Why You Should Focus on Psychology in Your Next Job 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 post.
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.
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
- 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 to your interview outfit. However, be careful not to wear a lot of orange because it’s sometimes viewed as unprofessional.
Make Sure Time Is on Your Side
If an interviewer offers you an 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.
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, lunchtime 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.
- 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.
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 complement 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.
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(place (the fingers or hands) together so that they form an upward-pointing V-shape.) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Land Your Dream Job!
Are you still trying to figure out exactly what your dream job looks like? 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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