When it comes to job interviews, you might assume that extroverts have it easy. In fact, if you do much Googling on the topics of introverts, extroverts, and job interviews, there’s a lot of advice on ways in which you can make yourself appear to be more extroverted. Don’t buy this too readily. As it turns out, there are interview pitfalls for all personality types. This includes extroverts.
If you’re an extrovert, you certainly have many things working in your favor. Now, let’s focus on the potential mistakes you could make.
You Rely Too Much on Your Soft Skills
Extroverts tend to have great soft skills. They are great at sales and negotiations. They’re team players. They have people skills and are customer service masters. All of these are great things, but they aren’t enough to seal the deal.
Worse, if you overemphasize soft skills, your interviewer might assume that you are lacking when it comes to hard skills. By all means, lead off with your soft skills. Emphasize them as one of your strengths. Just don’t forget to emphasize that you’ve mastered the technologies and competencies mentioned in the job description.
You Don’t Read the Interviewer’s Cues
Picture this. You’re in an interview, and you get the opportunity to open up about something that really excites you. So, you dive right in. You’re telling an engaging story or sharing your thoughts on something really important to you.
Unfortunately, as you’re speaking, you aren’t paying enough attention to the interviewer. Maybe their eyes have glazed over, or they’re fidgeting with papers hoping you hurry up and finish. Perhaps they need to get an important point in, and you just keep talking.
You must pay adequate attention to the interviewer’s body language and nonverbal cues. These tell you when it’s time to wrap up your point, change the subject, or give them a moment to speak. Checking in like this also helps you to gauge their mood.
You Don’t Show That You Are Self-Sufficient
You’re a team player, and you’re great with people. These are wonderful attributes that will serve you well in almost any job. Unfortunately, if you overemphasize these traits, you may not spend enough time highlighting your self-sufficiency.
Can you get the job done without a lot of extrinsic motivation? Are you a self-starter? Are you able to figure out what needs to be done, and then do it, even when nobody is there to give you feedback? Don’t let your extroverted nature make the interviewer think that you’ll need continuous feedback and hand holding.
You Hog the Spotlight
One of the reasons to invite you in for an interview is to learn more about you. As an extrovert, you usually have that part covered pretty well. The other reason is to tell you more about the job and the organization. Be careful about hogging the spotlight as you talk about yourself. You don’t want to seem self-absorbed. You also don’t want to miss any important points.
This is especially true for group or team interviews. In these situations, there are multiple people who want to be heard. Don’t be the one to dominate the conversation at the expense of others. Give everyone the ‘mic’ so to say.
You Don’t Show Enough Interest in Others
Much of the interview process is a conversation. Be conscious of how you come across. Ask questions. Pause between sentences to give the interviewer a chance to share as well.
Ashlyn Wallace, the HR manager for Top Writers Review shares: “Before you head into the interview, prepare a list of questions. Make sure they are open-ended enough to give your interviewer a chance to speak. People love an opportunity to speak about themselves or their area of expertise.”
You Are Too Free with Your Opinions
There’s a definite downside to telling it like it is. If you are too free with your opinions, you can make people uncomfortable. There’s a thin line between forthcoming and insensitive. Also, if you are too upfront with your thoughts, you risk offending someone. This is especially true if talk enters the realm of industry politics or your thoughts on your previous employer. The last thing you want is for a potential boss to worry about what you might say about them.
You Try to Fill in Every Silence
It seems a bit stereotypical, but the truth is silence can be awkward for an extrovert. You may be tempted to fill in every silence with a story, or just a few sentences to fill in the gaps. Don’t do this. Moments of silence give the interviewer a chance to reflect on what has been said, and you as well. They also give other people in the room the opportunity to gather their thoughts and decide what they are going to say next.
All in all, your extroverted nature will really serve you well in interviews. Still, there are a few things to be aware of. Pay attention to the mistakes listed here so that you leave the best possible impression in your next job interview.
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Jessica Fender is a professional freelance writer and independent blogger. She is passionate about content marketing and leading other professionals to success in this new age of digital marketing. You can find her articles on Freelancer.com and Addicted2Success, and follow her on Twitter @fender_jess.