In today’s world, everyone is a sales person. So says Dan Pink, author of To Sell is Human: The surprising truth about persuading, convincing and influencing others. Don’t think you are? Take a moment to think on it. In the last few months have you tried to persuade people to your point of view, pitch an idea in a meeting, motivate a team, request funding or a raise, convince a friend to join in, or even ask someone out? Do you have a LinkedIn profile, use Facebook or Twitter? In all these examples you are involved in non-sales selling – instead of an actual purchase you are getting people to go along with your ideas or you personally.
Dan Pink techniques for moving people include his ABC of selling – attunement, buoyancy and clarity. It struck me that some of his tips could be applied to an interview situation. At a job interview, part of your role is to sell yourself to a potential employer; persuade and convince them that you are the best person for the role.
Attunement is about tuning into another person’s point of view so you are better able to respond to what they are seeking, and also anticipate their concerns. Getting in sync with someone can be achieved by focusing on what they are thinking (as opposed to what they are feeling), subtly imitating their mannerisms and responses, and by not being overly extrovert or introvert but somewhere in the middle. (You can test how ‘ambivert’ you are here on Dan Pink’s website.) Being able to see the employer’s perspective can help you focus their attention on your desired attributes and potential, and preempt any issues.
Being buoyant is having the ability to bounce back after rejection, or in other words being more like Tigger than Eeyore. Not easy in this job market but if you are getting interviews, give yourself a big pat on back and bounce around a bit. It can take lots of rejection letters before you land a job so rather than taking it personally and giving up, try to analyse the situation critically and learn from it. Look at the circumstances, correct any mistakes and explain the situation to yourself in a positive way.
Before an important event, many people try to pump themselves up with lots of rah rah. Dan Pink suggests that instead of telling yourself “I can do it”, it is actually better to ask yourself the question “can I do this?” Try this out prior to an interview. You will gain confidence if the answer is: “yes I can because I have done research on the company, I know what they are looking for, I have prepared examples of my skills and practiced my interview technique.” If the answer is no,ask yourself why and then take the opportunity to prepare as best you can.
The Business Insider has an excellent summary of Dan Pink’s best tips:
17 Ways To Use The New Psychology Of Sales