As well as the usual preparation candidates need to undertake to do well at the interview stage, from researching the company to memorising given answers, there are other ways in which candidates can increase their chances of being selected for the job by using psychological tactics to help them to not only break down barriers by also to get on the side of the interviewer.

As a candidate you have only a set amount of time to distinguish yourself from the competition. You will be assessed from the moment you arrive at the interview venue, when you walk into the room and by the answers and questions that you are able to give and to ask during the interview. All of these factors will have a huge effect on how successful you will be.

Therefore it is only natural for candidates to seek to shift the power of balance in their favour. Below we have listed a few psychological tricks to help you to influence the interviewer to makes s/he more likely to give you the job or consider you for the next stage of the process.

1. Confidence is everything

Numerous studies have been written on the importance of body language and its impact on helping interviewees secure a new job. One popular method is to 'power pose' before the interview, this is a natural confidence booster as it affects the brain in to releasing chemicals. Just as in the way smiling lifts your mood by boosting the body's serotonin levels. If we can trick ourselves into feeling confident when we are at our most nervous, we are subsequently more likely to act and to think in a more self-assured manner. It is this enthusiasm that interviewers are trained to spot after all. For a candidate, the importance of understanding and being able to take control of your emotions at an undoubtedly stressful time so that you appear passionate and comfortable with your answers can only help the outcome of the interview.

2. Personalise your greeting

A person's name spoken back to that person by a stranger for the first time is very important and must never be overlooked, so why not use this tactic when you meet your interviewer? If you happen to know the name of the interviewer beforehand, then repeat their name over and over again so as not to forget it, and it comes naturally. It goes without say that people are less hostile when you first meet them if you call them by their name, as it helps to break down barriers and to build a certain element of trust. During the interview itself you can structure your responses to questions put to you along the lines of "would you like me to explain how I used my previous skills in project management to successfully oversee the client's project, John?". This shows the interviewer that you are subconsciously a person who remembers the finer details, a simple thing like remembering a person's name can help to secure that all important lasting impression.

3. Imitate the interviewer's body language

"Imitation is the sincerest flattery" Charles Caleb Colton once stated in his book, Lacon. One way to appear more likable is to mirror or imitate the body language of the interviewer. In this way you are expressing empathy for the person by matching their nonverbal communication signals. This includes everything from mirroring how they are sat (legs crossed, leaning forward) to facial expressions and the tone of their voice. However, aggressive signals should not be copied such as crossed arms or leaning back too far on a chair, so that you appear disinterested. While you can control how far this imitation goes, it must be used with caution otherwise the interviewer will undoubtedly pick up on the signals you are giving and they may well not approve of you seeking to influence their decision about you. Or worse of all they may view your behaviour as strange and it will count against you.

Are you aware of any other tactics that job seekers can use to help them to succeed in an interview?

Written by Jennifer Megafu

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