Here is a tip you can use to persuade the subconscious mind of others to like you, and give you another edge over your competitors. This method causes the person interviewing you to think you are just like him at the level below awareness. And it’s so simple. Earlier we talked about modeling behavior and physicality to get into rapport. And this is similar but even more subtle. I call this technique Off-Matching. This is akin to Mirroring but much more subtle.
If possible, find the one thing that makes the interviewee unique and mirror that back to her. For instance, when I was interviewing for a much better job with a much higher pay grade within my own company, I knew the woman who I would be working directly under was known around the office as the Flower Lady to people who did not know her name. She was called the Flower Lady because she wore a big bright flower on her lapel every day that made her stand out. It was a different one each day. Some people loved it and others made fun of it—but no one dared made fun of it to her face because this was a tough business woman not to be messed with—and many people would try to ingratiate themselves to her by giving her compliments on her flower lapel, (rather insincere I might add), including other applicants, and she would smile and say thank you…but I did something different.
On the day of my direct interview with this lady, I wore the biggest gaudiest broach I could find in my jewelry box. (The biggest one I could find was a dragon fly and not a flower, so that would have to do. But that was okay because I did not want it to be obvious that I was mimicking her.) Subtly is key. I wore a suit that matched hers…a younger looking fashion because she was 30 years my senior…but the same type of suit. A pant suit. Blouse. Blazer with big lapels. Crowned with my big beautiful broach.
Although I was tempted to say something, I stayed absolutely quiet about her flower pin until about midway through the interview when SHE complimented my broach! Woo hoo! At that point, I thanked her and complimented hers back using similar phraseology she used on me…but only when she spoke of mine first. That little gesture gave me an edge I needed. By the way, I got the job. Later I was to find out she was going to hire her boyfriend’s daughter and was only interviewing people within the company due to HR protocol. But she chose me instead! I beat out “almost-nepotism”—yeees! (Well, my strategies did anyway.) Was I more qualified for the job than the other dozens of people she interviewed? Probably not. Was I more likeable than her boyfriend’s daughter? Not sure, but she didn’t know me at all other than from my resume and interview. Why did she hire me? I persuaded her. Not with just the broach, but with all the techniques mentioned throughout this book…yet the broach was very important indeed…and I believe it had a big hand in helping me win the “getting myself hired” game. (By the way, treat interviewing as a game of strategy and take the stress and pressure off of you.)
So, what if you are a man interviewing for this position? You could not very well wear a broach, but you could wear a funky looking tie pin that stands out…or a funky looking tie for that matter…or a classy tie with roses on it. Just something that makes you stand out…and here is the key…Just. Like. Her. Of course this works if you know a little bit about the person interviewing you. If not, just stick with the other rapport methods mentioned earlier. By using this method, the person subconsciously thinks this person has spunk like me and is not afraid to show it. And if someone is perceived to be “just like me,” she is going to be more trusting of that person to get the job done, especially the type person who thinks the job isn’t done right unless he does it himself. Right? Yes!