I first arrived in the US back in the 90s, I had to step out of my comfort zone, but I was accompanied most of the time so I didn’t have to make that much of an effort.
However, when I settled for a few years in Ireland and was living on my own, I had to revisit the plan! I started to chat away with the ladies at the cashdesk and ended up making a routine out of it.
Believe me or not, that allowed me to feel less uncomfortable sitting at interviews until I gradually mastered the exercise.
This taught me:
– How to be at ease responding to someone
– How to smile naturally without looking weird
– How to have eye contact
– Smile when you feel like it; don’t force anything.
– Don’t slouch on the chair, but don’t be rigid either, try and find a comfortable position because you are most likely going to spend one hour there.
– Speak with a low tone; those with high tones in voice can be perceived as being overly anxious or unsure of what they are saying.
– Ask questions if you are unsure what you’ve been asked; once I didn’t dare to ask again as I was afraid to look stupid and I ended up giving a bad response. OR if you need time to think of an answer.
As an introvert, you usually learn everything by heart to avoid having a blank moment. During the interview, there could be a time or two when a question takes you back. Freezing is not an option, as you can imagine.
So, to give you time to think, you can rephrase the question, as if you want to make sure you have clearly understood it.
You can also ask clarifying questions around it such as: “I assume I can give an example related to my previous job for this question”, or “Does the question also relate to a sales department?”; anything to clarify the question
During that clarification, it gives you time to think of a relevant answer. The hiring manager will never interrupt your question as their objective is also to find the right person, so it is always best to ensure the candidate has fully understood the question.
As an introvert, you have innate leadership qualities you should be proud of. However, an interview is usually a painful exercise for you, one you would prefer to skip, but unfortunately it still represents a necessary step to your success.
There are however a few tricks you can implement that will ensure that you will shine at the interview.
Hiring managers will be on the lookout to see if you can create a connection because ultimately that connection will allow you to lead a team….or not.
Therefore, it is imperative that you do go prepared and show the right level of self-confidence and your ability to create an immediate connection.
Don’t think I write articles and then wish you good luck! No, Ma’am! I have you covered with a unique course that will secure you the leadership role that you dream of.
Prerequisites to take that full course: being a determined, ambitious and spiritual type of woman. Because the course is intense and comes with a 21-day challenge, exercises, quizzes, and a coaching type of eBook.
If you feel ready to take a leap of faith, this is the COURSE I am telling you about.