How to Use Psychology to Land Executive Positions

visualizing landing an executive position
visualizing landing an executive position

You have made yourself a brilliant resume and perfected the art of filling out the perfect job application to land you interviews. Now the last thing standing in between you and your dream job as an executive is … the interview process! At this point, job hunters do one of two things:

  1. Panic: Panicking is a normal reaction to the anxiety created by not knowing how to handle a situation effectively. Being aware that our fear and anxiety are created by the unknown, we have to come prepared for the interview. We do this by learning how to land executive positions through psychology, creating a plan, and practicing it.
  1. Create a Plan and Stick to It: Follow along as we dive deep into employer psychology and demonstrate how to use psychology to land the executive position of your dreams. We use the majority of these steps in our companies to generate enormous amounts of sales meetings and closings, so landing an executive position will be a cinch.

5 Steps to Landing an Executive Position Using Psychology

1. Prepare Your Mind for Success

Before you walk through the door of an executive job interview, you need to make sure your mindset and mental state are in a secure and positive place. In a study by New York University and Columbia University, one set of participants focused on a time when they felt in control and influential during their lives. The second set of participants focused on a time when they felt powerless and out of control. When facing the same interview, the powerful and in-control group of applicants were hired at a significantly higher rate than the latter group. What we can take away from this is our state of mind and well-being are highly useful tools that we control to determine if we succeed. When we can focus on the positives, feel empowered, and be in control, then we are indeed at our best and have a higher chance of getting hired.

Here is an exercise:

Before a job interview, write down a specific time in your life where you were a leader, felt great about yourself, and were entirely in control. On the days leading up to the interview, take a few moments to think about how you felt at that moment and visualize yourself having those same feelings during your upcoming interview.

A good rule of thumb is to visualize these moments and feelings while in a power pose. To perform a power pose, stand up straight, put your hands on your hips with your elbows facing outwards, shrug your shoulders back, and look straight ahead.

2. Choose a Time That Works for the Interviewer

Glassdoor cited the writer Kate Perham after her viewing of an Accountemps 2008 survey and reading the book Successful Presentation Skills, she determined the ideal interview time is typically Tuesday at 10:30 am. Ultimately, however, the best time to do an interview is the time that works best for your interviewer. When choosing a time, you want to remain in a position of power and not come off desperate to choose whatever time works for them.

The best way to go about it is to be honest with your current availability, something along the lines of "I have Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday free this week" or the days you honestly are free during the week. Follow that up by asking an open-ended question like, "What does your schedule look like this week, [Name]?" This allows you to determine a day that aligns with your schedule and works best. Now, complete this exchange saying something along the lines of "I am free between 9 and 1 and 4 and 6 on [insert day]. What time works best for you?" Choosing a range of times allows the interviewer to select a time that works best for them while still keeping you in a position of power.

3. Practice What You Say and How You Say It

Going into an interview without a plan is planning to fail. Creating a well thought-out script tailored to your interviewer's age, interests, and the company is crucial to your success. Of course, we are not in control of the questions that the interviewer asks. However, everything before and after is within your bounds. A wise approach would be to research your interviewer and the company. Take notes on the company's mission statement and the interviewer's interests, beliefs, and interests. With a backstory on the company, you may find it useful to make a mock list of questions the interviewer may ask based on your research, and practice answering them with a friend or YES’ Interview AikidoTM coach.

Following the research and creation of our plan, we now have to shift our focus to not what we say but how we say it. Leonard Mlodinow, the author of Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior,  says, "The speaker who speaks expressively with modulation in speech and volume, and fewer pauses boosts credibility and is seen as more intelligent." The reality of interviewing for an executive position is that the interviewee who speaks in a monotone voice and struggles to complete sentences is less likely to get hired than someone who does the opposite. Be aware of this crucial aspect and practice using functional tonality and eliminating unnecessary stops and breaks in speech.

4. Use Body Language

Matching and mirroring is a powerful in-person sales strategy that works very well when interviewing for a job too. Duke University refers to it as the "chameleon effect" or the subconscious inclination of a liking for those who mimic our body language.

Mirroring your interviewer's body language does not mean mimicking what they do at every moment; that would be weird. Instead, try mimicking their body language in the big picture. For example, be more animated if they are lively; be more subdued if they are circumspect.

5. Do Not Interrupt the Interviewer

Last but not least, not interrupting the interviewer is an obvious but often subconsciously overlooked step in the process of landing an executive position. There is never any good that comes out of cutting the interviewer off in a desperate attempt to finish their sentence and be in "rapport." On the contrary, we need to make a conscious effort not to complete sentences and initiate active listening where we nod our heads or let out "um"s and "ooh"s to resonate that we care.

Now that we have thoroughly inspected the psychological steps to landing an executive position, it is time to take action! Get some training and practice using Interview Aikido and then go forth and put these steps into practice during your next executive job interview; you will be surprised at the results.

Author Bio:

David Freudenberg is an American businessman and the active CEO of two companies: SEOwithDavid, an SEO freelance link-building agency, and DavidbuyshousesFlorida, a real estate investing company. When he is not scaling and honing in on Seowithdavid and Davidbuyshousesflorida, he enjoys spending his time with his friends and family on the beach and in parks.

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