NLP is widely used in the world of sales. But don’t suspect that I am going to willworktalk at length about quarterly sales forecasts and targets. NLP sales techniques are handy for people promoting goods and services, yes – but that’s not the whole story. As much as we buy a product we also buy into the corporation selling it, the brand and even the salesman himself. So in effect the fact of whether we like the seller, corporation or salesperson goes a long way towards helping us make a decision on what or whether we buy.

What is this guy really trying to sell me here?

In actual fact the salesman is selling himself as much as his brand. There’s nothing surprising in that: if we feel like we’re being talked down to we don’t want to stick around; if we feel simpatico with the sales guy, we don’t mind being sold to. NLP sales techniques help people to sell everything from paper clips to pensions. This being true, why not use the same NLP sales techniques to help sell yourself to a potential employer?

NLP Interview Techniques

It never ceases to amaze me, when I ask someone how an interview went, the answers I get back. Once a person of my acquaintance was being interviewed for a job at a major food retail store. They were asked what their favourite food was responded with the name of a competitor’s product. I mean, come on, use some common sense! Needless to say, they did not get the gig.

Remember that the whole purpose of the interview is to sell yourself and to do this you need to build rapport with the interviewer. Actually, sometimes you can land a job without even “selling” your skill-set. Here is a video that I saw ages ago that I found really convenient. See how this person in the video uses anchors to build desire and produces just the result he wants. I don’t share his view of Americans, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to dis someone to build rapport but the rest of his technique is bang on and very funny!

Here are some key NLP methods to help you prepare for a job interviews:

Prepare – Run through talking about your past achievements, try to pre-empt difficult questions and have a good answer prepared. For instance if you feel you are younger than other more experienced candidates, concentrate on emphasising the extra energy you can bring to the job. If you have experience, obviously play on that as a good point.

Use keywords – Try to project ideas into the interviewer’s mind without them knowing. You can do this by using keywords that will benefit you throughout the conversation but don’t make them too obvious – keep it natural. for instance, in the example above of a younger candidate you might want to sprinkle “youth”, “energy”, “energetic”, “hungry” or “keen” in there. I wouldn’t recommend touching the interviewer, which would otherwise be the usual way of reinforcing an anchor but you could emphasise the keyword with a smile or by leaning slightly toward the interviewer when you use the keyword. You’ll probably notice politicians doing this on TV.

Anchor yourself – Yeah, of course try not to fall over but I am actually talking about using NLP anchors. Think of a state of mind that you desire (probably that of calm confidence). Remember a time when you felt this way previously. Try to imagine all of its sensations and how they polarised into a moment. Then imagine it happening in this moment. Repeat this visualisation again and when you feel the sensations polarise, make a gesture with the fingers of one hand (nothing obscene please) and say a word you can easily remember. Hold onto this feeling for a while, then break off from it completely and do it again after a an hour or so and practise a few times leading up to the interview time and use it just before you go into the interview itself.

Mirror the interviewer – Try to make similar mirroring movements to those that the interviewer makes. This will engender a feeling of cooperation and rapport. But don’t overdo it or it will become obvious, stilted and you will weird out the interviewer. Less is more with mirroring – be subtle.

This is not an exhaustive list, and I will be expanding on it in future posts, but it is a start and it gives a good basis for creating rapport. It’s broadly accepted that the decision to hire a candidate is made in the first ten minutes of the interview, so the more you can do to load any linguistic and behavioural factors in your favour the better. And be sincere – as they say, once you can fake that you’ve got it made!