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8 Psychological Tricks To Help You Nail the Interview of Your Dream Job

8 Psychological Tricks To Help You Nail the Interview of Your Dream Job

Why You Should Focus on Psychology in Your Next Interview

Whether you realize it or not, psychology impacts every aspect of your life. For example, color psychology is used by marketing companies to influence the products you buy. You can even use color psychology to help make a good first impression, which is something we’ll touch base on in more detail later in this article.

It doesn’t matter if you have ever taken a psychology course or if you have a lot of preexisting knowledge about this topic. What’s important is that you learn to use a few psychological interview tips before you attempt to land your dream job. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

The information you’re about to learn will greatly increase your odds of getting off on the right foot with the hiring manager. In fact, putting these tips to work for you could make the difference between ultimately loving and hating your job. When you consider that more than half of workers hate what they do, it makes perfect sense to give yourself every possible interview advantage.

Dress for Psychological Success

What qualities do you want to highlight during your interview? The answer to this question lies in the type of job you desire, along with the team culture of the company interviewing you. If the perfect fit for the position in question is a bold risk taker, make sure you have at least a splash of red in your outfit. Do they need someone who is trustworthy and dependable instead? It’s best to go with blue.[1]

By using color psychology, you can subtly tell the interviewer that you have the qualities they need for their open position. The colors listed below can be incorporated in your shirt or added more discreetly into a tie or broach.

• Yellow: Warmth, clarity and optimism

• Orange: Friendly, confidence and cheerful

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• Red: Bold, excitement and youthful

• Pink: Wise, creative and imaginative

• Blue: Strength, trust and dependable

• Green: Peaceful, health and growth

• Light Gray: Neutral, balance and calm

• Four or More Rainbow Colors: Diversity

Some of the qualities that hiring managers frequently look for are assertiveness, friendliness and the ability to be competitive and cooperative at the same time. Therefore, you might want to add a few colors into your interview outfit. However, be careful not to wear a lot of orange because it’s sometimes viewed as unprofessional.

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Make Sure Time Is on Your Side

If an interviewer offers you only one time slot, be sure you take it. Otherwise, it’s wisest to look for an interview slot between 10 and 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. There are many psychological reasons for this such as the importance of avoiding the first and last appointment of their day.[2]

As you undoubtedly know, it’s harder to focus during these late and early time frames, just as it’s easier to lose focus right before or right after lunch. By steering clear of weekend bookends, lunch time and the start and end of the day, you can help ensure that your interviewer will be in a better head space to pay attention to your answers. They’re also more likely to be in a decent mood, which will make it easier to build a rapport.

Match Your Interviewer’s Style and Body Language

Let’s face it; your interviewer is going to base a major part of their decision on whether or not they like your personality. Therefore, it makes sense to meet them in the middle by presenting information in a way that makes the most sense to them. Fortunately, their age can give you a big clue about how to conduct yourself during the interview.[3]

• 20 to 30 – Pointing out your multitasking skills and providing samples of your work in a visual format will impress Generation Y interviewers.

• 30 to 50 – During an interview with someone from Generation X, talk about the way your life/work balance boosts your success and be sure to emphasize your creativity.

• 50 to 70 – Demonstrate that you respect the Baby Boomer and their achievements. Make it clear that you’re a hard worker.

• 70 to 90 – Commitment to previous jobs and loyalty are your psychological keys to a good interview with members of the Silent Generation.

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Another way to match their style is through mirroring their body language. This will unconsciously make the interviewer feel more comfortable with you.

Point Out Positive Traits You Have in Common

Who do you feel the most comfortable with? The odds are high that your answer includes “people I have things in common with.” This is a basic psychological fact, and you can use it to help get your dream job. All you need to do is conduct a little prior research into your interviewer and look for the right traits.

A prime example would be looking for a way to slip a shared interest in community service and volunteering opportunities into the interview. However, you don’t want to make this technique obvious, so don’t bring something up that makes no sense in the context of the interview.

Be Sincere and Non-Promotional in Your Compliments

It’s possible to compliment the organization and interviewer without seeming like you’re merely trying to get on their good side. However, many people ruin these efforts by finding a way to tie in a self-promotional comment.

Resisting this urge can give you a big advantage over other candidates. This is because studies have found that schmoozing without promoting yourself is one of the best ways to get hired.[4]

Speaking expressively during these compliments, and throughout the interview, is another prime way to capture attention. Interviewers also tend to pay a lot of attention to body language. You can non-verbally express sincerity by holding your palms open. When you want to look confident, switch to making a steeple with your hands.

Feel More Powerful with a Power Pose

This psychological interview tip needs to be used by you in a private place before you meet with the interviewer. There is a growing body of research that states it’s possible to be more commanding and confident after holding a power pose.

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For instance, you can stand in the Superman pose with your hands on your hips and your head angled upward. Holding this pose for a moment shortly before entering the interview should help you appear more confident and powerful.[5]

Utilize Strong Eye Contact at the Start of the Interview, but Don’t Smile Too Much

Although there is no proven link between eye contact and someone’s intelligence or trustworthiness, most interviewers will have a better impression of you if you make solid eye contact for a few seconds at the beginning of your interview. It’s also wise to make eye contact off and on throughout the entire interview.

When it comes to smiling, though, you need to be cautious. Studies have discovered that excessive smiling is not a good way to impress your interviewer. Yes, you need to smile when you meet them and steer clear of having a frown on your face, but too much smiling will look fake.[6]

Be Honest About Your Greatest Weakness

One of the most common interview questions of all time is, “what’s your greatest weakness?” You don’t need these interview tips to tell you that you shouldn’t say something that’s going to make you look extremely undesirable. At the same time, though, it’s important to provide an honest answer.

In case you weren’t aware, the greatest weakness question is asked so frequently because it helps point out the people who are blatantly lying. Everyone has a weakness. Maybe you’re not as organized as you’d like to be. You can acknowledge this by saying, “I’m not always as organized as I’d like to be, which is a weakness that I’m committed to improving.”

Honesty will get you much better results than trying to lie or humblebrag. In fact, according to researchers at Harvard Business School, providing a humblebragging answer to this question is a big turnoff for most hiring managers.[7]

Land Your Dream Job!

Are you still trying to figure out exactly what your dream job looks like[8] ? Take some time to sort out your personal and professional priorities to help ensure that you choose the right fit. Once you’re ready, put all of the previously listed psychological interview tips into action to boost your odds of success!

Reference

More by this author

Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

1. Find Your Good Reasons

Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

  • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
  • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
  • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
  • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

2. Make It Fun

When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

  • How can I enjoy this task?
  • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
  • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

4. Recognize Your Progress

Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

5. Reward Yourself

This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

Mix and Match

Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

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Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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