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Imitate Your Interviewer To Get The Job

Mimicking a Statue, (c) 2012 Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0). Via flickr.

Are you going to a job interview sometimes soon? Have a meeting with a prospective client? The other person will like you more and think the meeting went more smoothly if you subtly mimic their body language.

This has long been a part of the salesman’s Influence bag, of course, and is even a goodly part of the original neuro-linguistic programming. If the other person leans back, you lean back. If they put their hands on the table, you put your hands on the table.

Of course, NLP called it “leading” and said it was a great way to manipulate people, even getting someone to want whatever it was you wanted to give them. That’s a bit different from the simple mimickry. Although it can make for a lot of fun in church and funerals.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. People know when you are copying them, so you have to subtly mimic them. You will also want to dress like they do.

Remember: managers are much more likely to make self-enhancement bias errors than team members. This means you are more able to manipulate their impressions this way than you can with potential peers on the team.

All of this was sparked by theThe Situationist post “The Situation of Immitation and Mimickry“, which has an excerpt from a recent TIME Magazine article on the subject.

Image Credit: Mimicking a Statue. &copy 2012 Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0). Via flickr.


E. Forrest Christian is a consultant and writer with The Manasclerk Company who helps executive-level managers and experts translate their complex knowledge into products and materials that non-experts like clients and buyers understand. He has worked in functions as varied as web security, ghost writing, requisite organization, executive coaching, software design, environmental compliance, documentation, enterprise architecture, ISO 9001 and training. He even developed one of the earliest catalog websites in 1994 and has held certifications in IT security (CISSP), training and hazmat response. Forrest lives and works in the outer edge of the Chicago metro area in Valparaiso, Indiana.  [contact]

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