Companies sometimes make the mistake of hiring only the outgoing types.

They are the ones who answer questions with some enthusiasm and vigor. They have an outsized personality and have a way of making quick friends (for example, the person doing the interview). They get job offers because they know how to get people to like them. Yet, introverts have a skill-set that can add an incredible depth to a project.

If you're an introvert, getting hired doesn't have to be such a grueling process. You don't have to act super-excited as a way to convince a hiring manager you are worth their time. You don't have to pretend to be a "people person" who is energized by the interview process. And, you don't have to "fake" being slightly obnoxious or loud.

There's a better way to land a job. It starts with your attitude.

Since I'm an introvert, I know this from personal experience: You'll need an attitude of confidence that you have the skills to make a difference as a potential job candidate. You bring something to the table. Maybe it's not a rousing story about the time you spoke at a conference and amazed the crowd. You might not have an ability to connect immediately with people and feign interest as a way to make quick allies. Big deal. Your focus should be on the many other attributes.

For example, before you even meet the person doing an interview, think about what you do offer that is different from the more "obvious" hire. Come prepared with detailed plans and ideas about your talents, and be prepared to shine in a different way: By explaining things succinctly and persuasively, by speaking eloquently and with confidence, and by demonstrating that you have unique skills the company really needs. Go into the interview with the assumption that you will have to prove yourself. You will have to overcome the "instantly likable" quality of extroverts.

I believe the way to differentiate yourself in an interview is not by acting loud or by trying to entertain, although it's OK to let your personality shine through. I'd rather be incrementally likable anyway. I've talked to countless company leaders and they almost always talk about skillset. They need people who can do the job, not who just pretend they can do the job. Some positions do require an extroverted personality, and it's important to know you might not be a fit for that role.

But an engineer? A writer? A business analyst? A manager? The CEO of the company? There are countless roles that require a more detail-oriented approach from someone who sticks with a task to completion. That adds value. The interviewing process is definitely harder for introverts, even excruciating, but the trick is to present yourself as confidence and capable. That might mean asking yourself a few tough questions before the interviewer asks you any questions or before you walk into the building:

How can I present my skills more confidently?
What are three skills I have that do not require an extroverted personality?
What are some good examples of how these skills helped my career?
How does being an introvert help me stay focused and finish tasks?
What are some questions I can ask the interviewer that show my interest?



It's a good starting point because it shows you are thinking about how you will answer questions in a way that is honest and matches your personality. Remember the goal is not to act fake during an interview, especially since that's usually not going to work anyway. Be yourself. Just see "yourself" as having the skills that are perfectly appropriate to the job at hand. Ping me if you want help figuring out your best skills.