When an Introvert Attends an Interview…

Yesterday I had an interview. I hate interviews. As soon as I get contacted for an interview I get excited for about 5 minutes before that feeling turns to utter dread. I tense up, my stomach hurts a little. I try not to think about it but that seems almost impossible.

I arrived at my interview on time, remembered to shake the hand of both my interviewers before I sat down and then I was bombarded with a list of questions for 45 minutes.

‘Tell me, how would you describe yourself in 3 words?’ one of my interviewers inquired. My mind went blank. I had no idea. ‘An introvert, quiet’, I thought. God that’s the last thing they want to hear. In just about every job ad I’ve seen lately they say they are looking for someone who is ‘enthusiastic’, ‘motivated’ and ‘energetic’, AKA an ‘extrovert’. Yes, most introverts are aware that we live in an extrovert’s world, but it really gets so tiring pretending to be someone I’m not.

‘Organised…………outgoing…reliable’ was my final response. I had felt compelled to lie. I am organised and reliable but no one I know would ever call me ‘outgoing’. ‘Adventurous’ maybe, ‘friendly’ for sure, but not ‘outgoing’.

Finally the interview was over and in my haste to get the hell out of there I forgot to shake my interviewer’s hand. Oops, that was pretty unprofessional. Just to top things off once I had taken the lift down to street level and went to the automatic doors, the doors refused to open for me so I had to stand there like an idiot, moving back and forth trying to get it to open.

Now I can only wait to discover whether I got the job. I almost don’t want the job any more. The role involves answering the phones and ‘great communication skills’ are listed as a requirement. In other words I will have to put on a facade, a mask. I know I should look for roles that don’t require my extroverted mask, but unfortunately most of those jobs just hold no interest for me. Hopefully one day soon I will work my way up to a role where I can be who I want. Until then I will be known to my interviewers and future employers as the ‘organised, outgoing, reliable extrovert’.

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11 thoughts on “When an Introvert Attends an Interview…

  1. I feel exactly the same on every interview. What’s even more sad that I cannot lie well – that’s why interviewers might feel it and no one calls me back 😦 Can the world be more cruel?

  2. “enthusiastic”, “motivated”, and “energetic” can be used to describe an introvert too! But we, introverts, manifest these qualities in different ways comparing to the extroverts.

  3. This could have totally been written by me. I feel your pain. I’ve been job hunting for awhile, and after a few interviews I realize that interviews are my kryptonite. Apparently, I don’t “sell myself enough.” Ugh. I try to use in the next interview what I’ve learned from the one before…but when I get to the next interview, I always freeze up. Seems to me, because that’s my luck, every interview I’ve been too always consists of at least 5 or more people doing the interview. Oy! That’s enough to send me into my next anxiety attack.

  4. I completely understand what you’re going through. I have wanted desperately to get away from the job that I’m in, but the thought of having to make myself put on a façade of someone I know I’m not just drives me nuts.

  5. Thank you for sharing this… I never thought that my struggle for work and aversion to interviews, despite my passion for my work, is due to my being an introvert. My work is well appreciated when i am on a job, but i find it difficult to find new jobs as i work project to project basis.

  6. Well…. I am enthusiastic to what is important, and utterly uninterested to what is inefficient. I am a deep thinker who can grasp the big pictures first. I am don’t really like unworthy chit-chat. I am a well-prepared person. I’m might not be a people person, BUT I’m really interested to get the goals done through my resources.

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