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.