The Psychology of Persuasion (that can help you ace your next interview)

The Psychology of PersuasionThere is a science to persuasion. Academic researchers have studied the subject in detail. They know what can cause people to buy-in to your ideas, and they know what causes people to lose interest.

Using their research, you can prepare more persuasive answers for your next job interview. The are four parts to being more persuasive.

First, a disclaimer: You should know what persuasion is not. It is not deception. I do not encourage you to misrepresent who you are.

Instead, persuasion is about presenting true information in a more effective way.

Part 1: Establish credibility
The interviewer will hire the person he or she most trusts to get the job done. Yet in an interview you don't have much time to create that trust. And without trust, all of the arguments you make during your interview are worthless.

There are two ways to strengthen your credibility: by establishing your expertise and by building a relationship.

Showing expertise
To show expertise, first you can mention the recent trends in your field. By highlighting these trends, you demonstrate you have both a basic understanding of the space and are aware of how it has changed.

Second, you can also show your expertise by highlighting past accomplishments (more on that later).

Building the relationship
To build the relationship, you can first show common interests. This could be growing up in a similar area, having similar hobbies, or caring about the same professional topics.

In addition, you can ask questions about the interviewer's personal work experiences. This helps the interviewer to feel that you are two people having a conversation, rather than an interviewer judging a job candidate.

To further this personal connection, you also want to show how you are a 3-dimensional human being. Discuss your life outside of work as appropriate. Also, think about how you can present yourself as less than perfect without belittling key work skills (take a look at Brené Brown's TED talk on vulnerability for more).

Part 2: Show "What's in it for me?" One of the biggest mistakes new salespeople make is focusing on how great their product is. See, the product's features is not what is most important to the customer. What customer's really care about is, "How does this product solve my problem?"

In an interview, the interviewer is your customer. And you are the salesperson. The product you are selling is you.

Don't simply try to sell them on your features. Instead connect how what you have to offer solves their problems. (And if you want to really peak their interest, explain how your solution will make them better than the competition.)

Part 3: Paint a picture (like the most beautiful sunset)
Sometimes information sticks. Other times, it's quickly forgotten. The difference between the two, could win or lose you the job.

To create persuasive answers, you want to not only use numbers that prove your arguments. You also want to provide examples that can be visualized in the brain of your interviewer. Use details, that can be seen, touched, felt, (and maybe tasted?). Use words that help you paint a picture. Even an analogy or metaphor can help, as long as it's not too cliché.

Don't count on thinking up these examples on the spot in your next interview. Prepare at least some of this persuasive vivid language ahead of time.

Part 4: Add some heart
In the professional world, we are often tempted to seem as rational as possible. Yet emotions can also be a real asset.

If you doubt the power of emotions, think about some of the greatest persuaders out there, children. How many times do their smiles, frowns, and empassioned Please's win the day?

Now, even your best pouty face won't help in your next interview. Yet if you show, passion, hunger, and enthusiasm for the job, you'll help your case.

Aside from that, you also want to use emotion to be more in tune with your interviewer. For instance, if your interviewer seems quieter, perhaps a bit down, you don't want to knock them over with super high energy fast-talking. Instead, take a quieter, upbeat attitude.

I hope you can use these proven persuasion tools to win over your interviewer and land the job.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.