Are you an introvert? Here are tips to help you shine during your next job interview.

Share story

In my years as a career coach, I’ve found that introverted clients often have a tougher time nailing interviews. Job seeking is nerve-racking for everyone, but the ongoing interaction and need to always be “on” can be especially draining for introverted personalities.

The assumption that hiring managers are always looking for outgoing star employees who dazzle them with their personalities can translate into nervousness and self-doubt for job candidates who aren’t innately extroverted. But hiring managers aren’t always seeking this employee. Sometimes they need an outgoing go-getter, other times it’s an introspective thinker.

Introverts, to shine in your next interview, try these tips.

Know your strengths. Introverts are less likely to self-promote, which makes it extremely important for them to deeply understand their unique strengths. This allows you to talk objectively about your skills in a no-nonsense way. Start this task by conducting a S.W.O.T. analysis.

Practice, practice, practice. A common complaint among my introverted clients is that they have a hard time speaking eloquently on the fly. To overcome this, preparedness is key. Develop a list of potential questions an interviewer might ask and practice answers out loud until your delivery feels natural. Take this a step further by calling on a family member or friend to help you conduct mock interview sessions.

Bring a “prop.” Another technique to overcome getting tongue-tied is creating a portfolio of work to bring to your interview. Having this on hand helps you talk about your experience in an engaging way, and it’s something you can easily turn to when you’re stuck on what to say next.

Remember, interviews are a two-way street. Think about interviews as a conversation instead of an interrogation. While an interviewer is trying to understand if your skills are the right fit for their open position, it’s just as important for you to determine if a job, company and manager are a good fit for you. Keeping this in mind puts less pressure on the interview and can immensely improve your performance while easing jitters.

Give yourself time to decompress. Introverts re-energize through quiet time, so don’t schedule your interviews back-to-back, if possible. After each interview, give yourself time to decompress and recharge. Even further, to improve your interview skills, take the time to reflect on each job interview, asking yourself what went well, what didn’t and how you can improve next time.

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at