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

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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!

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Reference

More by this author

Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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