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Psychological Tricks

Here are some psychological tricks that will help you ace a job interview.

  • Tailor your answers to the interviewer's age.
    • Generation Y interviewers (between 20 and 30): Bring along visual samples of your work and highlight your ability to multitask.
    • Generation X interviewers (between 30 and 50): Emphasize your creativity and mention how work/life balance contributes to your success.
    • Baby Boomer interviewers (between 50 and 70): Show that you work hard and demonstrate respect for what they've achieved.
  • Hold your palms open or steeple your hands.
  • Find something in common with your interviewer.
  • Mirror the interviewer's body language.
  • Compliment the interviewer and the organization without self-promoting.
    • Specifically, the students who ingratiated themselves praised the organization and indicated their enthusiasm for working there, and complimented the interviewer. They didn't play up the value of positive events they took credit for or take credit for positive events even if they weren't solely responsible.
  • Show confidence and deference simultaneously.
    • In a job interview, that means showing deference to your interviewer, while also demonstrating self-confidence. One way to do that is to say something like, "I love your work on [whatever area]. It reminds me of my work on [whatever area]."
  • Emphasize how you took control of events in your previous jobs.
    • To impress your interviewer, you should talk about past work experiences where you took initiative.
  • Be candid about your weaknesses.
    • It's wiser to say something genuine like, "I'm not always the best at staying organized," which sounds more honest, and could make your interviewer more inclined to recommend you for the position.
    • Explain what you do in order to minimize the effects of this weakness on your work. If you say you "focus too much on detail" follow up by saying something like "I make sure to often take a step back and make sure it really matters on the bigger picture and I'm not spending time on something meaningless".
  • Speak expressively.
  • Showcase your potential.
    • You might be tempted to tell your interviewer all about your past accomplishments — but research suggests you should focus more on what you could do in the future, if the organization hires you.
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