3 min read

6 Ninja Persuasion Techniques for Interviewing

Sep 11, 2018 8:35:00 AM

Today I’d like to hit on some learnings I gleaned from re-reading a classic book on persuasion: “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” The author, Dr. Robert Cialdini, is considered the father of the science of persuasion (and I bet you didn’t even know that existed!).

I like to take best practices from Psychology, Sales and Marketing and use them to your advantage as a job seeker—especially in the six-figure or executive space. 

I’d like to share with you the six persuasion techniques Cialdini outlines in his book, along with a quick way to use each of them in a job search. I’ve also included a video below that goes into more detail about how to use these persuasion techniques.

Here are the main principles and how to use them as a job seeker:


People feel obligated to do something for you in return if you do something for them. If your job lead has gone cold and you haven’t heard back in a couple of weeks, email them a “piece of value” you found on the internet that would be applicable to their needs/pain points. Click here to find out how to do this through a Google Filetype Search.

Plain and simple: people want what they can’t have. If you get a call from a recruiter or employer, don’t drop everything to talk with them immediately. Set up a time in the next day or so that is convenient for you. You’re a busy professional, remember? This will also give you time to research and prepare for the interview and conduct the phone interview on your terms.


People hire people they like over people that are more qualified, all the way up to the CEO level. Build a connection immediately with your interviewer by doing your homework about the person, not just the company. Very specific flattery will get you everywhere. If you have done any hiring in the past, you have probably adhered to this principle – how many times have you hired someone that you would want to work with over someone with better credentials?


You are an expert in something: I guarantee it. You don’t have to be a national authority; you just have to know more about a certain subject than the person sitting across the desk from you. People will hire experts faster and pay them more than just a winning candidate.


In an interview, just by saying, “People know me as the person who…” or “My former boss once said I was the best he had ever seen at…” you’ll gain the value of social proof: if someone else has a great opinion about  you, it must be true.


Be committed to a consistent message throughout your communication; your written materials, online presence and interview answers all must convey the same message. This makes decision makers feel confident and comfortable, and it makes you a safe bet to hire. Also, and here’s a pro tip: Getting them to say 7 YES’s in an interview, no matter what they’re agreeing to, greatly increases the odds of them hiring you. I don’t have time to go into why! Just trust me on that one.

If you’d like a more in-depth look into these principles, spend a few minutes with me on the video below.

 Here’s to your job search – and career – success!


Tammy Kabell

Written by Tammy Kabell