6 Principles of Job Interview Persuasion

6 Principles of Job Interview Persuasion


The Psychology of Influence is an insightful read on the principals of influencing and persuasion techniques Dr. Robert Cialdini. This book is often quote in other books on influence, persuasion and manipulation, which shows how regarded this book is by professionals. We have taken what Dr Cialdini researched and taught us and made it relevant to the job interview situation.


Dr Cialdini talks about the six principles of influence, we give examples of how any interviewee can use this psychology to influence their next job interview outcome.


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People have a need to follow through on their commitments; we all strive for consistency and when we commit verbally or in writing to something, we often won’t want to back out of this personal commitment.


To win job offers you first need to gain the employers commitment, if they commit to employing you during the interview they won’t want to change their mind. During the interview you can ask a mixture of questions, while answering the employers questions, that subtly get the employer to commit to employing you through answering yes to each of your questions, as these yes answers build so does the employers commitment.


“Do you want to hire someone who can (add unique selling point) example increase your sales?”

“If I could give you real evidence of how I have doubled profits in my past 2 companies, would you want me to show you how I can double your profits?”

“Imagine you hired me, and we worked really well together, increased the sales and made a bigger profit then any previous year, would you want me to teach other people to get the same results that we are getting?”

“Would you hire me, if I could bring over my customer base that I built up?”


All the questions designed to make the employer to say yes, even the last question which asks “would you hire me?”




People feel indebted to others who do/give something to them. In the interview you can’t offer to buy the interviewer a coffee (giving gifts works well for the reciprocation rule) instead you need to give them advice or an idea that would add value to their company.


This has to be unselfish; tell them how X technology will improve production, or how X company have a contract they want to subcontract or explain how a certain sector needs X


It doesn’t matter what the gesture is, what matters is the employer will realise how valuable you are. They will first feel indebted to you because you have told them something that can help increase their profit, and secondly the interviewer will think if you will give this gem away for free, what else will I get when I employ you?




Make yourself scarce, unique or valuable. You need to think about the value you can bring to the organization, what do you possess that others don’t? How will you increase the company profits? How will employing you add value to their organization? And more importantly if they don’t employ you what will they miss out on, especially if you become the employers competition as an employee at a competitive company.


Once the employer realises how valuable an employee you are, let them know how employers from other competitive organizations have already offered you a position and there troubling you for an answer. Now you are becoming scarce, the employer might miss out on recruiting you and we all want something we can’t have more.





People listen, trust and follow experts. The more you learn about your industry the more you will sound like an expert. With all this expertise in your head, share it with the employer, explain how this knowledge of yours will benefit the organization, how you can increase productivity, how you will win new contracts and save on overheads. In the job interview you have to be seen as an expert in your industry, as this will increase your value, the rule is, if your an expert your worth more to the company. People believe experts and won’t always question your general statements, if they believe you are an authority on the subject.





People find it hard to say no to people they like; people like people who are like themselves. During the job interview you can increase liking by finding common ground; you both enjoy the same sport, you both went to the same school, you both holiday in Greece or you are both interested in history. To find common ground, ask friendly questions as the interviewer takes you from reception area to the interview office, there may be signs of the employer interest in the form of photographs or books/magazines in the office. Ask open questions about these pastimes and if the employer sounds interested in this, explain how you also enjoy this hobby.





Most people are followers not leaders, especially when their uncertain about a course of action – to feel comfortable we will go with the crowd. In panel interviews there will always be a leader. During the interview make eye contact and answer everyones questions, but ensure you meet the values of the leader, impress this personal over all others, as in many cases they will have the last say.

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