I recently took on a client who is focused on changing not just her job, but career field as well. She’s used her past two sessions strategizing for interview techniques.
One of the techniques I gave her involves the word “because.”
As odd as this tip might appear, it does impact the tone of a conversation. I learned this technique from a seven-year-old boy.
I loved hanging out with my godson, Finn, when he was young. Smart, bright, funny, one of the things he most enjoyed was to come up with ways to drive me crazy!
For instance, he’d play that game where he repeated everything I said, exactly as I said it, so I felt like I was in an echo chamber talking to myself.
The other thing he loved was to ask me, “Why?”
When I said something, he’d immediately ask, “why?” and no matter my answer, he’d just respond, “why?”
At first, I tried to come up with a real answer to his “why” question. Eventually, though, my brain would fry and I’d move on to wacky answers, until, I’d just yell, “because, that’s why!”
And then he’d laugh.
As annoying as this game was, it actually replicated a common pattern in most conversations and interviews.
Often times, we say something without exactly explaining it.
Then the other person will ask, “why do you say that?” And then you try to explain with, “because. . .”
In an interview, if you make a statement without giving the “because” part, the person experiencing the interview will wonder, why does she think that? Why does he believe that? Why do they feel that why?
Giving people the “because” part of why you think something helps to give them a fuller sense of what you mean.
The truth is, we’re always asking “why?” even when we’re not saying the word out loud.
Throughout our daily conversations, people will say stuff that makes us scratch our heads and think, “huh?”
You might ask the other person to explain; often times, though, we don’t.
In an interview, you want to reduce the times the other person thinks, “huh?” That’s why you want to give them a “because.”
Now, if you’re tempted to dismiss this as a “nice” tip, but one you’ll not use, consider this rather odd experiment. . .
Years ago, a university sociologist conducted a simple experiment at a library: when someone approached the photocopier, another person, an actor, would walk up and ask, “Excuse me, may I go ahead of you? I need to make five copies, because I’m in a rush.” 94% of the people allowed the person to go ahead of them.
Okay, so people were polite and willing to help out a person in need. BUT, the sociologist then gave the experiment a twist.
The actor would next go up to a person at the copier and just ask, “Excuse me, may I go ahead of you because I have to make five copies?” And this time, 93% of the people let the actor go ahead of them – even though he had offered a ridiculous reason!
How can it be explained? It’s because of the power of that word “because.”
People psychologically feel satisfied when their “why” question (whether they say it aloud or just think it) is answered – even with a dumb answer.
Now, I am NOT suggesting you give nonsensical answers to your interview questions!
BUT, I am suggesting that you give thought to the “why” behind your statements.
Let interviewers know “why” you think and feel the way you do, without them having to ask, and you’ll give them a clearer sense of you.
In return, they’ll pay more attention to you,
which really is what you want an interviewer to do. . .because. . .
you want to land that job!
now THAT is the business of confidence. . .
Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?
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