Introverts get a bad rap: they’re pigeon-holed as quiet, distant, people-haters. However, this isn’t at all the case! The difference between introverts and extroverts is how social interaction makes them feel. Where extroverts are energized by interaction with other people, introverts can find those same interactions exhausting.

This isn’t to say that introverts don’t like people: they simply need some alone time to recharge. Meeting new people can cause introverts to experience even faster drains on their energy levels. Most of us have a blend of both introverted & extroverted tendencies, but it’s natural to identify with one over the other.

If you have introverted tendencies, it can feel like the entire job seeking process is working to undermine you. The reality is that introverts make wonderful employees! A whole company of extroverts would be way less productive than a company with plenty of introverts added to the mix.

But if you struggle with overcoming the social interaction hurdles involved in the hiring process and want some help, we’ve got a great guide to help you get hired – without grating on your introverted brain.

Plan Ahead

The more you know about the situation and the more variables you can eliminate, the more comfortable you’re likely to be on the day of your interview. So plan out every detail you can!

  • Make sure to do your research! Check out the company’s website and find their mission statement. Relate it to your personal goals – this makes for a killer intro.
  • Print your resume, figure out questions you want to ask, and have your interview bag packed the day before so you won’t forget anything important.
  • Try on and lay out your interview outfit the night before. You can also ask a friend for their opinion if you’re unsure.
  • Map out the exact route you’re going to take to get to the interview site. If you’re really unfamiliar with the area, do a test drive to the location the weekend before so you don’t have to worry about it on the big day.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before and have a healthy, protein rich breakfast. You’ll have plenty of energy to take on the world and get that job!

Practice, Practice, Practice

One of the best things to do is to conduct a mock interview with a friend a week before your interview day. See if the company’s Glassdoor page has any interview questions that you can prepare with. And be sure to add in the classics: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? Why do you want to work with us?

Having a prepared answer will take the pressure off and boost your confidence. It’s also a good idea to practice these responses the day before while looking in the mirror. Body language can make a big difference in how the interviewer receives you, so be sure to smile and make eye contact!

Build in Breaks

Small talk with new people can be a tedious thing. Meeting a bunch of strangers (that you depend on for your possible future livelihood no less!) is a stressful thing. Whether it’s a long interview or you have multiple interviews in one day (eep!!), make sure to give yourself little breaks throughout the day. Get up a little earlier than normal and plan out some “you” time in the morning to give you an extra boost to last you throughout the day. Make sure to get there early to allot some time to gather yourself in your car. It will also keep you from getting frazzled by unexpected traffic delays. Finally, if you’re asked if you’d like a break, take it! There’s a good chance your interviewers could use one too.

Be Confident in Who You Are

You might worry that a hiring manager will favor a bubbly extrovert over you. While some people can get drawn into the charm of an extrovert, this is a professional interview, and there’s no reason to assume what type of person your interviewer is looking for Don’t pretend to be a different person than you are during an interview – you may come across as fake. Rest assured that your value will shine through, and you may be exactly who they’re looking for. In general:

  • Introverts are usually methodical thinkers who work well in small groups.
  • They are typically dedicated employees who know how to buckle down to get things done.
  • Introverted workers are often great listeners.
  • They are more likely to thoroughly prepare in advance.

While these things don’t necessarily reflect every introvert, they do apply to a lot of them! Show off your own set of soft skills in your interview; you’ve got a lot to offer.