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Most people don’t associate introverts with the idea of attention-grabbing impact and unforgettable first impressions. There’s a good reason for that: Whilst introverts are quite capable of being socially ‘noisy’ when comfortable, they tend to react to new situations by carefully processing stimuli mentally, before delivering a response.

It is not that introverts are shy (that’s a different thing) but that they are thoughtful. Put this into a job interview situation and it can at first appear troubling. However adept you may be at the tasks for which you’re being assessed, you can’t get past the fact that interviewers will (unconsciously) base much of their decision on the impact you make in the first few moments after meeting them.

But it is not as though being an introvert makes you incapable of making an impression. Rather, it means you need to tailor your approach to make the best use of the unique skills and traits that make you the kind of person you are. It also means taking some more general steps to ensure you are as prepared as possible for the particular trials of the job interview process.

Here’s how:

  • Make sure to take plenty of time before the interview to get yourself into the right physical and mental state to excel. Take the morning off work if you can, to do some extra last minute research and preparation. But also concentrate on staying calm and upbeat. Try doing some yoga or going for some tea and cake before the interview. And make sure that you know exactly where you’re going, and how to get there, so that you are not flustered when you arrive.
  • Think also beyond the job, to the human connection that you need to make. While extroverts connect with groups of people, introverts tend to engage with others one-to-one. That means that when you arrive, greeting a panel of 3 or 4 people may throw you immediately out of your comfort zone. So instead, don’t think of them as a panel.
  • Take time to make eye contact with each person individually as you say hello. It’s also good to prepare some small talk in advance so that you are not immediately plunged into an awkward silence. You can mention something about your journey, or an element of your surroundings that impresses you. Remember, while you might not always have an answer on hand – most introverts take a little while longer to form a response they’re happy with – asking a question is a great way to break a silence and show that you are interested and engaged with those around you.
  • Importantly, you want to communicate the fact that you are a thoughtful, considered, engaged individual and that you have a host of proud achievements and skills that you can bring to the job. Once you get past the greeting stage, you may be asked to talk about your accomplishments. This is another chance to wow the panel, but naturally you may be inexperienced at ‘showing off’.
  • The idea of bragging makes you feel uncomfortable. Instead, try framing your achievements in terms of what you learned from the experience of completing them. Put your successes in the context of what you could achieve for this new company. And talk about how you’d like to build on these accomplishments in the future.

This infographic by CashNetUSA provides a full rundown on how an introvert can make a great first impression at a job interview, and sustain that good start throughout the whole process. Run through it point-by-point, using that attention to detail for which introverts are justly famed, and you’ll be ready to wow your next interview panel in your own unique way.


Reference: The Undercover Recruiter

  • As a Global IT director with General Motors, it’s critical that I source high calibre technical candidates every time. ERS bring such a level of confidence and integrity to the pipeline of candidates that distinguishes them from everyone else in the market. ERS is about relationship building, getting to know our company, our management team and our requirements. They assist tailoring job specifications to ensure the widest range of candidates are attracted to the job profiles. ERS hands on screening of candidates means that we have an excellent ratio of interviews to job offers and subsequently, shorter ramp-up cycles, improved business value, increased efficiency and low attrition. Candidates are not just screened based on their CVs, ERS invests a lot of time to get to know the candidates and this profiling gets best results, both for my teams and for the prospective candidates. Our local team has hired successfully through ERS from multiple countries which means our teams are also very diverse in their skills, experiences and cultures. The technical roles filled range from Senior managers, Architects, Java developers, Mainframe, Middleware, SAP, High-performance computing, Mobile Development, Infrastructure, scrum masters and a wide range of global operational roles. Global IT Director General Motors

  • ERS, part of the Casseo Group were engaged on a critical programme aimed at further enhancing Dell’s renowned Supply Chain model for outbound logistics in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa). The ERS team immediately “hit the ground running” and added immense value in augmenting the internal Dell IT team seeking to expedite this critical project.  They brought a strategic and realistic view of the possibilities for the project, as well as a professional focus on delivery of a quality product to agreed timescales.  They managed a wide range of internal relationships, as well as cementing the external commitments needed from Dell’s partners to make the project a reality.  Throughout the project life cycle, they always brought a practical perspective to the table when wrestling with a complex project, and executed creative and innovative solutions to ensure success. A very worthwhile partnership which I would eagerly recommend to those in search of external expertise and commitment in meeting their project commitments. Dell

  • GE Financial Insurance (now Genworth Financial) engaged ERS as part of the Casseo group, to assist in the delivery of a complex cross-functional project. The project entailed managing the IT Infrastructure and providing IT Support to assists a dedicated debtor recovery team that was set up specifically for the project. Based in Birmingham, ERS leveraged excellent project management and technical skills to quickly win the confidence of the local team. Over a period of time, ERS as part of the Casseo group worked hand-in-hand with this team to deliver an outstanding result where significant more debts were recovered than had been thought possible.  I have no hesitation in recommending ERS and the Casseo Group. Programme Manager, Genworth Financial

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