Standing apart from other applicants hinges on making a great first impression. While meeting the job requirements, you must connect with the hiring manager, presenting yourself as likable. Employment coaches have mental tactics that help. Here are seven to use on your next job interview.
7 Weird Psychological Tricks to Help Nail Your Next Job Interview
1. Wear Business Attire in Neutral Colors
The Balance specifies “business casual” if you’re applying for an entry-level position. If you’re a woman reading this, the most suitable options are a dress or skirt at knee-length or longer, dress slacks, blouse, blazer or sweater, and closed-toe shoes.
If you’re applying for a managerial position, wear “business professional” attire. The dress code for women is a pantsuit or skirt with a tailored blazer and low heels.
Did you know that colors portray certain traits? Base your choice on the image you wish to project. According to Monster.com, here are the best colors to consider:
Blue – Dark shades of blue like navy suggest you’re a team player. A recruiter will view you as calm, stable, and trustworthy.
Gray – This color signifies you’re logical, focused, and analytical. It hints of sophistication.
Brown – Wearing this color symbolizes you’re dependable, honest, and committed.
White – A white blouse or shirt depicts you as organized, accurate, and respectable.
Black – Use caution with this color. Since it connotes authority, avoid basing your entire wardrobe on it.
It’s best to avoid red since it broadcasts passion, aggression, and power.
Also, you should make sure to employ a minimalist style. By dressing simply, you’ll appear grounded and sensible. Go light on makeup and accessories.
2. Address The Recruiter by Their Name
Can you recall an instance when you first met someone, and they referred to you by name? Didn’t you instantly warm up to them? Subsequently, you probably had more interest in what they were saying. This same approach will work for you.
After being introduced to the interviewer, immediately repeat their name in your first sentence. You might say, “I appreciate your meeting with me, Mr. or Ms. ________________.” Launching dialogue with this tactic helps you to quickly establish rapport. It starts the evaluation on a sincere and respectful note.
During the meeting, use the interviewer’s name a few times. Also, incorporate it into your parting words when saying good-bye.
3. Mimic The Recruiter’s Mannerisms.
Mirror the hiring manager’s posture, gestures, body language, vocal pitch, and tone. By reflecting their behavior, the similarities establish a bond. This approach puts the interviewer at ease, promoting trust. People feel relaxed with others who are like them.
First, note the recruiter’s communication style. You can tell by their speech whether they’re formal or casual. Also, observe their personality. Do they appear introverted or outgoing? Once you discern their nature, align your expression with theirs.
For example, if the interviewer clasps their hands together, wait about 30 seconds, and place your hands in your lap. If they lean forward, likewise adjust your posture. Furthermore, echoing their voice tone and volume is another great psychological trick that you can employ in your next job interview.
Bear in mind four caveats:
Mirroring doesn’t mean parroting. It’s a subtle reflection. If you’re too much of a chameleon, copying every nuance, you’ll alienate the recruiter. Approximate their behavior, preceded by a pause.
Only adopt the positive. For instance, copying a complaining attitude will make you sound negative.
Don’t get obsessed. You don’t want to become distracted to the point of losing the thread of conversation.
Practice this skill with several people until you’re fluent, rehearsing with family and friends.
4. Remember The Four Concerns All Recruiters Have
Approach the meeting knowing what the interviewer is seeking. This awareness helps you fine-tune replies. Every hiring manager evaluates a candidate with four questions in mind:
1. Why does this applicant want to work here?
2. Can they do the job?
3. Will they fit our company culture?
4. What qualities set them apart from the rest?
For this purpose, you will need to do extensive research on the company and on the position that you are interested in before the actual interview day. If you were looking to nail an interview at Target, for instance, you should have a clear image on their retail business and prepare suitable answers that showcase your suitability for the job.
5. Flatter The Interviewer and Company
Complimenting a recruiter and the corporation fosters trust. One form of flattery is eliciting the recruiter’s opinion. Let them voice their personal views. This type of inquiry pays tribute to their intelligence. It also shows your keen interest.
Here are examples of flattering questions you might ask:
In your mind, what qualities does a candidate need to succeed in this position?
What do you think is the greatest challenge posed by this job?
Why do you think the company is so successful?
What do you enjoy most about working here?
Note that while trying to build rapport, your questions should draw information about the job. Otherwise, the recruiter may think you’re brown-nosing, just trying to get on their “good side.”
You can also express your high regard for the organization. Research company statistics for facts you can weave into the conversation. For example, you might say, “It must be exciting working for the second largest discount store in the country!”
[RELATED: 6 Worth-It Steps For After The Interview]
6. Demonstrate Reflective Listening
This communication technique includes three parts – focusing, mirroring, and paraphrasing. The goal is showing you understand both the feelings and words of the recruiter. First, consider their perspective, seeing with their eyes. To mirror the message, repeat key words. Then re-state it, using other comparable terms.
Here’s an example. The recruiter says to you, “Your goal in this job will be to provide customers with the best shopping experience. However, the store is a fast-paced environment. While working efficiently, you must be courteous.”
You respond, “I understand that to provide the best shopping experience, I would need to work efficiently yet politely. Customer satisfaction is the priority.”
Reflective listening shows you’re paying close attention and can go a long way into building a powerful connection with your potential employer.
7. Be Well-Versed in Reading and Responding to Body Language
It’s vital to notice non-verbal expressions since they comprise 90 percent of communication. Recognize signs of a downturn in the meeting, and take corrective action. Here are some of the biggest red flags you should pay attention to:
The recruiter is yawning. Your answers may be boringly long-winded. Limit replies to a length of 1-2 minutes.
They don’t make eye contact. Try to connect on a person level and be more enthusiastic!
They’re standoffish. If the recruiter is leaning away from you, crossing their arms, or looking out the door, they’re disinterested. Say something purposeful to draw their attention.
There’s no mention of follow-up. Emphasize “I want to work here so much. What would be the next step?”
The meeting ends with a limp handshake. You’re probably not in the running. Nevertheless, respond with a firm grip and bright smile. Then, as soon as possible, follow-up with a thank-you letter.
4 Minutes to a Decision
Do you know how much time you have to make a good impression? According to a study done by Timothy Judge, it’s an average of four minutes. Make them count by:
wearing business attire in neutral colors
addressing the recruiter by their name
mirroring their mannerisms
remembering a recruiter’s four concerns
flattering the interviewer and company
demonstrating reflective listening
reading and responding to body language