Apr 192013

VIDEO POST: The Psychology of Interviews

In today’s video post, I talk about the psychology of interviews. Learn what common mistakes people make, about the layers of social interaction and which you should focus on in an interview. I give you a few practical examples of how to break the ice and connect with the interviewer as well.

The Psychology of Interviews Video Transcript

*Video transcript is automatically generated and sometimes makes little to no sense. I strongly recommend watching the video instead of reading the transcript.*

Hey everyone, it’s Ryan with Evolve personal development and in my first video of what will be a weekly series, I wanted to do something that would be really useful and really applicable to a lot of people and I decided to cover interviews.

Not just a usual stuff like dress nicely and stuff like that but more on the psychology of interviews and what’s going on at a social mechanics kind of level. So I’ll be talking about a couple of the biggest mistakes people make and how you can avoid those, I’ll be talking about different levels of social interaction and which ones you should be focusing on and I’ll also give you a few kind of techniques you can use to build a relationship quickly so that you stand out from other applicants.

But before I do that I just want to touch on resumes really really quickly. I was a recruiter during the oil boom in Alberta and when I was working that job that I was going through easily 100 resumes a day and if you don’t have a resume that stands out what recruiters are doing their just putting them in the other pile. They’re looking for things that stand out and they’re going to review resumes first based on how they look and how they really catch the viewers eye or attention somehow.

If you look at this one this is a good example of a typical good resume, you can see it’s well segmented and presents information in easy to digest chunks. Information about the person is easily available up here but the problem with this resume is that most other resumes are like this and it’s really not going to stand out. So unless there’s a very small number of applicants chances are this person isn’t even going to get looked at.

So the easiest thing you can do to make sure your resume gets looked at look at is to add colour. Look at the difference between these two resumes, even the border here in the sidebar really jumps out at you and would probably catch a person’s eyes long enough to grab their attention to answer. Another thing to notice is that if you look along here there’s color throughout and it’s a really well broken up.

When you look at this one when it reminds me of is those articles that are just a wall of text and usually when you encounter a wall of text just hit the back button or go somewhere else because it’s just too hard to get in all the information, or it looks overwhelming, it looks long and boring and tedious. This is a Word template I know it’s in office Word 2010, I’ve been using this since I was 18 so that’s seven years ago now so you’ll probably find it in your older version as well. You might have to search through the template section but definitely something worth doing. You’ll probably notice a difference just by making one little change to your resume.

Now that’s out of the way let’s talk about the psychology bit. The first thing I really want to cover is that kind of dual layer of interaction. Think about it like an iceberg for social interaction. The tip that everybody sees like social pretense and social subtext is the body of a which is the main component of social interaction but it’s also something most people don’t really spend too much time looking at.

The biggest mistake people make is focusing on the top level of social pretense level and I’ll tell you why. An interview means the person likes your resume and wants to hear more about your qualifications but most importantly they want to get an impression of you. Impressions of people are made using the subtext: personal judgments about a person, how trustworthy they are, if they’re being honest, and if they’ll really fit in with the corporate atmosphere or are a good person in general.

That’s what you want to focus on that’s the part of the person you really want to appeal to, you want to make a personal connection. Think about this way, if the boss know somebody that person is probably going to get the job regardless, unless obviously they are radically qualified but in most cases the job applicants are roughly as qualified as one another and it’s the person who builds the best relationship who winds up getting hired.

It can be tough to do this when you go into an interview you do with that professional you really want to put your best foot forward. The problem with this is you can stifle a lot of personality, you have these expectations about what the interviewer is expecting, and you think they are looking for and try to fill in when you’re doing that you can really easily get inside your head instead of being yourself and communicating what type of person you are you’re sitting there thinking things like am I sitting right, am I saying stuff right, then you get nervous and uncomfortable and it makes a really bad vibe that ruins the subtext of interaction.

He seems like kind of a dick or maybe not a cool guy to talk to don’t make the assumption that he is not open to casual conversation. I had the anxious or nervous because a lot of people they don’t do hiring on a full-time basis or other people are just managers or whatever and not specific department and because the company doesn’t have somebody to specifically do interviews the person stepping in for a while and maybe he doesn’t know what he’s doing or maybe he’s unfamiliar with the interviewing process and it can be uncomfortable for them as well but you never know if that’s the case or if he’s just a person whose extremely professional.

So you want to start on by mirroring. There’s what you’re getting at a social level is your matching your subtext there is something you can shift the and the reason you have not subtext before you can shift it is that if you come in with just a different subtext instead of going really casual and professional chances are he’s not going to engage in casual conversation is just going to write you off as a person who isn’t a professional.

But if you start mirroring and match your subtext to his, you’re on the same page and you’re going somewhere else at the same time and it’s a lot more smooth and feels a lot more natural. So that’s what you want to start out by doing and how we can make a shift is by looking around for personal items were pictures of a vacation may be like a sports bobblehead or a model car or something like that and asking them about it.

Wait until they’re writing down one of the answers to the questions it asks something like that but the quiet and attentive and then just ask them about the picture somewhere it now looks very interesting letters that they’re pretty like. Go for the one it probably didn’t even own a eighth and asking the same questions. Is changing in response and probably much rather talk about something you enjoy doing or have good memories about like a vacation or talk about their favorite sports team and just getting on with you another reason this works well is because people are conditioned to like things that they enjoy.

That might sound obvious but it’s really important so going to love it saved as a kid you watch hockey games with your Dad or something like that over time you probably learned to get a lot of enjoyment from the hockey game and eventually just the thought of talking will cause you to recall all this positive emotion so what you do is you getting this person feeling positive things while they’re in the interview. And they’re not really going to remember why they felt those things they’re just going to remember that while they were interviewing you a felt good and this is usually interpreted as a good impression so that’s one really good idea.

Another one is to make them feel appreciated. Typically people who are hiring have multiple jobs and responsibilities maybe their manager was just saying it and they might feel overwhelmed but they don’t really want to them because it’s unprofessional or whiny or whatever but if you can catch this and let them vent this is a really good way to build a connection.

Say they get interrupted a few times mention wow are you usually this is busy. Or if they take your resume from a stack of papers you can say something like wow are you interviewing all those people today and sometimes they will just brush it off and say that I know super busy it’s ridiculous but other times they really vent and talk about the situation and share with you and all this sharing creates connection.

The third thing you can do and potentially the most important this to end the interview well. When they ask if you have any questions or anything else you would like to know don’t just say no I’m okay thank you and leave. Ask them about the job and if you can work in the questions that relate to them personally for example ask the interviewer what’s your favorite part of working where you’re at. Again the positive factor: positive emotions and to sharing with you and building a deeper connection you.

You can also ask them things like what are some of the biggest challenges I can expect or how did you get your start in the company. Anything really to get them talking about themselves and to expand the length of time you can give you additional opportunities to work on a connection with them.


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