Try These 8 Psychological Tricks During Your Next Interview

John Krautzel
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Job interviews are a make-or-break step in the job search process. If you struggle with public speaking, or if you let nerves get the best of you, psychological tricks can help. The goal isn't to fool the employer — it's to trick yourself into feeling more confident and capable.

1. Try a Power Pose

A power pose — a strong physical position — is one of the psychological tricks that can make you feel more confident. You could put your hands on your hips with your head held high, or you could raise one fist in the air. Hold your pose for 60 seconds. Do this in a private space shortly before the interview.

2. Be the Only Interviewee

Is a potential employer offering a choice of interview times? Try to choose a day with only one available interview slot. That way, you can rest easy knowing you're not being compared to whoever interviewed before or after you.

3. Use Power Words

Power words are words that evoke a strong emotional response. They tend to be more compelling than boring, overused interview language. Use them to grab attention and make yourself feel more powerful. For example, instead of saying something was "bold", say it was "audacious."

4. Turn the Tables

Employers ask questions that help them learn more about you. One of the most useful psychological tricks is to turn the tables by asking "Do you have any concerns about hiring me?" This does two things. First, it helps you identify the employer's reservations about you as a candidate — that way, you don't need to wonder or guess. Secondly, it gives you a chance to allay those fears immediately.

5. Be Expressive

Looking for psychological tricks that make you sound smarter? Try being expressive when you speak. This trick makes you sound more credible and more intelligent. As a bonus, you'll keep the interviewer engaged and interested in what you have to say.

6. Use the Interviewer's Name

Using someone's name is one of the psychological tricks used by sales people. It creates a connection — plus, people tend to perk up when they hear their name. Say the interviewer's name when you greet them, try to work it in once during the job interview and be sure to use it as you say goodbye.

7. Highlight Common Traits

One way to build a rapport with a potential employer is to find things you have in common. This is comforting, both for you and the employer. After all, similarities tend to bond people. You might discuss how you both went to the same college, for example, or point out a race photo on the employer's desk and mention that you run, too.

8. Don't Forget to Smile

Nerves can make you retreat into yourself, making you seem like a cold, unfriendly person. If that sounds familiar, trick yourself by smiling. Even if it feels forced, a smile tells your brain that you're relaxed and confident. That, in turn, can make it easier to be your normal, friendly self.

If interviews aren't your strong suit, these psychological tricks can help. With a little practice and experimentation, you can find the trick that makes you feel the most confident.



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  • Barbara W.
    Barbara W.

    I love my job! She turned out to be a dear friend!

  • Lisa J.
    Lisa J.

    Number 4 is my favorite - my suggestion would be to ask WHAT concerns do you have about hiring me? rather than DO YOU. . . .The reason for this is that the question Do you have any concerns about hiring me? requires a yes/no answer. The questions WHAT concerns. . . is designed to illicit a broad response.

  • Michele E.
    Michele E.

    Excellent. Learned insightful information that was new and positive.

  • Margary L.
    Margary L.

    This was extremely helpful. Happy Holidays


    4 and #6 I like well time to go job hunting

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Kevin G. thanks for your comment. Yes, you should always ask questions during an interview. It is true that there is usually some question that we have after viewing a job posting - such as, as you mentioned, work hours. That's very important to know before you accept a position - or maybe even before you apply for the position. For the interview, you need to come prepared with a list of questions that you would like to ask - things that are important to you. Remember, in an interview, it's not a one-way interview. You are interviewing the company at the same time as they are interviewing you. No matter how great the job may sound, if you ask questions and don't get the answers you were expecting or hoping for, you might want to just say thanks but this isn't for me.

  • Kevin G.
    Kevin G.

    I like #4. There is usually something missing from a job description or even work hours.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Debra C thanks for your comment. So glad that the article helped. We have tons of other articles regarding job interviews. Don't forget to check those out, too.

  • Debra C.
    Debra C.

    This is actually what I needed to know to do in a interview.

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