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9 Jedi Mind Tricks to Nail Your Next Job Interview

Job Interview
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You research every last detail of the company, quiz yourself on practice questions the night before, and yet, the day of, you still fall flat in a job interview. You know why? Because you didn't use psychology to manipulate the interviewer's mind. Also, you probably wore the wrong tie. 

A Quora thread crowd-sourced psychological tips, tricks, and techniques that will help you absolutely nail that job interview. Of course, the bullet points on your resume still count for something. But this stuff''s way more under your control. Take notes.

Mirror the interviewer's body language

"One of the best hacks in the world is called “Conversational Mirroring." It goes along with the premise that “people like people that are like themselves.” Is your interviewer leaning forward with his hands folded? Do the same. Did they change positions and lean back in their chair? Wait a beat and follow suit. Conversational mirroring is hugely powerful in getting people to be relaxed, and in-sync with you. After you’ve mirrored your interviewer in a couple of moves, you can sometimes get them to subconsciously mirror yours. There’s science out there that says we start doing this even at a toddler’s age—it’s hardwired in our brains to want this. It’s effing amazing to make it work." - Dan B.

Basically, be the same person...

"Many hiring managers and interviewers hire those that they like. Here are some ways to increase your likability.

  • Use the same language. If you sound like them, you must be like them. Copy similar vocabulary and patterns of speech. Also copy their speech pace.
  • Use the same gestures. (Same as above.)
  • Dress the same way. If you look like them, you must be like them.
  • Have the same hobbies. If they like foosball and yoga, build attraction by claiming similar interests.
  • Have the same affiliation. There's a reason why millions pay to go to Harvard or join the local country club.
  • Emphasize similar experiences. Instead of saying, 'You went to Princeton, and I went to Yale.' Say 'We're similar: we both graduated from Ivy League schools.'"  - Lewis L.

Warm your hands

"When you get there early, go to the bathroom and warm your hands, either under hot water or under a hand dryer.  Dry, warm hands inspire confidence. Cold, clammy hands are a big unconscious turn-off. You can apply a bit of deodorant to your hands if sweaty hands are an issue for you. Psychological studies have shown that even holding a warm cup of coffee makes someone feel more positive about the person he or she is talking to." -Susan S.

Breath deep and slowly

"I once had a boss who was really into meditation and he told me later that he really liked that I breathed slowly and deeply in our interview because he knew I would keep cool under pressure and would have a calming influence on him. Short, rapid breaths or running out of air when talking is a clear sign of nervousness and it can make your interviewer edgy as well." - Susan S.

Say, "I'm excited."

"Research from Harvard professor Alison Wood Brooks indicates that presenters who say "I am excited" are 17% more persuasive and 15% more confident than those that say "I am calm."

Based on my experience with my job search clients, the same principle applies to interviewees." - Lewis Lin

Offer compliments

"Subtly compliment your interviewer, on the questions he or she asks, on some aspect of their personality. Try to find something that will bond you, such as commenting on pictures of his or her family or sports themes or anything else they may have in the interview area." -  Susan S.

Exude confidence to trump content

"During the interview don't stress over your answers, rather focus on confident feelings and project those. Studies at Harvard business school show that these are more important factors than the content of your replies." - John S.

Pause before answering

"When you take some time to answer, instead of rushing to it, it communicates to people that you know your own value. The vibe is that of someone who knows that what they have to say is worth the extra wait. People with authority/high status do this quite a bit, if you'll notice. Just to be clear, the point is not that you're trying to get your interviewer to acknowledge you as some ur-alpha dog - rather, the idea is to give them the impression that you are in the habit of doing this, because you respect your own opinion and time." - Tim C.

When all else fails, wear red

"Don't underestimate the power of color. Everyone knows that red is a power color. It still works." - Susan S.

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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and just bought a red shirt. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow her at @karatillie.