The challenges of introverts in the work force have been well documented in research studies, articles and surveys. After all, it would seem that in order to succeed in your career you would need to be an extravert.
One such challenge many introverts face is that of showing passion during a job interview. In particular, it can be difficult for an introvert to talk about themselves or think on their feet because by nature they take their time to really listen and are more deliberate about responses.
So how can an introvert overcome this challenge to show passion and enthusiasm?
Realize that being an introvert isn’t a weakness.
First, it should be noted that just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you have a weakness. This is only a common misconception because people don’t yet fully understand that introversion is a temperament, not a personality trait.
Besides, wanting to listen carefully and plan your response accordingly is actually a good thing. It only presents a challenge because an introvert may have to express themselves differently than an extravert in order to get the same point across.
By being aware of this challenge, and being aware that introversion isn’t really a weakness, you can work with it instead of against it.
Talk about things you’ve actually done in detail.
As an introverted person, I would always hear that I wasn’t passionate about the job during performance reviews. Because I knew I was an introvert I would go out of my way to talk in detail about the actions I took. As soon as I started doing this my passion and enthusiasm came through my descriptive story telling.
It’s much easier for an introvert to market themselves and show passion if they can talk about things they’ve already done. That way it’s not bragging, they’re just presenting the facts.
If this still seems like a stretch you can also use the STAR and CAR formulas to help you craft your stories.
Think of the interview as a conversation.
At it’s most basic level, a job interview is nothing more than a conversation between two people to see if they can help each other out.
If an introvert can see a job interview as a conversation between two people, instead of having all the attention on them, then they are more comfortable.
Two strengths to keep in mind here are that introverts are great at creating one-on-one connections and they are genuinely interested in other people. If they can tap into that during the job interview they’ll relax and be better able to show their enthusiasm for the job.
You can do this by expressing your interest in the other person and the job at hand from a perspective of wanting to learn more and better understand the job (yet another strength of an introvert).
Listen carefully for opportunities to express your passion.
Introverts are actually very passionate when given the opportunity to talk about something they love. Use your superior listening skills to find instances where you can talk about your interests in relation to the job.
Better yet, you can come up with ways to steer the conversation toward your interests, such as by asking your interviewer questions.
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