Techniques for job interview success in today’s competitive job market

Elaboration, 2016

20 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents


1. Techniques for Job Interview Success

2. Make sure that you eat a good breakfast

3. You are actually selling yourself

4. Eye-to-eye contact is part of persuasion

5. The handshake in the United States is symbolic

6. The color of your outfit is extremely important

7. The expert fallacy

8. Your goal is to be remembered

9. Study your resume as if your life depends on it

10. Reconnaissance helps you visualize your interview
SEVEN Interview mistakes to avoid
BONUS: Phone Interview

Table 1
Table 2
Furthermore, these colors have the following properties:


The process of getting a job has changed because of the economy. More job seekers are older in today’s climate many younger job seekers lack the experience needed to successfully complete job interviews with call backs or direct hires. The unfortunate predicaments of essential health care and the weakening dollar place the average job seeker at a disadvantage. The playing field is always uneven in the job market, and just having a great deal of education or experience may not be enough.

The job interview is where the face-to-face with the gatekeeper happens. It is critical for job candidates to be remembered. Interviewees must take the fact that they are probably not the only ones applying for the job into consideration, though they hope to be the only ones the interviewers remember. We all emit positive or negative energy, whether through a handshake or the color of a necktie because the nonverbal communication of the color could introduce a subconscious response based on color association the interviewer has experience.

The color could trigger a positive or negative response and it does not matter whether we are male or female; we all emit the same frequencies. This manual is not a guarantee that you will get the job but it will give you an edge.

1. Techniques for Job Interview Success

In Today’s Competitive Job Market—Manual there are many ways to be successful in a job interview. There is a multitude of theories and techniques that can be applied, and they may or may not work depending on the effort that is placed in the application of the ideas in this manual. The purpose of this manual is to give you a winning edge over your competition and increase your chances of success with your interview in job seeking.

I am a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army in charge of ballistic missile tracking systems. Before I became a soldier, I was a small-business owner in Alabama. I was the owner and operator of a print shop named Quick Print. Quick Print produced business cards, letterheads, flyers and a host of products that the public needed and in the Army, I managed to start a part-time business as a mobile disk jockey and became very successful in both ventures. However, my love for the military was more important because we were getting ready for war at the time, and serving my country trumps personal endeavors, at least in my mind.

My experiences have made me the go-to guy when it comes to helping others gain employment. Interviewing and resume writing techniques that I developed have proved over 90% successful when following the exact methodology that is prescribed in this manual. I used the techniques that I developed to gain employment in companies such as International Business Machine (IBM) USA Jobs, and Mobile County School System. My methods work, and I have perfected the techniques with proven results. Your goal in an interview is making sure that you get the best possible chance of walking away with the job you want.

One surefire way to get your name remembered is to mention it about three times during the interview. Remember that you are not the only one who may qualify for that job or position, and you will need something to separate you from your competition. An interview is a goal-driven transaction characterized by questions and answers, clear structure, control, and imbalance. An interview is usually a dyadic transaction, meaning that it takes place between two people (Duck, 2015).

2. Make sure that you eat a good breakfast

It is proven that we perform better after we eat a good nutritious breakfast especially with peanut butter. Smoked salmon added to a bagel will boost the protein power of your morning meal (O'Neil, 2010). This is one of the simplest aspects of the interview to understand. However, in one-on-one settings, there could be some tension that is rooted in childhood or some other experience. Given this possibility, we will sometime perspire, stutter, shake nervously and become jumpy. These are the wrong behavioral patterns. One of Sigmund Freud’s most enduring legacies is the idea that our current difficulties are rooted in our childhood experiences, especially traumatic ones (Lilienfeld, 2010).

The problem is not purely psychological, but sometimes our past experiences interfere with our current situations, especially the bad ones. This is why rehearsal and practice are extremely important for rooting out those hidden micro reactions that are picked up by the interviewer but that you never know you communicated. For example, if a salesperson approached you and asked you to purchase a new robotic vacuum, your first reaction may have been no. However, his good sales technique had you on the fence wondering whether or not the product might work for you. Then the sales person rubbed his nose, and that microsecond act took you back to your childhood when your friend tricked you into eating a bug. Your friend rubbed her nose, looked you in the eyes, and told you to open your mouth, and instead of biting into a cookie, you bit down on a grasshopper. You immediately walked away, thereby ending the sale.

When you are in an interview you are selling your brand, and your brand is everything that you have accomplished up to this point in your life. Studies show that over 50% of all communication is nonverbal, and that people will draw conclusions about whether they want to talk to a person and buy from him or her in as little as seven seconds.

3. You are actually selling yourself

This is crucial to understanding that you are actually selling yourself. That is why retail sales trainers often spend a significant amount of time working with sales associates on how to improve customer engagement through better body language. Negative answers will definitely paint you in a negative light. The science behind this is called the primacy effect. The primacy effect occurs when information presented first is more influential in determining the final impression. Thus, whenever positive information is presented before negative information, it presents a more positive impression. The same effect occurs if negative information is presented first (Bar-Tal, 2009). The way that you address any interviewer is positive before negative because your words will paint the rest of the conversation.

It is extremely important to be accurate with the information that is on your resume. You are the arbiter of that document and therefore should be the subject matter expert. According to Thompson:

One way of increasing your accuracy when it comes to explaining your resume is applying the three C’s of Nonverbal Communication: context, clusters, and congruence. Context includes what environment the situation is taking place in, the history of the people, and other factors such as each person’s role. (Thompson, 2011)

I cannot express more strongly how much talking negatively about your former employer could send the wrong message to the interviewer (Tuggle, 2011). Loyalty is one of those traits that are admired by leaders, and talking badly about your old company demonstrates many things but most significantly shows that you have a problem with loyalty. There is a quote that my grandmother used to tell us all the time, and it is, “If you cannot say anything good, don’t say anything at all.” With that said, remember that your response will paint the rest of your interview with whatever brush you decide to use, whether good or bad. As Costa says:

The reason is simply common sense because you have to list your former employees. Sometime that recruiter or interviewer will contact your old employers. Do not go into all the company drama or office gossip that drove you crazy, and stay away from complaining about how your boss never appreciated your awesomeness. No matter what you do or how you explain it, be prepared, to be honest. Remember, there is a chance they will need to call your former employer to verify your employment, and you want to make sure your stories match up. If they do not, you may come across as a liar or a risky hire (Costa, 2014).

It is a matter of taste and professionalism that you will or will not display during the interview process. It is imperative that you take the high road in these situations. “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice” is a platitude that was on a one-inch high, four-inch long piece of pinewood that sat on my grandmother’s coffee table. I read it practically every morning before heading off to school.

Before you start discrediting your former employer, I advise you to memorize these lines and use them frequently throughout your career. In the United States, honesty is the measure of a person’s character. Therefore, it is important to establish the first eye-to-eye contact because in an individualistic country such as the United States, we hold the words that we say as spoken contracts. For example, people in the United States use the cliché, “a man’s word is his bond.” In the military, I attended many soldier boards for promotion, and eye-to-eye contact showed the board members that I was confident in answering the questions while communicating nonverbal displays of leadership.

4. Eye-to-eye contact is part of persuasion

Eye-to-eye contact is part of persuasion. Popular belief holds that eye contact increases the success of persuasive communication, and prior research suggests that speakers who direct their gaze more toward their listeners are perceived as more persuasive. In contrast, we demonstrate that more eye contact between the listener and speaker during persuasive communication predicts less attitude change in the direction advocated (Chen, 2013).

The attractiveness as well as the effectiveness of eye-to-eye contact is the suggestion that you are in some ways honest and trustworthy. However, too much eye contact can make other people more resistant to persuasion, a recent study finds a source may appear knowledgeable, but what if you do not think he or she is truthful? The first thing that you must do is display honesty and sincerity. The power of nonverbal signals, in general, is demonstrated by one study that pitted verbal signals against nonverbal signals.

A study found that when verbal and nonverbal signals contradict each other, we are five times more likely to believe the nonverbal message (Argyle, 1971). People often express contradicting messages in their verbal and nonverbal behaviors. A common example of this sort of mixed message is the experience we’ve all had of hearing someone with a red face and bulging veins yelling, “Angry? No, I’m not angry!” In situations like these, we tend to believe the nonverbal message instead of the words (Ronald B. Adler, 2010). Moreover, “when verbal and non-verbal messages were inconsistent, the performance was rated as insincere, unstable and confusing” (Argyle, 1971). Culturally Even though we recognize that differences exist in the nonverbal rules of different cultures, subtle differences can damage relationships without the parties ever realizing what has gone wrong.

Anthropologist Edward Hall points out that, whereas Americans are comfortable conducting business at a distance of roughly four feet, people from the Middle East stand much closer. It is easy to visualize the awkward advance-and-retreat pattern that might occur when two diplomats or business-people from these cultures meet. The Middle Easterner would probably keep moving forward to close the gap, whereas the American would continually back away. Both would feel uncomfortable, probably without knowing why (Ronald B. Adler, 2010).

Not only do our eyes sometimes send stronger signals than our words, but they can also be as informative as the whole of the rest of the face. Baron-Cohen et al. (1997) had individuals trying to read emotions from photographs some showing whole faces and others only showing the eyes “For complex mental states, seeing the eye alone produced significantly better performance than seeing the mouth alone, and was as informative as the rest of the face” Baron-Cohen et al. (1997). One of the most important forms of communication besides eye-to-eye contact is the handshake

5. The handshake in the United States is symbolic

The handshake in the United States is symbolic of closing a deal, making a deal, promising to do something, or agreeing to a contract. Psychologists agree that there is something that is unique about giving a handshake. There is no standard or proper, a handshake in the United States. Handshakes vary from city to city and culture to culture. You will get all kinds of handshakes because we have immigrant groups from all over the world spanning 24 time zones, from the Kenya to the U.S. Virgin Islands to other U.S. territories, such as the Island of Guam.

Handshakes are going to vary, but in business we have developed one standard for shaking hands that seem universal. The hands clasp with equal pressure fingers down or at a slight angle curling around the other person’s hand so that the index finger and the thumb point toward each other on the back side of their hand, and is held just long enough for it to be comfortable and socially acceptable, but not too long. At the same time, it is always good to remember to mirror the handshake of the person who has the highest status. If they give a firm handshake, then that is what you do. Conversely, if it is gentle and short then that is also what you do” (Navarro, 2013).

The color of your tie, blouse, dress and suit affect the way the interviewer perceives you. The kind of shoes you wear could affect the hiring decision. Women that wear open-toed shoes or sandals could be looked at differently because some offices have policies against such shoes. That is why it is important to play it safe and wear closed shoes.

6. The color of your outfit is extremely important

The color of your outfit is extremely important, and colors have been shown to affect our behavior patterns. Color is important because they affect each of us differently.

The color of your car will impact insurance rates. The Monash University in Australia investigated the relationship between car color and crash risk. They found that, statistically, white cars had the lowest crash risk while cars with colors low on the visibility index, such as black, blue, gray, green, red, and silver, were associated with a higher accident risk (Newstead, 2007).

The color of different animals tells predators if they are poisonous or dangerous in some way. Many species have bright and distinct colors. Color signs of danger are distasteful. Those patterns are called warning coloration or aposematic coloration as biologists say. These patterns act (and presumably evolved) to prevent predators from attacking the animals, which either taste dreadful or can hurt the predator (Coyne, 2016). Likewise, the colors that you wear to job interviews are critical.

The suggested suit colors for men are black, charcoal gray, blue, or navy blue. The shirt should always be white, and the neck tie should be toned down. If possible, wear red or blue neckties or ties that have a combination of those colors. If it is possible, try to wear a tie that is similar in color to the company’s logo. For example, if you are interviewing for International Business Machine, you should wear a blue tie. If you were interviewing for Cardinal Pharmaceutical, whose logo is a cardinal, it would probably be helpful to wear a red necktie. The suit directs attention to the shirt. “I believe the shirt and necktie are the focus of the outfit while the suit merely accentuates them both.”

7. The expert fallacy

The expert fallacy is a fascinating phenomenon of persuasion because it attempts to demonstrate that we are creatures of our environments, which affect us on many levels. The way that you present yourself is critical to how the interviewer identifies with you. For example, you are more likely to listen to a person talking to you about the law in a business suit than a swim suit. The job interview involves persuasion because you are trying to convince your prospective employer that you are better than anyone else who has applied for the job.

The good thing about small talk is that it gives you an opportunity to inject your name in the conversation for the coveted minimum three. It is beneficial to reflect on some event in your history that demonstrates your ability to overcome a bad situation and turn it into a victory or triumph. Make the story about two to three minutes in length. Practice the story until it becomes like a mantra.

Your interviewer may start off with small talk, perhaps to put you at ease, to judge how you behave under pressure, or to assess your people skills. That means even if the topic is not one you find particularly engaging, you should act as if you care. Small talk is about relationships, not content. What’s talked about is secondary. So much communication nowadays is electronic. That in-person conversation at your job interview is a golden opportunity to build common ground and create good feelings (Burns, 2009).

I would suggest actually trying to connect with the interviewer. Demonstrate that you are an active listener, smile, nod your head, maintain eye contact, and every so often, repeat what was said. For example, an interviewer might say, “I started in the company when I was 24 in the mail room.” The interviewee might answer, “Amazing; wow, you worked yourself up from the mail room. I am inspired. I guarantee Morris Williams has the same determination.”


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Techniques for job interview success in today’s competitive job market
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Morris Williams (Author), 2016, Techniques for job interview success in today’s competitive job market, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • MSC Morris Williams on 5/24/2016

    The techniques outlined are from many weeks of research that reveled commonalities that are obvious to some but oblivious to others. I believe that the use of this information will lead in success and could be applied in other situations as well. Thank You. Morris Williams, BS,MCS.

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