Thursday, March 22, 2012

How To Succeed At a Job Interview

In getting a new job, it’s not only about the skills or knowledge an individual possesses it’s also about interacting with other human beings. In fact, the way you interact with the hiring manager of any company, can be the single most important thing that actually gets you hired. At an interview, you have a very limited time, sometimes it’s only minutes, to convey an exceptional value and be outstanding from the long line of applicants before and after you.
Applying for a job you need to know that many other people have the same skills you have. Even more, I bet you didn’t realize this: most people behave the same way, giving the same answers to the same questions. It’s a great chance that you’ve responded to managers questions exactly the same way others did, and this didn’t get you hired.
You see, the truth is, things that we do, are more common than you think. For example, millions of people get up at 7, smoke a cigarette, drink a coffee, buy a lottery ticket, jump in their car and drive to work. Or do you think it’s only you, that has car financing, utility bills and rent to pay ? Absolutely no.
Same with the classifieds, when you see a job offer on craigslist, do you think, you’re the only one who responded to that ad? Did you know that craigslist is visited by 49 million unique visitors in US alone every month? Many others respond just like you to the ads. Employers get bombarded with similar replies. So let’s learn what they do to choose an individual from many, many similar options.
A hiring a manager is being approached several times a day, many days a week for many many weeks. In fact, during a single year, one might have been approached several thousand times. Imagine you would have to listen to 1.000 people all telling you the same things. Wouldn’t this be boring? May be the manager would love to chat with you, explore your life, but he actually has to come up with ways to quickly dismiss you, if you smack of every other applicant before you.

And almost everybody approaches in the same way, directly asking if there are any job openings. If the answer is yes, then they try to demonstrate that their skills match the ones required for the job and then try to pursue the manager to hire them as they think they are entitled to it.
If you do like this, you will be just the “next person” and the manager will not hire you. This is a bad approach which won’t get you the big results you want. You need to be different.

In this article, I won’t tell you how to create a resume, or cv, I leave that for others. I will instead focus on the secrets you must know, things you must do at an face to face interview, to actually get selected from many other people with the same skills.

To better understand what’s going on, let’s imagine the following: think of an organization as of a small tribe. Now the hiring manager is among the leaders in that tribe. Simply having the skills to hunt isn’t enough for you to be accepted in. No. You must also prove that you’re aligned with the leaders, that you can befriend them. You must bring value to the tribe and be perceived as able to fully integrate into it in order to be allowed to benefit from getting enrolled. They want someone to help them, not to steal their food.
For us it’s important to get in, then you can do whatever you want. In other words, except demonstrating that you have the necessary skills for the job, you must also prove that you have high value and that you might become a friend to the manager, that you and him might make a good team, as it’s highly probable that you will work together. Imagine how excited he can get if besides a qualified worker he is also getting a new friend. The thing is in old times a friend could’ve made a difference between life and death, and this feeling is still present in us at a deep level.
So your mission during an interview is to befriend the person hiring you, make him like you a lot. We have minutes to do that. This is not an easy task but can be easily done with proper knowledge. If you do your part well, you will actually turn the manager into your ally, and he or she will do anything in their powers to get you in. Isn’t that wonderful?

how can we make anyone like us instantly? Attraction is a human built-in “psychological circuit” designed to asses other people’s value. If we feel others have value for us we feel attraction, else rejection.
If what a person does or represent makes us believe it has value for us, or might have it in the future, we will like that person. We will naturally feel attracted to that person, because aligning with it, increases our own chances of Survival and Replication, which are our ultimate goals in this life. 
For example, you’d love to hang out with a rock star, don’t you? your attraction circuits have assessed that a rock star can bring a lot of value in your life. What about a homeless drinking person? You attraction circuits have assessed that persons lower value and signal to you that aligning with him won’t improve your chances in the future. You will feel this negative chemistry which is actually designed to keep your alive.
The bottom line is: if you betray lower value through your behaviour and same answers as many loveable loosers before you, the manager won’t like you, and will be less likely to hire you.
There are two types of value: Survival and Replication value or S&R. We can posses them or we can project them (yes, that’s right, the good news is that we can fake it if we ain’t got it).
Many thousands years ago, we were threatened by wild animals everyday, we needed to go out hunting to put food on our tables, and a loyal friend was a huge asset that could save our life. Nowadays things have changed, our friends and our enemies are other peoples around us. A hiring manager is a human being himself which needs to survive and replicate. If you convey that you can help him in this, than he will feel a strong desire to have you around.
Now it’s time to bring together all you’ve learned so far:

1. Groom excellent. You must be very clean. Wear new clothes, be stylish. Accessories are a plus except cheap ones. Your outfit must convey social proof.
2. The 4 minutes rule. Do not enter in a conversation with a hiring manager if you anticipate you won’t have at least 4 minutes to talk. If the place is very busy, come back later. If a manager has no time to talk to you, you can’t convey any S&R values to him.
3. Use a lock-in prop. Example: if you’re looking for a job at a restaurant, you could order some food, and call the manager once you get the food. You accomplish several things by doing that. Since you bought some food you’re not just a stranger anymore, you’re a client, so the manager has to listen to you and has to be nice to you. That buys you time to demonstrate indicators of value and befriend him.
Also for other employees, which are your competitors, it looks like the manager is just talking to a customer, therefore they won’t perceive you as a threat and won’t try to interrupt your discussion. And the single fact that you actually bought something from the company makes you different from many other applicants, who will come in and go straight to the manager without buying anything.
4. We don’t know if a new person we meet intends to harm us or do good to us, there is always some embedded fear related to meeting new people. Smile before opening a conversation. Open through your shoulder, than face the person. It’s psychologically less threatening when you open like that. 
Then stop smiling, you don’t want to look like a clown.
5. Lean back. Body language can tell a lot about your S&R value. Many job applicants are unconsciously leaning in during a discussion. If you need to get or steal something from anybody, you need to lean in to take that thing, right? If you’re leaning in, the manager might get a subconscious fear that you’re there trying to steal his eggs. You don’t want that. So lean back.
6. Do not fidget. This is another unconscious thing many people do. It can be too much moving, blinking, gestures etc. In ancient times, when there were no phones, no internet, two new people would meet face to face and talk. One would start fidgeting if he didn’t like the outcome of the chat, therefore fidgeting betrayes an individuals hidden intentions to use raw power against another one to impose his opinion. That’s why, fidgeting is a scary thing for us nowadays too, we will feel some inner fear which will pursue us to dismiss the interaction with the fidgeting person to remove the possible threat. So do not fidget.
5. You must come in with a slightly higher energy. You’re not going there to bore them down. Talk loud enough and use lots of pausing.
1.You can not work in an environment you don’t like. Anybody looking to get hired is expected to check places out first, not just go blind in and ask for a job.
So first you must compliment the place, tell the manager, that you liked the service, the food, or the ambience, the personnel. This will make your inquire about the job later, look legitimate, since it came out you liked the place.
Also this opens up the manager on a positive note, he feels good and is now opened to hear your stories.
2.Demonstrate High Value or DHV. Tell stories embedded with the 4 indicators we discussed above. You must prepare your stories. In under 4 minutes you should be able to convey all 4 of them in several small stories.Train with a friend, or in front of a mirror.
3.As you’re DHV-ing at a point you’ll get validated, a.k.a. the manager will like you. You will know this happened when you’ll see indicators of interest from him such as agreeing with you, complimenting you, smiling, being relaxed, tilted head, leaning in etc.
Once you get these indicators you know that now you are perceived of as having high value. Next it’s time to validate the manager himself. Ask him some simple questions and compliment on his answers. As a result a mutual friendship will be formed.
4.Up to this point you’ve demonstrated genuine interest in the place, demonstrated high value and validated the manager proving you could be friends. Now it’s the perfect moment to ask about the job.
By the way, do you have this job opening? I have experience in a similar place. More stories with embedded 
demonstrations of higher value and your skills in a natural conversation.

5.Congratulations you have successfully done your part.
The reason why this works is that most people don’t care about the management and don’t study the place, they just 
compare the skills they have with the skills needed for the job, they go right in, they’re after the money. If a manager will 
feel that, guess what? You’re not hired.
6.Do not ask about the pay until a job offer was made.
7. Persevere.
This is a bulletproof method that works every time. In fact, some managers, might like you so much, they will do anything they can to get you in.
Even if it turns out there are no openings, you ain’t walking away empty handed, you just made a new friend. And that’s an asset.
If you are a male and the hiring manager is a female: Ask one of your gorgeous girlfriends to come with you. This will demonstrate preselection and social proof.
If you are a male and the hiring manager is a male: Ask your beautiful girlfriend to pose as your sister and make an accomplishment introductory for you if possible. You “sister” will bring replication value and you are being perceived as a protector of loved ones.
If you are a female and the hiring manager is a female: Use a boy as your boyfriend, or embed In your stories that you have a boyfriend, this way you’re not perceived as a competitor for other males already working there.

If you are a female and the hiring manager is a male
: Approach by yourself or with another girlfriend. It can’t hurt if you flirt a little. Just don’t escalate.
Usually you can find out the gender of a hiring manager by looking up on the company’s website, or by voice when you’re talking on the phone.
If you cannot display your friends, then embed their existence in your stories following the rules above.
If there is a particular job opening out there you’re interested in, it means that somebody will get hired for that position. And you can be that person. And now that you’ve read up to here you know everything you need to succeed.

Did you ever fabulously succeed at a job interview? If yes, please share your experience with others in the comments below, if not, you can still share and we all can learn from each other mistakes:))

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